Christmas Dinner: Chateaubriand, Bearnaise Aioli & Smoked Mashed Potatoes

During the holiday season when I am over-indulging ahead for our annual Kendall-Jackson culinary team diet competition, one of my favorite dishes to prepare is Slow Roasted Fillet of Beef (Chateaubriand).  While a slow roasted prime rib can please a crowd of 15 to 20, the chateaubriand — which is a center cut fillet of beef — serves eight people and always turns out tender and delicious.

This is one of my top recipes that I always take on the road – it is easy to prepare and it never disappoints.

This dish features a beef glaze that is rich in umami.  Known now as the fifth sense of taste, umami is the Japanese word for “savory” or “meaty” and applies to the sensation of savoriness.  The umami compliments the deeply rich, earthy and full bodied red wine, while the smoked mashed potatoes echo the spicy oak, espresso and tobacco flavors in the wine.

The umami flavors in the fillet of beef glaze round out the rich tannins and allow the fruit to become the focus in these beautiful red wines. I like to serve the fillet of beef with full-bodied, big red wines, such as the Kendall-Jackson Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Slow Roasted Chateaubriand with Béarnaise Aioli and Smoked Mashed Potatoes
Serves 8 people

For the Slow Roasted Chateaubriand

  • 4 lbs. center cut beef tenderloin
  • 4 oz. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stem
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stem
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp. whole black peppercorns
  • ¼ cup rice oil, substitute vegetable oil if not available
  • 1 Tbsp. kosher salt
  • ¼ cup brown butter, melted
  • 2 oz. Worcestershire
  • 2 oz. Maggi seasoning (Available at most Asian markets)
  • 2 oz. beef base
  • 2 oz. red wine


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
  2. Trim tenderloin of any sinew or excess fat and truss with butcher’s twine.
  3. Combine olive oil, garlic, herbs, shallots and peppercorns in a bowl.  Coat tenderloin with marinade and place in a plastic bag and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
  4. Remove excess marinade and season tenderloin with kosher salt.
  5. In a very hot pan, heat rice oil until almost smoking and sear tenderloin on all sides until golden brown.
  6. In a bowl, combine brown butter, Worcestershire, Maggi, beef base and red wine.  Mix thoroughly and brush mixture onto tenderloin.
  7. Place tenderloin on a roasting rack and roast in a 250º F oven. Baste with mixture every 10 minutes until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 128º F, approximately 1 hour.
  8. Remove from oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil.  Let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

For the Béarnaise reduction

  • 8 black peppercorns, crushed
  • 6 sprigs fresh tarragon
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • ¼ cup tarragon vinegar
  • ¼ cup Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay
  • 8 sprigs chervil


  1. Tie the peppercorns and 6 sprigs of tarragon in cheesecloth.
  2. In a small heavy bottomed sauce pan, simmer with the shallots, vinegar and Chardonnay until the liquid has been reduced by about 90%. Allow to cool and reserve.

For the Aioli (Or Substitute Two Cups Mayonnaise)

  • 2 egg yolks
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 cup rice oil
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 8 sprigs of fresh tarragon, chopped
  • Kosher salt
  • Tabasco


  1. Place egg yolks in a food processor.  With the machine running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil and rice oil until it becomes thick.
  2. Remove from food processor.
  3. Fold in the lemon juice, Béarnaise reduction, chopped tarragon and chervil.  Season to taste with salt and Tabasco.

For the Smoked Mashed Potatoes

  • 2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch thick pieces
  • ½ cup oak chips, for smoking
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 8 oz. unsalted whole butter
  • Kosher salt
  • White pepper

Special Equipment: Camerons stovetop smoker or equivalent .


  1. Place potatoes in a sauce pot and cover with water.
  2. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook until tender.
  3. Remove potatoes from sauce pot and drain.  Keep warm.
  4. Place woodchips in a stovetop smoke box and bring to a flame. Let burn for 1 minute and then blow out flame. Let smoke burn for 2 minutes to burn off green and acrid portion.
  5. Place potatoes in the smoker for 5 minutes.
  6. Combine cream and butter in a small sauce pot and bring to a simmer.
  7. Remove potatoes from smoker and process with a food mill or potato masher.
  8. Add cream mixture to the potato puree and season with kosher salt and white pepper. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Serve with your favorite fall vegetables.