Beef Tenderloin With a Port Wine Sauce

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A friend of mine who views this blog recently mentioned that I’ve not posted many Greek recipes of late. This is true but although I love Greek cuisine, I’m also drawn to other types of cooking and I’m eager to try new dishes and showcase foods that I personally like (and think you will enjoy too).

I promise, I have more Greek dishes on the way but in the meantime, it’s time for carcass, beef and in this instance, beef tenderloin.

The BBQ is a lonely, cold creature – sitting outside and waiting to be fired up. I’m relegated to the oven for cooking my meals. Beef tenderloin was up for sacrifice at my temple of hunger!

Beef tenderloin is not cheap but I was lucky enough to find it at an affordable price this past summer. I was able to buy a whole tenderloin for approx. $30 a piece (and not from the back of a truck). One must remove the silver skin and trim the end pieces. The silver skin is discarded but the end pieces can be used for stews, stir frying or shish kebabs.

After you’re done trimming, what is left of the tenderloin is the center piece, the Chateaubriand. It’s a lean piece of of meat and for those of you that like your meat done beyond medium, this cut is not for you. Do not waste a cut of beef like this to dry it out. Go for a rib eye instead.

I have family members who (as do many Greeks) like their red meat well done but for the sake of the integrity of the beef tenderloin, the meat was going to be cooked medium-rare…too bad, so sad!

Beef Tenderloin With a Port Wine Sauce

1 beef tenderloin, about 10 inches long
butcher’s twine
2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
coarse salt
cracked black pepper
garlic powder
1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove of garlic, smashed
1 cup of beef stock
1/3 cup of Merlot red wine
2 springs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Splash of Port wine

Preheat your oven to 375F, middle rack

  1. Pat dry your beef. Using butcher’s twine, tie the meat at 3 (or 4) points in the beef. This will create a uniform and round piece of meat.
  2. Rub the Dijon mustard all over the meat. Season your beef with coarse salt, black pepper and garlic powder.
  3. Get a large, oven safe saute pan onto high heat. Add your olive oil and butter and when they start to bubble, start browning all sides of the beef and reduce heat to medium high. When you browned 3 sides of the meat, turn the last side face down into the pan and now place in the oven. (note: I use a meat thermometer that injects into the meat and my temperature reader is attached to a wire which leads to my counter top)
  4. Roast your beef tenderloin until the internal temperature has reached 120F. Remove from the oven and let the meat rest for about 15 minutes before cutting.
  5. Using the same saute pan, empty the fat from the pan and deglaze the pan drippings with red wine and stir with a wooden spoon and scrape up the brown bits. Add your shallot, garlic, bay leaf, thyme and beef stock and reduce on medium high heat until sauce is down to a third. Add your port and reduce for a few more minutes until your sauce has thickened some more. Stir in a dab of butter, remove garlic cloves and thyme springs, adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and reserve.
  6. Cut the butcher’s twine off of your beef. Cut the meat into 1 inch pieces and serve with potatoes and steamed broccoli and your Port wine sauce.

© 2007,
Peter Minakis

. All rights reserved.

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12 Comments for “Beef Tenderloin With a Port Wine Sauce”



Peter, if my husband sees this tenderloin picture… he will directly bite the screen!!!! You are soooooo right this meat tastes so much better when is nearly bloody inside. What a great dish!!! Goes to the “new dishes to try” waiting list!



The ingredients you add to this recipe are very interesting but as most Greeks, I’ll skip the tenderloin and use rib instead.



Looks lovely and rare – just how I like it. I made a port sauce last night too but it called for a whole cup! Next time I will use your recipe and only use a splash (a tablespoon or two?) cause otherwise it is too expensive!

Peter M


Kat, you’re probably looking for about 1/4 cup of Port. I was vague with measurements as each person’s taste differs with the sweetness of the sauce.



peter! this looks awesome. i’ve gone vegetarian again, but i have to be honest and say i think i won’t be able to resist the next great steak i see. hope it looks as good as this tenderloin.

Bellini Valli


I had my beef fix over the weekend Peter, but this tenderloin will show up some day on my table!!!



That looks absolutely perfect! Even if it WAS expensive… Sometimes we just have to do it! I’m going to dream about that!

Laurie Constantino


So good. I love meat with port sauce — and count me in the category that adds a whole cup! Yes, it may be expensive — on the other hand, as a percent of the project when I’m spending on tenderloin, it’s worth it.