Shallot and Cognac Glazed Beef Tenderloin

Published on
September 22, 2023
This is a classic French bistro dish. Tenderloin is the most prized piece of beef. Adding cognac to the pan sauce not only contributes flavor; its high alcohol content and acidity help extract flavor from the pan drippings.
Carved beef tenderloin with Pepper Mill Mix and salt.
Prep Time:
15 Minutes
Cook Time:
30 Minutes
Difficulty Level:

1 whole beef tenderloin, peeled of fat (about 3 pounds)

3 tablespoons Pepper Mill Mix

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter

6 large shallots, minced

½ cup cognac

½ cup red wine such as burgundy, pinot noir, or merlot


1. Allow the tenderloin to come to room temperature before cooking. For best results, fold back the thin end of the tenderloin and tie the whole tenderloin with kitchen string every 2 inches. This should even out the thickness of the tenderloin allowing for even cooking.

2. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

3. Crush the Pepper Mill Mix with a mortar and pestle, or use a mallet to crush the peppercorns in a plastic bag, until the hard black and white peppercorns begin to break up. Avoid using a food processor or a grinder for crushing the peppers as it will over grind the softer pink and green peppers.

4. Rub the tenderloin with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and coat with salt and the crushed Pepper Mill Mix. Place in a heavy roasting pan that can be used on the stove top as well as in the oven.

5. Roast the tenderloin for 30 minutes or until the internal temperature is 125°F. The meat will range from medium to medium rare. Let the tenderloin stand, loosely covered with foil for at 10-20 minutes before carving.

6. To prepare the sauce, place the roasting pan with reserved juices over medium heat. Melt the butter and whisk in the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, scraping up the bits at the bottom of the pan.

7. Add the shallots and cook for 3-4 minutes, whisking frequently. Add the cognac to the pan. It’s optional to ignite the cognac before proceeding. If ignited, the flame will burn out in about 10 seconds.

8. Whisk in the red wine and simmer until reduced by 1/3, about 5 minutes. Slice the tenderloin and serve with the cognac shallot sauce.

Recipe Tip:
It setting the cognac on fire makes you nervous, skip that step and let the cognac simmer for an extra few minutes to cook off most of the alcohol. Make sure to open a good bottle of red wine to use in the sauce, preferably one that you’re happy to drink with dinner.
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