Discover the Best and Juiciest French-style Roast Beef!

Picture this: it’s a crisp and cool evening, the leaves outside are shades of orange and brown, and you have guests coming over for dinner. You want to impress them with a meal that showcases your culinary skills and sophisticated taste. Look no further than this recipe for French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce.

This dish is the epitome of elegance and classic French cuisine. It features a center-cut, beef tenderloin cooked to perfection and topped with a rich and velvety Madeira sauce made from wine, shallots, and butter. The flavors are balanced and intense, making for an unforgettable meal.

As you cook the beef in the oven, the smell will waft through your kitchen, setting the mood for a magical evening filled with good food and laughter. This recipe is not only delicious but also easy to follow – perfect for home cooks who want to show off their skills without feeling overwhelmed.

So why not treat yourself and your loved ones to something special? This French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce is worthy of a Top Chef episode, but you can make it in the comfort of your own home. Get ready to impress and indulge – let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

French-Style Roast Fillet of Beef With Madeira Wine Sauce
French-Style Roast Fillet of Beef With Madeira Wine Sauce

This French-Style Roast Fillet of Beef with Madeira Wine Sauce Recipe is one of the most exquisite dishes I have had the pleasure of tasting. As a sommelier, I am always on the lookout for recipes that perfectly incorporate wine into their flavor profile. This recipe exceeds my expectations in every way.

What makes this dish special is how the flavors and textures complement each other. The beef tenderloin, known for its juicy and buttery texture, is seasoned with olive oil, salt, and pepper to perfection. The madeira sauce brings so much depth and richness into the dish, seamlessly blending with the beef’s flavor.

The sauce’s silky texture comes from using unsalted butter to create a roux, which is then stirred together with shallots, madeira wine, and demi-glace for an unbelievable combination. Finally, parsley is added to add some freshness and elevate the sauce’s already complex flavor.

This recipe’s beauty lies in its simplicity while utilizing complex ingredients to create a mouthwatering dish. You’ll love this recipe because it’s perfect for any occasion, whether you’re cooking for date night or entertaining guests for dinner parties.

The sauce itself is versatile enough to use in other dishes like stuffed beef wellington or Chateaubriand. You can even use it in steak au poivre if you want to change up your go-to steak recipe.

Overall, what sets this recipe apart is its ability to impress without much effort. Whether you’re a home cook or a professional chef, you’ll appreciate how easy yet elegant it is. Trust me, this French-style roast fillet of beef will steal the show at your next dinner party or romantic dinner at home!

Ingredient List

 A succulent and juicy French-style roast fillet of beef
A succulent and juicy French-style roast fillet of beef

Here are the ingredients you need to make a French-Style Roast Fillet of Beef with Madeira Wine Sauce recipe:

  • Beef tenderloin: Also called filet of beef or fillet mignon, this is the tenderest cut of beef, located in the center of the cow’s back.
  • Madeira wine: A fortified wine from the Portuguese island of Madeira, known for its unique flavor and aroma. It pairs particularly well with beef.
  • Shallot: A mild-flavored member of the onion family that adds sweetness and depth to savory dishes.
  • Unsalted butter: Used for sautéing and giving richness to the madeira sauce.
  • Olive oil: Used for searing the beef before roasting it in the oven.
  • Dry red wine: Used for making the red wine sauce (optional substitute for madeira wine).
  • Water: Used for thinning out the madeira sauce if needed.
  • Demi-glace: A classic French sauce base made from reduced veal stock. (Optional ingredient, can be substituted with beef stock)
  • Fresh parsley purée: Made by blending fresh parsley with water to create a vibrant green liquid that is used for plating purposes.

Note: The complete ingredient list can be found in (4) The Recipe How-To section of this article.

The Recipe How-To

 The ultimate feast for meat lovers
The ultimate feast for meat lovers

Here’s how to prepare this French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce recipe:

Step 1: Preparing the Beef

  1. Allow the beef tenderloin or filet of beef to come to room temperature about an hour before cooking.
  2. Preheat your oven to 450°F (232°C).

Step 2: Searing the Beef

  1. In a heavy, oven-safe skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil, until hot but not smoking.
  2. Season the beef with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Sear the beef on all sides over high heat, until well browned, which takes approximately 6-8 minutes.
  4. When finished, transfer the skillet to the preheated oven for an additional 12-15 minutes.

Step 3: Preparing the Sauce

  1. In a small pot, melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter over medium heat.
  2. Add one minced shallot and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, whisking it into the butter-shallot mixture until fragrant and golden-brown in color, approxiamately 2 minutes.
  4. Add in 1/2 cup of Madeira wine or dry red wine, whisking it into the butter and shallot mixture until fully combined and reduce by half.
  5. Add in 1 cup of demi-glace sauce, bring to a simmer, then remove from heat.
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

  1. Upon taking out the skillet from the oven, transfer your beef onto a cutting board and let it rest for 10 minutes before slicing thinly on a slanting bias.
  2. Garnish your sliced beef with some chopped fresh parsley, or drizzle with a bit of parsley purée.
  3. Finally, ladle the prepared Madeira sauce over the beef and serve immediately.

