This is one of my favorite dishes and always a big hit when I make it for guests. It tastes as great as it looks. It’s easy to tell where the name “rose of Parma” came from: it looks like a rose and the beef tenderloin is stuffed with cheese and prosciutto from Parma. It can be made sous-vide or in the oven if you have a digital instant read meat thermometer, both with excellent results. The amounts listed below are for 1 pound of beef tenderloin, but the recipe is certainly suited for a much larger amount. This dish should absolutely be eaten medium rare. If you like to cook your beef to death, I would advise you not to spend the money on beef tenderloin 😉
For 4 servings
450 grams (1 pound) beef tenderloin, butterflied and pounded to 1 cm (0.4 inch) thickness
4-6 thin slices prosciutto di parma (enough to cover the beef)
2 Tbsp freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
125 ml (1/2 cup) full-bodied red wine
125 ml (1/2 cup) marsala (substitute with red wine)
125 ml (1/2 cup) beef or veal stock
The beef can be cooked sous-vide or in the oven. If cooking sous-vide, preheat your water bath to 55C/131F. If cooking in the oven, preheat your oven to 160C/325F.
Spread out the beef tenderloin with the cut side up. Rub wilt salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil with the rosemary and garlic.
Rub about half of the rosemary mixture on the beef.
Cover with prosciutto and sprinkle with the freshly grated parmigiano.
Now roll the beef up tightly and bind with butcher’s twine. Season the outside with salt and freshly ground black pepper, and rub it with the other half of the rosemary mixture. (When cooking in the oven, this would be the point to wrap the meat and store it in the refrigerator. Take it out of the refrigerator half an hour before you are ready to brown the meat to let it come up to room temperature.)
Heat butter and olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. Add the beef as soon as the butter foam retreats. Brown the beef on all sides and take it out of the pan. Take the pan off the heat.
Pour the fat out of the frying pan and deglaze the pan with the red wine, marsala and beef stock. Scrape the tasty bits off the bottom with a wooden spatula.
For cooking in the oven: insert the probe of a digital instant-read thermometer into the beef such that the tip is in the center of the beef. Return the beef to the pan and put the pan in the oven if it’s oven-proof. If it’s not oven-proof, put the beef and the pan juices into an oven proof dish. Roast in the oven until the thermometer reads 50C/120F, basting the beef now and then with the juices to prevent the beef from drying out. Let the beef rest for 10 minutes or so, covered with aluminum foil, until the thermometer indicates that the center has reached 55C/131F (around 10 minutes).
For cooking sous-vide: let the beef cool somewhat and seal it into a pouch. If you are using a clamp vacuum sealer (such as a FoodSaver), leave a long ‘sleeve’ of 10 cm/4 inches so the juice that gets sucked out of the beef does not enter the vacuum sealer. (This is the point to store the meat in the refrigerator if you’d like to serve it later.) Cook the beef sous-vide for 2-3 hours at 55C/131F. (A longer cooking time is needed if the diameter of the beef is more than 10 cm/4 inches. The cooking time is proportional to the diameter squared. 45 minutes for 5 cm/2 inches, 3 hours for 10 cm/4 inches, 12 hours for 20 cm/8 inches.) It is okay to leave the beef in the water bath a few hours longer, but not too long as the beef might become mushy.
Let the pan juices thicken over low heat to make the sauce while the beef is cooking sous-vide.
Slice the beef into 1 cm/0.5 inch slices and serve on preheated plates with the sauce. (Since the temperature of the beef is only 55C/131F, using preheated plates is important!) Great with spinach, stirfried with garlic. Mix some of the sauce with the spinach to make the spinach taste even better with the meat.
This complex elegant dish goes well with complex elegant red Italian wines such as Barolo. A Barolo that is a bit too tannic by itself will appear much smoother if eaten together with this dish. Since this dish comes from the region of Emilia-Romagna, an aged Sangiovese di Romagna Riserva would also be an excellent choice.