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Recipe: George W. Bush's fillet of beef with three-peppercorn sauce, 2001
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
Servings: 6 to 8
Note: Adapted from Walter Scheib, former White House chef
1 1/2 teaspoons oil
1/3 cup peeled and diced carrot
1/3 cup diced Spanish onion
2 tablespoons thinly sliced leek (white part only)
2 tablespoons chopped shallot
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed mixed peppercorns (black, green and pink)
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 small bay leaf
2 tablespoons Cognac
2 tablespoons red wine
1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat a small, heavy-bottom saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the oil, then the carrot, onion, leek, shallot, garlic and peppercorns and saute until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the thyme and bay leaf and cook for 30 seconds.
2. Stir in the Cognac and red wine. Bring to a boil and cook until reduced by one-third, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the vinegar and broth and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by one-third, about 30 minutes.
4. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl and discard the solids. Season to taste with salt and pepper and keep covered in a warm place until needed.
Fillet of beef and assembly
1 center-cut beef tenderloin, 1 1/2 to 2 pounds, trimmed and tied at 1-inch intervals
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1. Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator one hour before starting the recipe.
2. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Season the beef generously with 1 teaspoon salt and one-half teaspoon pepper, or to taste.
3. In a large, heavy-bottom saute pan, heat the oil over high heat. Brown the tenderloin on all sides, 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Place the tenderloin on a rack in a roasting pan; do not wash the saute pan. Roast the beef until a thermometer inserted reads 125 degrees for medium-rare, about 20 minutes, longer for more well-done. Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board for several minutes to rest.
5. While the tenderloin is resting, return the saute pan to the stove top over medium-high heat. Ladle one-half cup of the sauce and cook, scraping any flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan. Heat the sauce over high heat and boil for 2 minutes. Strain the liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into the rest of the sauce.
6. To serve, cut the ties from the beef and slice the tenderloin crosswise into one-half-inch slices. Place 2 to 3 slices on each dinner plate. Spoon some sauce over each serving and pass any remaining sauce alongside.
Each of 8 servings: 263 calories; 30 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 13 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 70 mg. cholesterol; 471 mg. sodium.