Now you have your own restaurant-quality French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce recipe!

Substitutions and Variations

 Madeira wine sauce adds a luxurious touch to this classic dish
Madeira wine sauce adds a luxurious touch to this classic dish

If you’re looking to switch things up for your French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce, there are plenty of substitutions and variations you can make.

– Beef: While beef tenderloin is the classic cut of meat used in this recipe, you could also use other cuts like chateaubriand or filet mignon. Keep in mind that different cuts will have different cooking times and may affect the flavor and texture of the dish.

– Wine: The Madeira wine sauce is a crucial component of this recipe, but you could also use other types of red wine if you can’t find Madeira. A dry red wine would be the best substitute, but keep in mind that it may change the taste of the sauce slightly.

– Mushroom sauce: If you don’t like mushrooms or can’t find them, you could leave the mushroom sauce out entirely or substitute it with another type of sauce. Bordelaise sauce or a tarragon sauce would both work well with this dish.

– Butter: If you’re trying to cut down on the amount of butter in this dish, you could always use a plant-based butter or leave it out altogether. However, keep in mind that the butter is what gives the sauce its rich flavor and silky texture.

– Seasonings: Feel free to experiment with different herbs and spices to season your beef. A classic au poivre (pepper-crusted) preparation would be delicious, or you could try stuffing the beef with mushrooms and onions for a twist on a classic beef Wellington recipe.

Overall, don’t be afraid to get creative with your substitutions and variations. As long as you stick to the basic cooking techniques and flavors of French cuisine, your dish is sure to turn out delicious.

Serving and Pairing

 A mouthwatering centerpiece for any dinner party or holiday gathering
A mouthwatering centerpiece for any dinner party or holiday gathering

Once your French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce is ready, it’s time to serve and pair it!

This dish pairs perfectly with a full-bodied red wine, such as Bordeaux or Cabernet Sauvignon. The tannins and bold flavors in these wines will balance out the rich and complex flavors of the beef tenderloin and Madeira sauce.

For sides, feel free to get creative! Some classic French accompaniments include roasted potatoes, ratatouille, and green beans. You can also add a touch of freshness with a side salad dressed in a vinaigrette made with fresh parsley purée.

When serving the dish, make sure to slice the beef into thin pieces against the grain for optimal tenderness. Drizzle the Madeira sauce on top of the beef and garnish with some extra fresh parsley.

This French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce is an elegant and sophisticated dish that is perfect for special occasions or a romantic dinner for two. Bon appétit!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Cooked to perfection with a golden-brown crust and juicy pink interior
Cooked to perfection with a golden-brown crust and juicy pink interior

Preparing a French-style Roast Fillet of Beef with Madeira Wine Sauce is indeed a special treat that would require some time and effort put into it, so it’s important to make sure that you’re not just enjoying it once, but several times after. If you’re looking to host a special occasion or family gathering, then you’ll love knowing that this dish can be made ahead of time, stored, and reheated for leftovers or have them easily during the event.

To make-ahead, roast the beef until cooked to your preference and set it aside to cool. You can also prepare the sauce a day ahead by following the instructions up to step five. Once the sauce has cooled down, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, while keeping the beef covered at room temperature. On the day of serving, simply reheat the sauce by warming it gently in a saucepan over low heat. Add extra Madeira wine or water if you need to thin out or dilute it a little bit.

When storing your French-style Roast Fillet of Beef with Madeira Wine Sauce leftovers, separate the beef and sauce then store them in separate containers. The beef can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for at most three days while the sauce keeps well for up to five days when stored properly in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

When reheating your leftovers, place your beef fillet on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper into an oven preheated at 350 ºF (180 ºC) for about 10-15 minutes depending on how big your cuts are. Remember not to overcook your beef since this might dry out its texture; we only want to warm it through. Warm up your stored mushroom Madeira sauce by microwaving for around 3-4 minutes on high heat or gently reheat over low heat.

Overall, you have the flexibility of keeping, re-heating, and storing your French-style Roast Fillet of Beef with Madeira Wine Sauce leftovers without worrying too much about its taste or quality. Just make sure to store everything correctly and follow the right reheating recommendations.

Tips for Perfect Results

 The rich and flavorful sauce complements the beef and elevates the dish to another level
The rich and flavorful sauce complements the beef and elevates the dish to another level

Achieving the perfect French-style roast fillet of beef requires effort and dedication, but the result is a dish that will leave your guests astounded, making every step worth it. Here are some tips to ensure that your roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce turns out perfect:

First and foremost, make sure to purchase a quality beef tenderloin or center-cut beef fillet. The quality of your meat can make or break your dish, so buy from a reputable source who is known to sell high-quality cuts.

When roasting the beef, preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit and cook it until it reaches an internal temperature of 125-130 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare. Use a meat thermometer to ensure you achieve the desired level of doneness.

While cooking the meat, baste it with olive oil and butter to keep it moist and add flavor.

When making the Madeira wine sauce, be sure to use quality ingredients such as dry red wine, fresh shallots, unsalted butter, and good-quality madeira wine. Sautee the shallots in butter until they become translucent before adding in the Madeira wine.

