Beef Tenderloin with Shallots and Figs

Temps des Fêtes 2006
food and drink

BY: Karen Jull

The beef tenderloin is slow-roasted to ensure tenderness. To coarsely crack peppercorns, use a mortar and pestle or place peppercorns in a plastic bag and use a rolling pin.

¼ cup (50 mL) olive oil
1 tbsp (15 mL) red peppercorns, coarsely cracked
1 tbsp (15 mL) green peppercorns, coarsely cracked
1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt
2 lb (1 kg) premium beef tenderloin roast; tied, centre cut
6 whole ripe fresh figs, cut in half
18 small whole shallots, peeled (10 oz/300 g)
1 cup (250 mL) ruby port
¼ cup (50 mL) balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp (15 mL) fresh thyme, minced, about 8 sprigs
¼ cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, cold
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325ºF (160ºC).

2. Rub 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil, cracked pepper and salt over tenderloin.

3. Heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil in an ovenproof medium-size skillet on high heat. Sear tenderloin on all sides, about 1 minute per side.

4. Transfer tenderloin to plate and tent with foil.

5. In the same skillet, add 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and sear fig halves for 2 minutes per side, or until caramelized. Remove and reserve with tenderloin.

6. In the same skillet add 1 tbsp (15 mL) olive oil and shallots and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until soft.

7. Add port, balsamic vinegar and thyme and bring liquid to a boil.

8. Place tenderloin on top of the shallots and place figs around the tenderloin. Bake on middle rack in oven for 50 to 65 minutes or until desired doneness. For medium-rare, bring internal temperature to approximately 140ºF (60ºC); or medium, 160ºF (70ºC).

9. Remove tenderloin and figs and tent with foil. Reserve.

10. Bring remaining sauce to a boil and reduce to ½ cup (125 mL).

11. Whisk in butter. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

12. Cut tenderloin into 6 pieces, plate with figs and shallots and spoon sauce over tenderloin.

Serves 4 to 6

What to Serve