For me, nothing screams the holidays more than a succulent Beef Tenderloin drizzled with an elegant Port wine sauce. Port is a traditional British drink and very popular at Christmastime. It’s roots however, are from the Douro Valley in Portugal where it is exclusively produced. I tried it for the first time in London several years ago and found it to be a delicious after dinner treat. Cooking with it is even more fun and will definitely make this meal a show-stopper. The porcini mushrooms give this rich sauce an earthy depth. I am serving this with Gratin Dauphinois, a French potato dish that oozes with Gruyere cheese.
This meal is worthy of your holiday celebration.
Enjoy a safe and festive holiday season!
- For the Beef Tenderloin:
- 1–2 1/2 pound beef tenderloin
- 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- Olive oil
- For the Port Wine Sauce
- 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 3/4 cup water, liquid reserved
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 1 medium shallot, finely chopped
- 1 cup port wine
- 1 cup heavy bodied red wine
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- For the Beef Tenderloin
- Season the tenderloin all over with salt. Refrigerate 4 hours or up to 24 hours. Thirty minutes before roasting remove beef from refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Combine mushrooms, rosemary and peppercorns in spice grinder. Grind to a coarse powder. Rub beef with olive oil. Coat all over with porcini rosemary rub.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a wide skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add beef and brown on all sides, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a roasting pan. Roast in oven until thermometer inserted in thickest part reads 125 F., about 30 minutes, for medium rare.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a cutting board. Tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Carve beef in 1/4 inch slices. Serve with Port Wine Sauce.
- For the Port Wine Sauce
- Strain the porcini water into a small bowl. Reserve strained liquid. Coarsely chop porcini.
- Using the same skillet from browning the meat, add 1 tablespoon butter, shallots and chopped porcini. Sauté over medium heat until shallots are translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add port wine, scraping up any brown bits in the pan. Add red wine, mushroom stock, and rosemary. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered until sauce is reduced by about half to approximately 1-1/2 cups. Add salt and taste for seasoning. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into a small saucepan, pressing firmly on solids. Discard solids.
- Heat sauce over medium heat. Whisk in 2 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Keep warm until serving.
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 pounds baking potatoes peeled and very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if possible)
- 1 cup freshly grated Gruyere cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Rub a baking dish with the garlic. Layer half of the potatoes in the dish overlapping slightly. Sprinkle with half of the cheese and then half of the cream.
- Sprinkle with salt. Add another layer, using the rest of the ingredients. Bake uncovered, until the gratin is crisp and golden on top, about 1 hour.