0 (0)


George W. Bush's fillet of beef with three-peppercorn sauce, 2001

George W. Bush's fillet of beef with three-peppercorn sauce, 2001
Bob Chamberlin / Los Angeles Times

Barack Obama will be sworn into office on Tuesday -- just weeks before the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth. Obama's inaugural theme, "A New Birth of Freedom," has, fittingly, been drawn from his fellow Illinoisan's Gettysburg Address, and he's supposed ... Read more

Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes | Serves 6 to 8

Three-peppercorn sauce

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/3 cup peeled and diced carrot
  • 1/3 cup diced Spanish onion
  • 2 tablespoons thinly sliced leek (white part only)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped shallot
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed mixed peppercorns (black, green and pink)
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons Cognac
  • 2 tablespoons red wine
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups low-sodium beef broth
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Step 1Heat a small, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the carrot, onion, leek, shallot, garlic and peppercorns and saute until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds.

Step 2Stir in the Cognac and red wine. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by one-third, about 3 minutes.

Step 3Add the vinegar and broth and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by one-third, about 30 minutes.

Step 4Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl and discard the solids. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep covered in a warm place until needed.

Fillet of beef and assembly

  • 1 center-cut beef tenderloin, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, trimmed and tied at 1-inch intervals
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

Step 1Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator one hour before starting the recipe.

Step 2Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Season the beef generously with 1 teaspoon salt and one-half teaspoon pepper, or to taste.

Step 3In a large, heavy-bottom saute pan, heat the oil over high heat. Brown the tenderloin on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.

Step 4Place the tenderloin on a rack in a roasting pan; do not wash the saute pan. Roast the beef until a thermometer inserted reads 125 degrees for medium-rare, about 20 minutes, longer for more well-done. Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board for several minutes to rest.

Step 5While the tenderloin is resting, return the saute pan to the stove top over medium-high heat. Ladle one-half cup of the sauce and cook, scraping any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan. Heat the sauce over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into the rest of the sauce.

Step 6To serve, cut the ties from the beef and slice the tenderloin crosswise into one-half-inch slices. Place 2 to 3 slices on each dinner plate. Spoon some sauce over each serving and pass any remaining sauce alongside.

Note: Adapted from Walter Scheib, former White House chef.


Sweet potato fritters with clove-scented syrup
Sweet potato fritters with clove-scented syrup

Mini pumpkin chiffon pies
Mini pumpkin chiffon pies

Duck tacos with chile-cherry compote
Duck tacos with chile-cherry compote

Short ribs, Korean style (Kalbi)
Short ribs, Korean style (Kalbi)

Have a specific question about a recipe or found a problem? Let us know at food@latimes.com

More recipes in Mains

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Spiced Citrus Mojo
Green garlic and new potato soup
Roasted duck pot pie
Roast brined turkey