Brown Sauce

1 each celery stalk and carrot, diced
1/2 small onion, diced
3 tablespoons diced boiled ham
6 tablespoons clarified butter or cooking oil
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups canned beef bouillon, boiling
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3 parsley sprigs
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon thyme

Combine celery, carrots, onions, ham, and butter in 2-quart saucepan. Cook slowly for 10 minutes. Blend in flour, and stir continuously over medium heat until mixture turns nutty brown, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in bouillon, beat in tomato paste, and add herbs. Pass through food mill.


3 beef tenderloins (2 pounds each after fat is trimmed away)
3 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cayenne, serrano, or red jalapeño peppers
1 1/2 cups diced onion
3 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups chopped tomatoes
1 1/2 cup white wine
3 bay leaves
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Cook tenderloins in roasting pan in preheated 425-degree oven for 40 minutes. Remove to warm platter.

Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed pan, and sauté peppers, onions, garlic, and tomatoes. Deglaze roasting pan with wine, cook until reduced by half, and add reduction to vegetables. Add bay leaves and 4 cups brown sauce. Bring to boil, and adjust seasoning. Add cilantro before serving.

Slice tenderloins, and arrange slices on platter. Ladle some sauce over beef, placing remaining sauce in gravy boat. Serve immediately.

Originally featured in “Set to Fete” Domain, November/December 1989