If you like your beef supremely tender with a subtle flavour, the chateaubriand steak is for you. Near heart-shaped when sliced, it makes for the perfect romantic dinner; a way to treat the one you love with a delicate, scrumptious piece of beef.
But what exactly is a chateaubriand steak, and how can you make sure you cook it to perfection? Follow the guide below to learn everything there is to know about this gorgeous cut.
What is a chateaubriand steak?
Chateaubriand beef is cut from the centre point of the tenderloin. It is highly prized because of its tenderness. The tenderloin sees very little work during the animal’s life, meaning it remains supple, resulting in beef that is in no way tough or stringy. If you have received your chateaubriand from a master butcher, you should notice a groove in the centre of the cut, where the silverskin has been trimmed from the fillet head, so you get more meat and less waste for your money.
Where to buy
Chateaubriand can be hard to come across in your local supermarket, so it’s best to go to a butchers shop. If you do not have a high-quality butcher local to you, fear not. You can always opt for online meat delivery.
Buying meat over the internet might sound like a strange concept, but companies like the Dorset Meat Company specialise in delivering high quality, 100% grass fed meat direct to your front door at a time and date that suits you. All their meat, including their Chateaubriand, is delicious, ethical and prepared by a master butcher prior to delivery. Visit their website to find Chateaubriand beef of unsurpassed quality.
How to cook
Once you’ve got your chateaubriand steak, all you need to do now is cook it!
Because this cut of beef is so tender, it’s quite easy to overcook. That’s why it’s recommended that you serve it medium rare. If you prefer your beef a little less pink, keep an extra close eye on your Chateaubriand, or else choose a more robust steak.
First thing’s first, transfer your chateaubriand to a plate with the utmost care, in order to maintain its distinctive heart shape, and leave for at least half an hour so that it reaches room temperature. It will help it cook more evenly, maintaining its juiciness and tenderness.
Cooking your chateaubriand with the pan to oven method is recommended as it is perfect for medium sized cuts. With this method, the meat is first seared in a pan to caramelise, then transferred to a pre-heated oven.
Once your meat is room temperature, preheat your oven to 250ºC/Fan 230ºC/Gas mark 9 and heat a frying pan on the hob until it is almost smoking. Brush your meat with oil and place in the pan. It should sizzle. Sear each side for 5-6 minutes.
Once seared, place uncovered in a roasting tin, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven. Depending on how well cooked you like your beef, these are the times you should leave your chateaubriand for:
Rare: 6-8 minutes
Medium rare: 10-12 minutes
Medium: 14-16 minutes
Well done: 18-20 minutes
As previously stated, chateaubriand steak is best suited to being cooked medium rare. If you’re cooking it for longer than 12 minutes, it’s recommended you use a meat thermometer to check how thoroughly the steak is cooked.
And then all that’s left is to eat it. A traditional chateaubriand sauce is made with white wine and shallots mixed with butter, tarragon and lemon juice, served with mushrooms, or you can find all manner of modern recipes online. Bon appétit!