A special festive meal should bring out all of the smoking guns. For our family Christmas Eve dinner, we served shrimp cocktail appetizers for starters followed by the main star of the show, a sous-vide, twice seared filet mignon accompanied by lump crab cakes; a potato, celery root and leek gratin; and Brussels sprouts in an orange-maple syrup-balsamic vinegar sauce. The finale was a decadent Bête Noire—a flourless, dense, chocolatey cake.
But back to the main protein of the meal, the beef tenderloin, The Hubs decided to top it with a Pinot Noir Sauce. Since we didn’t have any homemade beef stock on hand, we used a bottled bone broth. As for the wine, use Pinot Noir (Burgundy), Cabernet, or another good dry red wine in the sauce.
Pinot Noir Sauce
- 4 cups veal or beef stock
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
- 1 stick celery, diced fine
- 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
- 1 1/4 cups pinot noir
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 Tbsp. cold butter, cut into pieces
- Heat olive oil in medium saucepan over medium heat and sute carrot and celery, stirring constantly until lightly carmelized, about 3 minutes.
- Add thyme and pinot noir, bring to a a simmer and simmer until reduced by half, 7 to 10 minutes. Strain into a clean saucepan
- Add 4 cups veal or beef stock, bring to a simmer over medium heat and simmer until sauce is reduced to about 1 1/2 cups. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Increase heat to high, and add butter piece by piece, whisking to emulsify. Sauce will become glossy and coat the back of a wooden spoon. As soon as butter is incorporated, remove sauce from heat and spoon onto meat.