Forget about heavy sauces. If you have a really good piece of meat, just keep it simple. Here, a ﬂavorful soffritto ( is used as a topping to add a little extra something. It’s always been a favorite at my dinner parties. And it can even be served at room temperature.
Beef Tenderloin with SoffrittoPrint This
- 4 lb (2 kg) beef tenderloin
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup (250 mL) white wine
- 1/4 cup (50 mL) olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
- 4 fresh sage leaves
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, QB
Begin by making your classic soffritto. Because it’s going to be the sauce, I generally cut my vegetables larger than I would for my soups or stews. I like to add garlic as well as fresh herbs, such as rosemary sprigs, sage leaves and bay leaves.
Grab a big sauté pan and, over medium-high heat, pour in the olive oil. When that’s heated up, add the onions, carrots, celery, garlic, fresh herbs, and salt and pepper. Cook until the vegetables become soft and golden.
While the vegetables are cooking, season your meat with salt and pepper. When the soffritto is done, remove the vegetables from the pan, leaving as much oil as possible. Return the pan to high heat and, if necessary, add a splash of olive oil. Now sear the tenderloin on all sides. Add the wine and the soffritto and cook until the wine reduces, which will take a minute or so. Transfer the beef to a cutting board and slice it into fairly thick pieces. Put it on a serving dish and spoon the soffritto over top.
This preparation is for medium-rare. If you want the meat well done, slice the tenderloin while it’s medium-rare. Remove the pan from the heat and put the sliced tenderloin back into the pan for a few minutes, where it will continue to cook in the juices.