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What Exactly Is a Chateaubriand?

What Exactly Is a Chateaubriand?



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It’s not as common a dish as it used to be, but one of the fanciest — and most expensive — dishes you might ever encounter on a menu is a chateaubriand, usually served “for two.” The fact that it’s generally listed alongside steaks gives away the fact that it’s also a steak, but what is it, exactly, and why is it called "chateaubriand"?

Like Delmonico steak, the chateaubriand is one of those cuts of steak that isn’t named for a specific cut of meat, and its definition has also changed over the years. As legend has it, the chateaubriand was named after a French aristocrat named François-René de Chateaubriand, whose chef invented a method of cooking a large, boneless cut of beef by wrapping it in poor-quality steaks (sometimes recounted as the smaller end pieces from the filet), tying it up, grilling it until charred, and tossing the outer steaks. The perfectly-cooked inner roast was deemed the chateaubriand. (Perhaps appropriately for someone whose name has been attached to such an opulent dish, Chateaubriand was exiled during the French Revolution.”.)

Today, a chateaubriand is generally agreed-upon to be a large center cut filet mignon, roasted and served alongside potatoes and a sauce (appropriately named chateaubriand sauce) usually made with shallots, beef or veal stock, white wine, tarragon, and butter. The legendary French chef Pierre Franey, in his recipe for The New York Times, suggests wrapping a 7-inch filet in cheesecloth, standing it on its end, and pounding it down until it’s 1 1/2 inches thick, 6 inches in diameter, and round, then cooking it like a steak, but you don’t see too many people doing that any more.

While the techniques may vary, any menu that includes a chateaubriand will take pains to prepare the dish well, and the results are typically delicious. So if you see chateaubriand on a menu and you can spring for it, we suggest you order it, because you’ll receive a beautifully roasted filet mignon alongside a tasty French sauce and potatoes. Some places will even carve it tableside for you. Discover the 50 best steakhouses in America here.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.


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Chateaubriand. The name is synonymous with luxury and haute cuisine. But, what is Chateaubriand, exactly? Contrary to popular belief Chateaubriand is not a cut of meat. Rather, it is a method of preparation, or a recipe. Apocryphally, the dish, like so many other famous dishes—Quiche Lorraine, Pavlova, Peach Melba, Crepes Suzette—was named in honor of the vicomte François-René de Chateaubriand, a politician, ambassador and the founder of Romanticism in French literature.

Chateaubriand is traditionally made from a thick center cut of beef tenderloin. The cut weighs about 12 oz, and it is generally intended to serve two. This makes it a perfect, albeit expensive, meal to share at an intimate New Year’s dinner for two. Originally, the two ends of the tenderloin were cut off the main portion and roasted in the oven along with the Chateaubriand, to protect the thicker cut from burning. The two end pieces would burn and were discarded, leaving the Chateaubriand a perfectly medium-rare. And people wonder why the peasants revolted!

As with most recipes, there are many variations on Chateaubriand preparation. When I think of Chateaubriand, I think of a lovely, thick piece of tenderloin roasted to a perfect medium rare and served with a demi-glace enriched wine sauce. You can certainly vary this to suit your taste.

When you go to your butcher, you most likely will not be able to find a Chateaubriand roast waiting for you in the display case. You will have to ask to have one cut for you. You can consider purchasing a whole, vacuum-packed tenderloin, but this is quite the investment. Tell your butcher that you want to serve Chateaubriand, and ask for a large, 1-pound thick steak (or small roast) cut from the center of the tenderloin. For your ease of preparation at home, ask him to remove the chain meat and the silver skin from the roast.

For those of you who are do it yourselves-types, you can purchase the roast untrimmed and trim it yourself. If you have a sharp knife, the silver skin is fairly easy to remove, as is the attached chain meat. You can save the chain meat for making Beef Stroganoff or a stir-fry. You might even grind it up in a food processor and make a tasty hamburger.

Chateaubriand for Two

1 thick, center cut tenderloin steak, approximately 1 pound

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1-tablespoon butter, softened

2 t. minced fresh tarragon

Whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

How to Make at Home

Preheat your oven to 375º F.

Liberally sprinkle salt and pepper on the steak.

Preheat an oven-safe heavy skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. Depending on your stove, this could take 4 or 5 minutes. I set a timer to make sure I’m not rushing.

Add the butter and oil to the pan. When the butter stops foaming, sear the meat on all sides until well browned. Place the meat in the hot pan, and do not move it for at least 2 minutes. With tongs, turn the meat and continue searing. If the meat sticks to the pan, leave it for another few seconds. When the sear is complete, the meat will release on its own, so be gentle and patient. Keep an eye on the heat, you may need to adjust it up or down to maintain a good “sizzle” without burning the meat.

Remove the meat from the pan, and place an oven-safe rack in the cooking pan. Put the meat on the rack and roast in the oven until the meat has reached an internal temperature of 125º F. Use a probe thermometer so you don’t have to keep opening the oven. Alternately, check the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer after ten or twelve minutes. Remove from the oven. Put the meat on a warmed platter to rest for about 15 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise, and your meat will be a perfect medium rare.

While the meat is resting, prepare the sauce. You should have plenty of oil/butter left in the cooking pan. Place the pan over medium heat—careful, it has been in the oven. Make sure you have an oven mitt, because the handle can burn you. Add the minced shallot and sauté until translucent, but not browned.

Add the red wine. Turn the heat up to medium high and reduce by half. Add the demi-glace to the pan and reduce for a couple of minutes until the mixture is somewhat syrupy. Taste for seasonings, and add salt and pepper if necessary. Stir in the minced tarragon and remove from the heat. Swirl in the softened butter right before serving. This will help to further thicken the sauce and impart a lovely sheen.

For a classic presentation, slice your Chateaubriand in half diagonally and serve on warmed plates with the sauce spooned over. Garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves. The traditional accompaniment to Chateaubriand is Chateau potatoes, but you may serve it with any side dishes you like. Steamed or sautéed vegetables make a light and colorful foil to the rich main dish.