Beef Tenderloin with Shallot Marmalade

Laurent Gras borrowed a recipe from chef Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin for this loin of beef studded with olives and pistachios. But he personalized the dish by using shiitakes in place of the original truffles and by adding shallot marmalade.



  • 1 tablespoon duck fat or unsalted butter

  • 2 pounds beef short ribs, fat trimmed

  • 5 garlic cloves, unpeeled

  • 4 shallots, thickly sliced, plus 1 pound shallots, thinly sliced

  • 2 quarts chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth or water

  • Salt

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter

  • 2 cups dry white wine

  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 4 large shiitake mushroom caps, cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips

  • One 1 1/2-pound trimmed beef tenderloin, tied

  • 16 pitted Calamata olives

  • 16 unsalted pistachios


  1. In a large saucepan, melt the duck fat. Add the short ribs and cook over moderate heat until browned all over, about 10 minutes; discard the fat. Add the garlic and the 4 shallots and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add 1 quart of stock and simmer over low heat until reduced by half, about 1 hour. Add the remaining 1 quart of stock and simmer until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 2 hours. Strain, skim the fat and season with salt.

  2. In another large saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add the 1 pound of sliced shallots and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 8 minutes. Season with salt, add the wine and cook until the shallots are meltingly tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 1 hour. Season the marmalade with pepper.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. In a large ovenproof skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over low heat until nicely browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms to a plate; wipe out the skillet.

  4. Using a paring knife, make 4 dozen incisions all over the tenderloin about 1/2 inch apart. Push an olive, pistachio or mushroom strip into each incision, alternating the flavorings. Using cotton string, tie the tenderloin at 2-inch intervals.

  5. Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in the skillet. Season the beef with salt and sear on 3 sides over moderately high heat, until browned, about 9 minutes. Turn the roast uncooked side down, transfer the skillet to the oven and roast for 10 minutes. Baste the tenderloin with the pan juices and cook for about 6 minutes longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 120° for rare. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and season with pepper. Cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Discard the fat from the skillet.

  6. Rewarm the shallot marmalade and beef jus. Add 1 cup of the jus to the skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up the browned bits. Pour the remaining jus into a gravy boat. Strain the pan juices into the gravy boat.

  7. Slice the roast 1/2 inch thick. Mound a little shallot marmalade in the center of each plate and arrange 3 slices of the beef alongside the marmalade. Spoon a little beef jus onto the beef and pass the remaining jus separately.

Make Ahead

The beef jus and shallot marmalade can be refrigerated for up to 1 day. Discard any fat from the jus before proceeding.

Suggested Pairing

The beef's intense flavors will find echoes in the fruit and olive character of Cabernet-based wines. Pick a medium-bodied, value-priced example with good fruit from Bordeaux.

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