Nobody does simple, classy food quite like Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. While a good amount of her recipes are more or less foolproof — a trait we really admire in a cookbook author and TV chef — her most recent book, Barefoot Contessa Foolproof, has us convinced we too can lay out a Hamptons-style spread. First up, a tender fillet of beef with homemade basil mayo.
- 1 whole fillet beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied (4 1/2 pounds)
- 3 tablespoons good olive oil
- 4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 10-15 branches fresh tarragon
- basil parmesan mayonnaise (see below), for serving
Basil parmesan mayonnaise
- 2 extra large egg yolks, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup vegetable oil, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup good olive oil, at room temperature
For the basil mayonnaise:
Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, Parmesan, mustard, basil, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade.
Process for 20 seconds, until smooth. Combine the vegetable oil and olive oil in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil mixture through the feed tube to make a thick emulsion.
Taste for seasonings — the mayonnaise is a sauce so it should be highly seasoned. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use; it will keep for up to a week.
For the beef fillet:
- Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Use an oven thermometer to be sure your oven temperature is accurate!
- Place the fillet on a sheet pan and pat it dry with paper towels. Brush the filet all over with the oil, reserving about half a tablespoon.
- Sprinkle it all over with the salt and pepper (it will seem like a lot but believe me, it makes a difference). Place the tarragon branches around the beef, tying them in 4 or 5 places with kitchen string to keep them in place, and then brush the tarragon with the reserved oil.
- Roast the fillet of beef for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until the temperature registers 125 degrees in the center for rare and 135 degrees for medium rare. I place the thermometer horizontally through the end of the beef. Cover the filet with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Slice thickly and serve warm or at room temperature with basil parmesan mayonnaise.
Check out these other beef recipes on Food Republic: