The Classic French Chateaubriand

Chateaubriand recipe

​The Spruce Eats/ Julia Hartbeck 

  • Total: 45 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins
  • Cook: 35 mins
  • Yield: 2 to 3 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
560 Calories
36g Fat
6g Carbs
45g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 2 to 3 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 560
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 36g 47%
Saturated Fat 15g 73%
Cholesterol 166mg 55%
Sodium 200mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 6g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Protein 45g
Calcium 57mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The origin of the term Chateaubriand can be confusing. Depending on whom you ask, it can either refer to a cut of steak or the method of roasting a beef tenderloin. Despite this confusion, rest assured that when you order a Chateaubriand from a French restaurant menu, you will receive a beautiful center-cut piece of beef tenderloin (usually enough to serve two), along with a classic red wine sauce.

This Chateaubriand recipe is a traditional version of the restaurant favorite. The lusciously tender center-cut hunk of beef is seasoned very simply, roasted to perfection, and then sliced on the diagonal. Be sure to make the easy shallot and wine sauce to accompany the meat and serve with chateau potatoes for authenticity. Chateaubriand is a perfect roast for the French Christmas table. 

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (softened)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound center-cut beef tenderloin
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium shallot (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup medium-bodied dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup demi-glace
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh ​tarragon (or 2 teaspoons dried​)
  • Chateau potatoes or truffle fries for serving (optional)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for chateaubriand
    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 F.

  3. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a large skillet (preferably cast-iron) set over medium-high heat until cloudy and bubbly.

    Melt the butter
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  4. Evenly season the beef with salt and pepper.

    Season beef
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  5. Place the meat in the pan and brown for 3 minutes without moving the meat. Using tongs, carefully turn the tenderloin on its side and brown for 3 minutes more. Repeat the same browning process on all exposed surfaces of the meat.

    Place meat in the pan
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  6. Transfer the tenderloin to a rack placed in a roasting pan and transfer to the oven. (Set aside the skillet with any accumulated juices for making the sauce.) Roast the beef to your desired doneness, about 15 minutes for medium-rare, 20 minutes for medium, and 23 minutes for medium-well.

    Place tenderloin on rack
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  7. Remove the meat from the oven and transfer to a warm serving platter. Lightly tent the meat with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes.

    Transfer to warm serving platter
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  8. While the tenderloin is resting, make the wine sauce. Combine the shallot with the juices in the skillet and sauté over medium heat until the shallot is soft and translucent.

    Make wine sauce
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  9. Pour the wine into the skillet and bring the sauce to a boil, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

    Stir
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  10. Continue boiling the sauce until it reduces by half.

    Continue boiling sauce
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  11. Add the demi-glace to the sauce and continue boiling the mixture until slightly thickened.

    Add demi glace
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  12. Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the 1 tablespoon softened butter and tarragon. Taste and season with salt and black pepper, if desired.

    Stir
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck
  13. Slice the meat on the diagonal, and serve with the wine sauce and chateau potatoes or truffle fries

    Serve
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck 
  14. Serve and enjoy.

    Enjoy
    ​The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Tips

  • If you do not have demi-glace, you can substitute with one (16-ounce) can of top quality beef consommé or beef broth, reduced by half.
  • It is essential to let the Chateaubriand rest. This will allow the meat juices to be reabsorbed and redistributed in the meat, and enable clean slicing.