What a luxury in depressing times, huh? Well when one thinks about it, it is much cheaper to stay at home and prepare a luxurious meal, provided one has the skills, than it is to roll out to the steakhouse and order a la carte. This was the Valentine’s day meal I prepared for Beck and myself.
I have cooked many a filet in my time, but I never have roasted up a chateaubriand. For those who may not know, the chateaubriand is the center cut from the beef tenderloin. Now I used to buy whole tenderloins from Sam’s club, because they were relatively inexpensive there, and I would trim them down to steaks and stew meat; never a roast. Well that’s not entirely true, now that I think about it, I did do a horseradish crusted roast of filet once, but that’s not the same thing!
A chateaubriand has become rather commonplace for Valentine’s day due to its appeal of being just the right size for two. The typical chateaubriand cut weighs in at about 1 – 1 1/2 pounds. You can see the perfect specimen salted and waiting obediently below:
Anyone who has read my blog knows that I am giddy for good beef. When I am not ordering USDA prime steaks from the interweb, I “settle” for the grass fed beef that my local Whole Paychex carries. I won’t buy anything but chuck roast from my local supermarket.
Last August, I was took a weeknight cooking class at WF. It was steak night. I mean, for $60 we got all the wine we could drink and lessons in preparing steaks and pan sauces as well as a few other items that, if I were younger, I’d recall. I really didn’t need the instruction as some of the other participants did. So I ended up manning the grill and giving instruction. That was kinda fun, kinda.
At one point all the other participants were called back inside, away from me and the grill, to learn about preparing pan sauces for the steaks – I didn’t really need any learning in this department either. What was cool was I got to chat with Will Harris from White Oak Pastures. His farm, in southern Georgia, is the supplier of the grass fed beef to WF. He an I chatted about his farm, his humane treatment of his heard, my grilling technique, and drank more wine. That was truly and enlightening experience for me.
When asked “how does one, lovingly care for an animal it’s entire life — and then send it to slaughter?” Will responded: “When I first started meeting the folks that buy my beef, I did not know how to respond to this. My immediate answer was that it is what my folks have always done, it is how folks have fed their families for centuries, and it is what i am supposed to do. This is all true, but somehow it seemed flippant to me. It took a lot of soul searching for me to finally be able to express the feelings that are in my heart. The fact is that I love my herd as much as you love your companion animal. I have a dog that is my constant companion. But, I do not feel the same kind of love for the individual animal within the herd. If I lost my herd, I would grieve for it and I would never get over it. But this is not the way that I feel about the individual animal within the herd. In my mind the herd is a dynamic body. It is a river and not a lake. This said, we never let even one animal within the herd suffer if I can prevent it. I am their steward and they are my responsibility. This is probably a lot more than you wanted to know.”
Gotta love this guy. I liked him even more after he gave me four packs of free ground beef!
There really isn’t much of a recipe here. I did not use bearnaise sauce as is typically used. We like mushrooms and onions sauteed in Madeira wine with a splash of cognac.
For the roast, I salted it and let it sit on the counter for about an hour. Then it got rolled in cracked black peppercorns. I preheated the oven to 375 degrees-f and cranked up a skillet on the stove.