This post was sponsored by the Missouri Beef Council.

February is a month for lovers. On February 14th, romantics celebrate Valentine’s Day–originally known as the Feast of St. Valentine–a day in which various saints named Valentinus were honored with food and drink. The romantic notion of St. Valentine’s Day goes back to the 18th Century when lovers began exchanging cards and confections to express their feelings.

Not coincidentally, February was selected by the American Heart Association as National Heart Month to raise awareness of healthy diets and lifestyles in an effort to decrease heart disease, the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States.

For Registered Dietician Whitney Reist, February is an excellent time to honor traditions old and new by creating a feast that is both delicious and low in saturated fats.

“Most people don’t realize that there are thirty-six different cuts of beef that are considered lean by the USDA,” Whitney says. “The tenderloin, though a little more expensive, is one of the leanest cuts of beef available.”

The center-cut portion of the tenderloin not only produces the tenderloin steak but the filet mignon, the Chateaubriand steak, and beef Wellington.

“This makes it a nice cut for Valentine’s Day or anytime you want to eat healthy,” says Whitney. “I like to pair it with a pan of potatoes roasted with olive oil or braised winter greens such as chard and kale.”

Whenever you serve it, this tenderloin recipe is an excellent way to say, “I love you” to those gathered around your dinner table.

For more information, visit Whitney’s website and the Missouri Beef Industry Council’s website

Beef Tenderloin For Two

Courtesy Whitney Reist

Ingredients >

  • One 1 1/2 pound center cut beef tenderloin
  • Coarse ground Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter + 1 tablespoon grapeseed canola, or safflower oil
  • 1 cup chopped mushroom
  • 1 small shallot minced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup full-bodied red wine
  • 2 cups Unsalted Beef Stock
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons butter

Directions >

1. Remove tenderloin from refrigeration and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

2. Preheat your oven to 425 and have a pan ready to go into the oven. Then heat a medium heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Season all sides of the tenderloin liberally with salt and pepper. Add the tablespoon of butter and oil to your heated skillet. Sear the meat on all sides (including the ends), for 1 ó-2 minutes per side until an even golden-brown crust forms.

4. Transfer the meat your baking pan and roast for 15-17 minutes for medium rare. The center of the tenderloin should measure 140 degrees when it is done. Cover the meat loosely with foil and let it rest for 15-20 minutes before slicing against the grain.

5. While your meat cooks and rests, make the pan sauce. Add the mushrooms and shallot to the meat drippings in the pan over medium-low heat. Sauté until golden; about 3 minutes. Add the minced garlic and thyme and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds more. Add the wine to your pan to deglaze; being sure to scrape up the brown bits from the bottom of your pan with a wooden spoon.

6. Add the beef stock to the pan and stir in the Dijon mustard and brown sugar. Bring the liquid to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the liquid over medium to medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until it is thick and coats the back of your spoon. You should end up with about 1/2 cup of sauce when it has reduced enough. Strain the sauce over a medium bowl and return it back to the skillet to keep warm while you slice the meat. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir in 2 teaspoons of butter just before you spoon the sauce over the sliced tenderloin.