Photo by Randi Baird
When you want an impressive dinner that is on the fancy side, but still relaxed and approachable this sheet pan meal is the answer. The cut of meat—tenderloin—automatically says “this is special” and seasoning it with fresh rosemary, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper gives it just the aromatic flavor enhancement it deserves. The meat is browned first under the broiler, then joined on the sheet pan to roast with whole grape tomatoes, shallots and rounds of prepared polenta—hardly any chopping or prep is required. (Look for tubes of prepared polenta in the refrigerator section at the store.) As they roast, the tomatoes burst and brown beautifully and the shallots soften and caramelize, while the polenta becomes crisp on the outside and warm and creamy inside. A drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar finishes the vegetables with luxurious, sweet tanginess. All together on the plate they are an elegant, easy-to-love, match for the rosemary-scented, ultra-tender beef.
1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 ¼ pound beef tenderloin roast
2 pints grape tomatoes
4 medium shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
One 1-pound tube of prepared polenta, sliced into 8 slices about ¾-inch thick
1 teaspoon aged balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the broiler to high. Place the garlic on a cutting board and sprinkle ½ teaspoon of the salt over it, then mash them together with the flat side of a knife blade to form a coarse paste. Place the garlic paste into a small bowl with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the rosemary and ½ teaspoon of the pepper and stir to combine. Rub the mixture all over the meat.
Line a sheet pan with foil and place a metal rack on top of the lined pan; place the meat on the rack and broil about 2 inches from the flame until the top of the meat is browned, about 3 minutes. Turn off the broiler and preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Transfer the meat to a plate and remove the rack and the foil from the sheet pan.
Place the tomatoes and the shallots on the pan. Drizzle them with 1 tablespoon of the oil and the remaining ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Toss them with tongs, then push them over to one half of the pan. Place the meat, browned side up, in the center of the pan. Brush the polenta slices with the remaining tablespoon of oil and place them on the other side of the meat on the pan.
Cook for 15 minutes, then stir the tomatoes and shallots and flip the polenta slices. Return to the oven and continue to cook until the meat is reaches an internal temperature of 130 degrees for medium rare, 10-15 minutes more. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain into ¼-inch thick slices. While the meat is resting return the tomatoes and polenta to the oven to continue cooking until the tomatoes have burst and the shallots are soft and both are browned in spots, 5-10 minutes. Drizzle the tomatoes and shallots with the balsamic vinegar. Serve the meat with the polenta and tomatoes alongside and garnish with parsley. The dish will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
Makes 4 servings
Serving size: 3 slices of meat, 2 polenta rounds and 2/3 cup tomatoes and shallot
Per serving: Calories 420, Total Fat 22 g; (Sat Fat 6 g, Mono Fat 11 g, Poly Fat 2 g); Protein 33 g; Carb 23 g; Fiber 3 g; Cholesterol 75 mg; Sodium 610 mg, Total Sugar 7 g (Added Sugar 0 g)
Excellent source of: Iron, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K
Good source of: Folate, Manganese, Molybdenum, Potassium Vitamin B6