Filet of Beef, Sauce Porto with Roasted Shallots

Here’s another steak recipe that’s all about the sauce. As always, this requires good, homemade veal stock and demi-glace. If you don’t have these, make something else.

Filet of Beef, Sauce Porto with Roasted Shallots from Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook


  • 12 shallots, peeled whole
  • 1 shallot, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 4 8-ounce beef filets
  • salt and freshly cracked peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 3 ounces port
  • 1 cup strong dark veal stock, (again, a tiny spoon of demi-glace would really boost this sauce)


  1. PREP: Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F/170 degrees C. Place the peeled whole shallots in the small ovenproof saute pan, throw in 2 tablespoons/28 g of the butter, cover with foil, and put in the oven. Cook low and slow, gently turning the shallots every once in a while, until they are brown and soft and slightly limp, but still recognizable and intact – about 45 minutes to an hour. Remove and keep warm.

  2. COOK: Jack the oven up to 375 degrees F/190 degrees C. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in the large saute pan over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon/14 g of the butter, let it foam, and allow it to subside. Sear the meat on all sides, using the tongs to turn the filets. Make sure the sides are seared, too. Transfer the meat to the roasting pan and place in the oven. Roast for about 7 minutes for rare, 10 minutes for medium rare.

  3. Discard the fat from the large saute pan and add 1 tablespoon/14 g of the butter. Heat over medium flame and, when hot, add the sliced shallot. Cook for 4 minutes, sprinkle in the flour, and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the port and deglaze, scraping with the wooden spoon. Reduce the wine by half, then add the stock (and your demi-glace, I hope), bring to a boil, and reduce by half again, until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Adjust the seasoning and strain through the fine strainer into a small saucepan. Bring the sauce back to a boil, remove from the heat, and whisk in the remaining tablespoon of butter.

  4. SERVE: Remove the filets from the oven, rest them a few moments, and arrange on the platter. Artfully nestle 3 of the cooked whole shallots next to each filet and spoon over the sauce. Good with mashed potatoes.