French-Style Roast Fillet of Beef With Madeira Wine Sauce

"A classic! Tender French-Style Roast Beef Tenderloin with a creamy herbed Madeira Wine Sauce. Great served with petit spring peas and tiny boiled fingerling or new potatoes sprinkled with parsley. Recipe is courtesy Chuck Williams of Williams-Sonoma fame."
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  • 1 (2 lb) tenderloin filet of beef, center-cut and well trimmed of any fat, with a thin piece of pork back-fat tied on top in several pl (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • unsalted butter
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 13 cup finely chopped shallot (about 5 shallots)
  • 14 cup water
  • 12 cup madeira wine
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 34 cup heavy double cream
  • chopped fresh parsley


  • Position a rack in the bottom third of an oven and preheat to 425F degrees (220C).
  • Butter the ends and bottom of the beef fillet and place in a small, heavy roasting pan (without a rack) in which it fits comfortably. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 120 F degrees (49C) for rare or 130F degrees (54C) for medium-rare, 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving plate and cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil to keep it warm. It will continue to cook a little.
  • Using a large spoon, skim off the fat from the pan juices. Place the pan over medium-low heat and add the shallots. Cook, stirring, until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the water, raise the heat to medium and stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan bottom. Add the Madeira, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil until reduced by about one-half. Combine the cornstarch mixture and the cream and stir until blended. Add to the pan and quickly stir into the juices. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cut the strings on the fillet, then remove the strip of fat tied to the top of the fillet and discard. Using a very sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice the meat crosswise into 12-14 slices, each about 1/2-inch (12 mm) thick. Spoon a little of the sauce onto each warmed plate and place 2 or 3 slices of meat on the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce over the meat, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

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<p>Married to my sweetheart for almost forty years and we have two wonderful children who are grown and have flown the coop. Also, we have been blessed with a wonderful son-in-law and beautiful daughter-in-law, plus FIVE grandchildren: two beautiful granddaughters ages five and eight, and three sweet adorable little grandsons ages 2 months, 2 years and 3 years. My husband and I share a combination of English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh, Dutch, Swiss, Polish, Austrian, German and French heritage, and our son-in-law and daughter-in-law are both Hispanic. We've traveled extensively to many countries abroad (we lived in Germany), and have traveled and lived in several states here in the U.S.A. Many of the recipes I post here are influenced by our combined heritage or from our travels, or they are old family favorites that I want to share with you. I hope you enjoy! Have been to culinary school with many years of cooking (mostly for my family) under my belt, so know my way around a kitchen. And I'm very lucky to have the best sous chef in the world, dddddh! One of my favorite chefs of all time is Jacques Pepin! I have several of his cookbooks, and enjoy watching his television cooking show Fast Food My Way. Another top favorite is Julia Child (of course!). A few other chefs I read/enjoy watching on t.v. are: Giada At Home, Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa, Nigella Lawson's Nigella Bites, and Patti's Mexican Kitchen, and many more. On my bucket list is dining at Thomas Keller's establishment The French Laundry in Napa Valley, California... as well as Alice Waters' Chez Panisse in Berkeley, and the James Beard award winning Tartine Bakery and Cafe in San Francisco. One day!! &nbsp; Hobbies/Interests: Decorating with fresh flowers and herbs from the garden is my passion, and brings me deep joy! It's really hard to beat!! I love connecting with others who enjoy the same. Gardening, decorating, sewing, music, dancing, film, and reading are also up there. Spending quality time with my grandchildren, family, and friends (and cooking holiday meals!). Currently, a newfound passion has been so richly rewarding for me: genealogical research. I heart ancestry dot com. And last but certainly not least, I absolutely LOVE cats--we have two half-Siamese fur babies (cats) that allow us to live here!!&nbsp; &nbsp; A Note of Thanks~ I try to personally thank everyone who kindly makes and reviews my recipes, but sometimes I am busy, late, or may forget. Please know that I am always humbled that you would try one of my recipes, and I enjoy reading the reviews and seeing all the pretty photographs. Thanks so much!&nbsp;</p>
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