This entree is so much fun because it is so easy to make and the sauce has a most velvety, mellow flavor. People will think you spent hours preparing  this…HA…HA…  Fooled them again huh? I’ve tried many different  veggies with this but I think that baby buttered carrots go the best. Therefore, the sauce and the carrots can be made the day before and then all you have to do is reheat the sauce and nuke the carrots!


  • 1 three to five pound whole filet of beef tenderloin
  • 6 TBS. (3/4 stick) butter for the filet salt & pepper
  • freshly chopped parsley to garnish


  • 2 TBS. butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 TBS. cognac or brandy
  • 1 10-ounce jar beef gravy (I use the “Heinz Homestyle Brown
  • Gravy)
  • 1 tsp. tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup Madeira


Melt the 2 TBS. of butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add the carrots, onion, celery, garlic, and cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned. Stir in the cognac or brandy,  then stir in the gravy, tomato paste and Madeira (The rest of the can of tomato paste may be frozen for another purpose.) Bring the mixture to a boil and let it simmer for no less than 10 minutes. Do not taste it during this time – the wine flavor will be strong and unpleasant. After 10 minutes, taste the sauce and season it with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, strain out vegetables and press plastic wrap into the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Set aside or refrigerate until needed.


Heat the oven to 500 degrees. Season the filet well with salt and pepper. In a small roasting pan, or ovenproof skillet, melt the 6 TBS. of butter. Roll the filet in the butter and roast it in the oven for about 20-25 minutes, turning it over halfway through. At the end of 20 minutes, insert a meat thermometer into the center of the roast – it should read about 125 degrees to be served rare. Be sure to take it out before it reaches 140 degrees – the meat will continue to cook after being removed from the oven, and you don’t want it to be overdone. Remove the meat to a warm platter, and place it on a hot tray, if you have one. Cover loosely with a tent of foil to keep the heat in. The roast should “relax” for at least 15 minutes before it is sliced. Heat your dinner plates if possible – the meat will cool as it relaxes.

Reheat the sauce in a saucepan. Slice the filet into 1/2-inch slices, pour some sauce over the meat, and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Pass the rest of the sauce at the table.


Make the sauce the day before, or several days ahead if you like. The flavor improves with reheating. Roast the meat just before serving.

What do you think?

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