“Then he slunk to the icebox. He took the Whos’ feast!
He took the Who-pudding! He took the roast beast!
He cleaned out that icebox as quick as a flash.
Why, that Grinch even took their last can of Who-hash!”
Dr.Seuss—How the Grinch Stole Christmas
The post is sponsored by Austerity Wines and The Feed Feed but all words, opinions, and love of food—animated and otherwise—are my own.
Growing up I loved the original animated short How the Grinch Stole Christmas from 1966. To this day I still haven’t watched the new one—some things are better left in their original form in my opinion. Food forever being on my mind my favorite part is when he’s stealing all the delicious morsels from the Who’s kitchen. Not because he’s stealing Christmas dinner mind you—but even cartoon food held some magical allure to me and the “roast beast” always made my mouth water. While the “beast” he takes is a roasted chicken or turkey, to this day I still envision roast beef of some sort, tender, juicy, in some sort of rich gravy anytime I hear the line.
Visions of beef danced in my had each and every time I watched. So I couldn’t help but conjure those memories as I prepared today’s recipe. I’ve actually never made roast beef tenderloin before today. But I’ve had it many times over the years, always around the holidays, causing me to equate it with a sort of sacred winter tradition. A special holiday meal that to be revered—certainly something that should involve a bit of ceremony. Certainly a meal that would capture any Grinch’s eye.
As this was my first beef tenderloin I wanted to keep this simple and classic. A gorgeous cut of meat rubbed down with fresh herbs, salt and pepper, loads of fresh garlic, and a bit of orange zest (not classic but very Christine). Juicy and full of flavor the results were everything I imagined; the rub imparted flavor but didn’t overshadow this sumptuous cut of meat in any way. In order to bring my roast beast dreams to fruition however I needed a something more. Something rich and intoxicating full of savory umami flavor to serve it all with. Enter one of my favorite Cabernets.
I’m thrilled to have been an Austerity Wines partner this past year. I’ve had the most wonderful time sipping and cooking with their wines. When developing this recipe in particular I knew I wanted to use their Cabernet Sauvignon that hails from the Paso Robles region. It’s a robust wine with cherry, licorice, and sweet oak aromas. The bold palate is bursting with ripe red fruits and I thought it would do wonderfully as the star of my red wine mushroom sauce. The perfect sauce for this roast beef.
I sautéed mushrooms until they were golden and tender. Then, I deglazed the pan with some Austerity Cabernet and a bit of beef stock. After adding some fig balsamic vinegar and a splash of Worcestershire I finished it off with fresh thyme and butter. The sauce is so full-bodied and rich it’s tempting enough on its own. I stole several bites during every step of the cooking process and barely had enough for the tenderloin! Enjoying it spooned generously over thin slices of this roast was enough to make me understand why the Grinch stole all that delicious food. Not saying I could stoop to his level, but if the Who’s food came across anything like this…I get it.
You can pair this dish with any sides you desire. I always want potatoes in some form for any holiday meal and I roasted some baby ones with herbs garlic, lots of butter, and flaky sea salt. Simple lemony green beans and plenty of glasses of cabernet rounded out this meal although some warm buttery rolls would be a nice addition as well.
What are some of your holiday meal traditions? And what are your thoughts on animated food? Am I the only one out there who had a thing for it growing up? Leave a comment below!
Citrus & Garlic Beef Tenderloin with Cabernet Mushroom Sauce
For the Beef Tenderloin
- One 3-4 lb. Beef Tenderloin
- 2 tsp. Fresh rosemary, minced
- 1 tsp. Fresh thyme
- 3 tsp. French Sage, minced
- 1 tsp. Orange zest
- 3 Tbsp. garlic, minced*
*We love garlic in this house, if you don’t try 1 Tbsp.
For the Cabernet Mushroom Sauce
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil + 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 lb. mushrooms, sliced
- 2 Tbsp. minced shallots
- ¾ cup Austerity Cabernet Sauvignon
- 1/3 cup beef stock
- 1 Tbsp. Fig balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. Worcestershire
- Two sprigs thyme
- 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper
For the Beef Tenderloin
- Trim any excess fat or connective tissue from the tenderloin, or better yet, have your butcher do this for you.
- Season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Mix herbs, with orange zest and garlic and rub all over.
- At this point you can use cooking twine to tie up your tenderloin. This helps it keep its shape and cook evenly.
- Refrigerate for a few hours or ideally overnight.
- Preheat over to 450°F.
- In a large skillet heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil on medium high heat. Sear tenderloin on all sides until a nice crust forms.
- Place tenderloin on a baking dish with baking rack and place in the oven. Bake for about 20-25 minutes (time may vary according to weight and thickness of your cut). I find it best to insert a thermometer in the thickest part of the tenderloin to check for your desired internal temperature. 135° for medium rare, 145° for medium.
- Let rest for 10 minutes before carving and serving.
For the Cabernet Mushroom Sauce
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
- Cook mushrooms in batches, seasoning each batch with a little salt and pepper, until they are a deep golden brown.
- Remove last batch of mushrooms from the pan and sauté the shallots until tender, about 3-5 minutes.
- Deglazed the pan with wine and beef stock and let simmer for about 2-3 minutes. Add in balsamic and Worcestershire and let the liquid reduce by a third before adding the mushrooms back in along with the thyme and butter.
- Gently simmer a few minutes more until sauce thickens. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Serve immediately over sliced beef tenderloin and enjoy!