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Beef Tenderloin with Bordelaise Sauce, Caramelized Carrots and Shallots

Beef Tenderloin with Bordelaise Sauce, Caramelized Carrots and Shallots
Tender beef filets served with a rich, velvety sauce are what you might envision for a romantic dinner. What comes as a surprise is the simplicity of this recipe. To save time, you can prepare the bordelaise sauce a day or two in advance and refrigerate it until ready to serve. This dish deserves your best Cabernet Sauvignon or red Bordeaux as an accompaniment.

Ingredients:

For the bordelaise sauce:

  • 1 1/2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 Tbs. freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 6 to 8 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bottle (375ml) Cabernet Sauvignon (about
     1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 cups unsalted veal or beef stock
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 beef filets (preferably prime), each 6 oz., well   trimmed
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly cracked pepper, to taste, plus 1/8 tsp.
  • 1 carrot, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 2 shallots, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)
  • 1 fresh thyme sprig
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

To make the bordelaise sauce, in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the shallots and sauté, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the pepper, bay leaf and thyme and stir to mix. Add the wine, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, skimming off any excess fat, and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean saucepan and keep warm over very low heat.

In a 10-inch fry pan over medium-high heat, melt 1 Tbs. of the butter. Season the filets with salt and pepper. When the butter is hot, add the filets and sear until golden underneath, about 2 minutes. Using a pair of tongs, turn the filets, and add the carrot, shallots, the 1/8 tsp. pepper, the thyme and bay leaf. Cover and cook for 3 minutes for medium-rare, or until done to your liking. Transfer the filets to warmed individual plates.

Continue cooking the vegetables, uncovered, until just tender, 1 minute more. Add the sauce, bring to a boil and stir in the remaining 2 Tbs. butter. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the thyme sprig and bay leaf and discard. Stir in the parsley. Spoon the sauce and vegetables around the filets and serve immediately.
Serves 2.
Roland Passot, Chef, La Folie, San Francisco