Beef Tenderloin with a Port Wine, Shallot Sauce

This is a very elegant entrée for serving at a dinner party. The sauce can be made ahead, which allows more time to mingle with guests than spending time in the kitchen preparing the meal. For a larger crowd, serve a whole tenderloin. I use cornstarch as opposed to other thickening agents, because it doesn’t compromise the taste of the sauce and thickens the sauce quickly.


1 pound of small shallots peeled, cut larger ones in half
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 teaspoon of sugar
4 cups of beef broth
2 cups of ruby port
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoons of corn starch
¼ cup of water
4 – 4-6 oz. beef tenderloin fillets


Toss the peeled shallots with the olive oil and sugar to coat well. Place on a large baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes, turning half way through the cooking process. Set aside. The sugar will aid in caramelizing the shallots.

In a large pot, bring broth, port and tomato paste to a boil and reduce by half, about 30 – 45 minutes. Stir in butter. Make a thickening agent by whisking cornstarch and water. Gradually whisk the thickening agent into the boiling sauce. Sauce will not thicken until brought to a boil. Remove from heat and add shallots to sauce.

Broil the filets over low for 20 minutes, turning half way through the cooking process. Tent filets with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. This amount of cooking time will produce a meat that is medium. Cook more or less to your liking. The meat needs to rest to preserve juices and tenderness. Tenting will allow the meat to remain warm without over cooking. Do not use a warming oven, because it will over cook the meat. Serve filets with sauce and sides or family style.  Alternately you can grill the filets as well.

Suggested Side Dish

Classic Mashed Potatoes and fresh steamed asparagus. Keep the side dishes simple, because the sauce is so good it will be poured over everything!

Suggested Beverage

Try Bogle Vineyard’s Cabernet Sauvignon (California), St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon (Sonoma), Wente Vineyards Southern Hills Cabernet Sauvignon Vintage 2006 (Livermore, CA) or J. Lohr Paso Robles Merlot (California).

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