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Published February 11, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Impress your significant other with this classic French Châteaubriand recipe for two that features beef tenderloin, potatoes, and Béarnaise sauce. This will be your new go-to favorite for date night.
Beef is one of those ingredients that is so commonly used when cooking for that special someone. If you are looking for great recipes to use to impress, then try out my Steak Frites or Steak au Poivre.
Châteaubriand is a recipe and method that was named after French statesman and author François Châteaubriand. This dish features roasted, and sliced center-cut beef tenderloin that is served with buttered potatoes and béarnaise sauce.
This was a dish we used to serve up at a restaurant I worked at back in St. Louis that was specifically for two people, which means it was more expensive. We served it with fresh asparagus in addition to the classic ingredients and it was always a hit. Do not ignore these classic recipes, they’re beyond delicious.
- Beef – A center cut beef tenderloin is the classic cut of meat for this recipe.
- Oil – I prefer to use olive oil for pan-searing the steak, but you can use any favorite oil.
- Butter – Unsalted butter will be used to help brown the steak, sear the potatoes, and make béarnaise sauce.
- Herbs – You will need fresh parsley, thyme, and tarragon for this recipe.
- Potatoes – Any smaller potato like a baby Yukon or new red potatoes.
- Béarnaise – This is the classic sauce used for Châteaubriand.
How to Make a Traditional Châteaubriand from Scratch
Use these easy-to-follow procedures to make a classic Châteaubriand from scratch:
Make your Béarnaise sauce and keep warm to the side. This will hold for about 90 minutes.
Peel the potatoes and hold them to the side in a container of cold water.
Add some butter to a sauté pan and add the potatoes and brown over medium to high heat.
Add them to the oven at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through.
Garnish with parsley, butter, salt, and pepper, set the potatoes to the side, and keep warm.
While the potatoes are in the oven, truss and season the beef tenderloin well on all sides with salt and pepper.
Add some oil to a large frying pan or rondeau pot over high heat and add in the beef.
Turn the heat down to medium-high, add in some butter, garlic, and thyme and cook on all sides until very browned, which takes about 2 1/2-3 minutes per side.
Transfer the pan to the oven and cook at 350° for 10-15 minutes or until the desired internal temperature has been achieved. This amount of cooking time will render a medium-rare internal temperature.
Remove the beef and let rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
Serve the beef with potatoes, béarnaise sauce, and chopped fresh parsley.
The most classic version of this recipe is served with Béarnaise sauce; however, it has adapted over the years and there are some options.
- Chateau Sauce – This is a combination of Béarnaise and demi-glace.
- Demi-Glace – A thick mixture of reduced beef stock or espagnole and madeira or sherry wine until it becomes a thick gravy like sauce.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This beef tenderloin is meant to be served as soon as it is done resting. If you choose to make it ahead of time, the internal temperature may increase past your desire.
How to Reheat: While I never recommend reheating a hunk of beef, I do realize you may not be able to eat it all. Slice the beef tenderloin into desired portions and add it to a large sauté or roasting pan or with about 1 cup of beef stock, covered in foil and cooked in the oven at 400° for 10 to 12 minutes. For the Potatoes, place the desired amount on a cookie sheet tray lined with parchment paper or in a sauté pan and heat in the oven at 350° for 5-10 minutes or until hot. You can also reheat in the microwave until hot.
How to Store: Place covered in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. The beef can also be frozen for up to 45 days covered in plastic. The potatoes do not freeze well as the potatoes will turn to mush once thawed.
chef notes + tips
- This is best prepared and served at a rare to medium-rare internal temperature to preserve as much flavor as possible.
- If you are unsure of the internal temperature, be safe and use a thermometer.
- While not classic, you can serve this up with a side of vegetables such as glazed asparagus.
More Beef Recipes
Classic Châteaubriand Recipe
- Make your Béarnaise sauce and keep warm in a bowl covered in plastic wrap and set it to the side. This will hold for about 90 minutes.
- Add 1 tablespoon of clarified butter or oil to a sauté pan until smoking and then add the potatoes and brown over medium to high heat, which takes about 3-4 minutes. move the potatoes frequently while cooking.
- Add them to the oven at 350° for 30-35 minutes or until cooked through.
- Garnish with parsley, butter, salt, and pepper, and set the potatoes to the side and keep warm.
- While the potatoes are in the oven, truss and season the beef tenderloin well on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of clarified butter or oil to a large frying pan or rondeau pot over medium-high heat until smoking and then add in the beef.
- Turn the heat down to medium, add in the unsalted butter, garlic, and thyme and cook on all sides until very browned, which takes about 2 1/2-3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and cook at 350° for 15-20 minutes or until the desired internal temperature has been achieved. This amount of cooking time will render a medium-rare internal temperature at 125° internally.
- Remove the beef and let rest for 3-5 minutes before slicing.
- Serve the beef with the potatoes, béarnaise sauce, and chopped fresh parsley.