To enhance the flavor of the dish, try serving it with sides such as roasted vegetables or mashed potatoes.

If you are making this dish for a special occasion or dinner party, prepare it ahead of time so that you have time for any potential issues that could arise. This will also allow you more time to focus on presentation and preparation of your other dishes.

Finally, remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to cooking. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different variations on this recipe until you find one that suits your taste preferences perfectly.

Follow these tips and soon enough you will have perfected the art of French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce – an exquisitely delicious meal that is sure to impress even the most discerning palate.


As our French-style roast fillet of beef with madeira wine sauce recipe comes to an end, you might still have some questions about this delicious dish. Below are the most common FAQs people ask during the preparation of this recipe. In this section, we will answer them and provide additional tips to ensure you get perfect results every time. So, let’s dive in!

What is Madeira sauce made of?

If you’re looking for a delectable sauce to add some flair to your dishes, why not try Madeira sauce? Hailing from French cuisine, this sauce is made by cooking shallots and mushrooms on butter, then adding peppercorns, thyme, bay leaves, and a generous amount of Madeira wine until the mix is reduced to just the right consistency.

What can you use Madera wine for?

Madeira is a versatile wine that can enhance a wide range of dishes, much like sherry. Its robust flavor can add depth to everything from creamy sauces to hearty stews and even desserts. However, when using Madeira in cooking, it’s crucial to precisely measure and follow the recipe. Since this wine is quite potent, even a slight deviation can significantly affect the taste of the final dish.

Which stock is used in the preparation of Madeira sauce?

Preparing the Madeira sauce comes down to a matter of choice, either going the conventional way or using store-bought broth or stock for the rapid method. In both methods, the process follows the same path, with Madeira wine added after combining butter and demi-glace.

How do you use Madeira wine?

When it comes to cooking, one of the most versatile types of wine is Madeira. With its sweet and savoury notes, this wine is commonly used to elevate dishes such as pan-fried meats, sauces or stews. Not only does it provide a pleasant flavour to the dish, but it also adds a rich depth that is hard to achieve without it. Madeira wine can be used in a variety of dishes to intensify their flavour and provide a unique taste.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce is a truly exquisite dish that will impress everyone at your dinner party. With its juicy and flavorful center-cut filet of beef, paired with the rich and aromatic Madeira sauce, this recipe is a true treat for any food connoisseur.

Not only is this dish incredibly delicious, but it is also highly versatile. You can experiment with different variations or substitutions to fit your personal preferences or available ingredients. And with its easy-to-follow recipe and simple ingredients, anyone can recreate this luxurious French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce right in their own kitchen.

So why not elevate your next dinner party or special occasion with this timeless classic? With a glass of red wine by your side and some fresh parsley purée to garnish your plate, you’ll be transported to a Parisian bistro in no time. So what are you waiting for? Give this French-style roast fillet of beef with Madeira wine sauce a try and become a top chef in your own home!

French-Style Roast Fillet of Beef With Madeira Wine Sauce

French-Style Roast Fillet of Beef With Madeira Wine Sauce Recipe

A classic! Tender French-Style Roast Beef Tenderloin with a creamy herbed Madeira Wine Sauce. Great served with petit spring peas and tiny boiled fingerling or new potatoes sprinkled with parsley. Recipe is courtesy Chuck Williams of Williams-Sonoma fame.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine French
Calories 565.4 kcal


  • 1 (2 lb) tenderloin filet of beef, center-cut and well trimmed of any fat, with a thin piece of pork back-fat tied on top in several pl (ask your butcher to do this for you)
  • unsalted butter
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallot (about 5 shallots)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup madeira wine
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 3/4 cup heavy double cream
  • chopped fresh parsley


  • Position a rack in the bottom third of an oven and preheat to 425F degrees (220C).
  • Butter the ends and bottom of the beef fillet and place in a small, heavy roasting pan (without a rack) in which it fits comfortably. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center of the meat registers 120 F degrees (49C) for rare or 130F degrees (54C) for medium-rare, 20-30 minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving plate and cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil to keep it warm. It will continue to cook a little.
  • Using a large spoon, skim off the fat from the pan juices. Place the pan over medium-low heat and add the shallots. Cook, stirring, until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Add the water, raise the heat to medium and stir, scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan bottom. Add the Madeira, bring to a boil over medium heat and boil until reduced by about one-half. Combine the cornstarch mixture and the cream and stir until blended. Add to the pan and quickly stir into the juices. Cook, stirring, until slightly thickened, 1-2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Cut the strings on the fillet, then remove the strip of fat tied to the top of the fillet and discard. Using a very sharp, thin-bladed knife, slice the meat crosswise into 12-14 slices, each about 1/2-inch (12 mm) thick. Spoon a little of the sauce onto each warmed plate and place 2 or 3 slices of meat on the sauce. Spoon the remaining sauce over the meat, garnish with the chopped parsley and serve.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 70gCalories: 565.4kcalCarbohydrates: 2.9gProtein: 28gFat: 46.9gSaturated Fat: 21.1gCholesterol: 146.9mgSodium: 107.6mgSugar: 0.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, European, Meat, Roast Beef, Very Low Carbs
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