Beef tenderloin makes an impressive visual presentation upstaged only by its juiciness and flavor. While fans of the elegant, tender roast may claim it needs no partners on the plate, a variety of vegetables bring out the best in the beef and nicely round out the meal.
Potatoes go well with beef tenderloin whether simply prepared or dressed up for the occasion. Mashed or whipped potatoes flavored with a few cloves of roasted garlic highlight the richness of the beef. Roast parboiled new potatoes seasoned with bay leaves and fresh sage in a dish alongside the tenderloin for an earthy accompaniment, or toss them with rosemary and minced garlic before roasting for a more conventional side dish. A baked russet potato garnished with whipped sweet butter, creme fraiche and snipped fresh chives is a simple, satisfying vegetable side.
Onions and Shallots
Onions and shallots bring out the best in beef tenderloin without competing with its deep flavors. Caramelize them together for an hour or so over low heat to release their natural sugars, and serve the golden brown melange alongside thick, succulent slices of tenderloin. For a creamy side dish, cook tiny white onions in chicken broth or water until tender, then drain, fold them into a light bechamel sauce and top with fresh chopped Italian parsley. Sliced shallots lightly sauteed in butter with sliced garlic makes a nice topping for beef tenderloin.
The meaty flavor and texture of fresh mushrooms accents the flavors of beef tenderloin. Saute the mushrooms over medium high heat in a little butter to give them a light golden exterior and a tender bite; slow cooking tends to make them steam in their own liquid and get rubbery. Snip some fresh thyme leaves on top before serving. For a fancy mushroom dish to serve with your tenderloin, saute halved white mushroom caps in butter, deglaze the pan with dry sherry, cover them with heavy cream, and reduce over medium heat until the sherry cream sauce clings to the mushrooms. Serve in individual ramekins alongside the beef tenderloin.
Cook fresh or frozen French cut green beans until tender crisp. Drain well and toss with toasted slivered almonds and crisp bacon bits. Roast asparagus spears in the oven until fork tender and shave a few pieces of fresh Parmesan on top. Mix parboiled Brussels sprout halves with lightly sauteed slivers of garlic and top with barely browned melted butter.