Classic French Chateaubriand Recipe

Chateaubiand. Diana Miller - Getty Images
  • 45 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: Serves 2 - 3
Ratings (35)

Chateaubriand is a juicy-on-the-inside, seared and roasted beef which comes from the center of the tenderloin. You read more about this delicious cut of meat here.  It should be noted; a common misconception is that Chateaubriand is a cut of beef, it is not, it is the recipe.

 In a French restaurant, the Chateaubriand is frequently ordered for a table of two and will be served with a wine sauce.  

This recipe is the traditional version of the restaurant favorite, seasoned very simply, roasted to perfection, and then sliced on the diagonal. Be sure to make the quick shallot and wine sauce and serve the meal with chateau potatoes for authenticity. To ring the changes, you can serve Truffle Fries instead.

Chateaubriand is perfect for the French Christmas table.  

Updated by Elaine Lemm

What You'll Need

  • 1 center cut beef tenderloin (approx. 1lb.)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup demi-glace ***
  • 1 tablespoon butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Tarragon (2 teaspoons dried)

How to Make It

Preheat the oven to 375F.

  • Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large skillet set over medium-high heat until the mixture turns a bit cloudy and bubbly. Season the beef with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place the meat in the pan and do not move it at all for at least 3 minutes. Using tongs, carefully turn the tenderloin on its side and brown it for 3 minutes. Repeat the same browning process on all exposed surfaces of the meat.
  • Place the tenderloin on to a rack in a roasting pan in the oven. Roast the beef 15 minutes for medium-rare, 20 minutes for medium, and 23 minutes for medium-well. Transfer the chateaubriand to a warmed serving platter, lightly tent it with a single layer of foil, and allow it to rest, untouched, for 15 minutes.
  • While the tenderloin is resting, make the wine sauce. Sauté the chopped shallots in the leftover pan juices in the skillet until softened and translucent. Pour the wine into the skillet and bring the sauce to a boil, scraping up all the browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  • Continue boiling the sauce until it reduces by half. Add the demi-glace to the sauce and continue boiling the mixture until it becomes slightly thickened. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the tarragon and softened butter.
  • Serve the chateaubriand, sliced on the diagonal, with the wine sauce and chateau potatoes or truffle fries. 

Extra Notes on Cooking Chateaubriand:

If you do not have demi-glace, though this will not be as good as one, you can reduce a can of top quality beef consomme by half and use as above. 

Resting the Chateaubriand is paramount to creating the perfect slice. By cooking with time to rest the meat means juices are released (needed for the sauce) and the fibres in the meat relax thus making the eventual eating extremely tender. 

If you have ever wondered whether Chateaubriand is a cut of beef or a recipe, check out which is correct here.