Get in the Spirit

Many people avoid cooking with beer or wine because they’re not quite sure what type to use. I’ve made suggestions here, but use what you enjoy drinking and you can’t go wrong. Serve the same wine or beer at the table and the results will be sublime. And although it’s always best to start with fresh, good quality wine, I will confess that when I have leftover wine I know I won’t drink within a few days, I freeze it in one-cup servings so that I always have wine to add flavor to sauces, stews, roasts and more.

Beef Tenderloin Roast with Merlot Reduction
A red wine reduction takes patience but is well worth the effort. This recipe calls for a beef tenderloin roast, but you could serve the reduction over less expensive cuts of beef roast or steak. The final swirl of butter stirred into the sauce at the end will give it a glossy sheen and restaurant quality flavor. The key is to use the best quality beef stock on hand, preferably homemade.

5 – 6 lb. beef tenderloin roast
Salt & pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 250°
Season roast with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, for 1 3/4 – 2 hours or until meat thermometer registers 130° for medium rare. Let rest, tented with foil, 30 minutes. Carve into ½-inch slices and serve with Merlot Reduction.

Merlot Reduction
5 TBS butter, divided
6 shallots, peeled & sliced
2 cups Merlot
2 TBS balsamic vinegar
4 cups low-salt beef stock, homemade or purchased

In a skillet, melt 2 TBS of the butter. Cook shallots over medium-low heat about 12 minutes or until tender. Turn heat to high. Add wine and vinegar. Boil until a syrupy consistency and reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Add beef stock. Gently boil until reduced to 1 cup, about 20 minutes. Watch carefully! Strain sauce to remove solids. Whisk in remaining 3 TBS butter. Serve over beef slices.

Serves 6

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