White House Recipes

Our new series White House Recipes brings you presidential meals... from 1880s

Filet de Boeuf á la Richelieu was served at a White House State Dinner.

What we need:

2 lbs beef tenderloin roast; in one piece, preferably centre cut
to taste salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp Unsalted butter
1 tbsp Vegetable oil
1/2 cup port wine
2 cups demi-glace or brown veal stock ; see cookbook (buy at Soupmeister or Granville Island
1 tbsp Cognac
1 tbsp unsalted butter; cut into bits
1 medium-sized truffle; finely chopped (optional)
1 tbsp truffle juice; optional

How to cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  2. Season beef with pepper. Heat two tablespoons butter and one tablespoon vegetable oil in a roasting pan on stove top. Brown the tenderloin for two minutes on each side in the roasting pan.

  3. Transfer to oven, bake 20 minutes for rare, 30 minutes for medium, 45 minutes for well done. When done, sprinkle with salt, transfer to serving platter. Turn off oven. Cover beef with foil, keep warm in oven.

  4. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Return roasting pan to medium heat on stove. Discard any excess fat. Deglaze with port and demi-glace or veal stock, scraping particles from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Reduce liquids by half.

  5. Strain through a fine sieve into a medium saucepan. Stir in cognac and whisk in butter bits one at a time. Remove from heat. If truffles are used, add them just before serving.

  6. Slice beef into one-inch slices. Pour sauce onto warm serving plates, arrange bee on top and serve.


As salt draw out moisture, avoid seasoning meats with salt to start. Add salt at the end of the cooking. Remember, all food has a natural salt content. Better a little than too much. Truffles may be substituted with regular mushrooms, morels, chanterelles, or oyster mushrooms. After browning beef, try it wrapped in a thin layer of puff pastry.

Tagged under: steaks grill marinate