Oh the love and compliments I received when I served this Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca. I felt like a James Beard Award winning chef after my family finished thoroughly praising me and my saltimbocca. And such praise doesn’t always happen. Nope, not at my house.
I have to admit, my palate was dancing with complete bliss after one bite of this Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca with Red Wine Pan Sauce. I smiled to myself and felt utterly vindicated as dinner the night before was a total disaster. My recipe testing didn’t go as planned. Which is what happens on occasion and which is why we call it recipe “testing” – as I so humbly told my family while they were making funny faces and critiquing my meal. Even chef’s have dinner disasters.
Typically prepared with veal, this saltimbocca is just as decadent when prepared with the most tender cut of beef – the tenderloin. Medallions of tenderloin are pounded thin, layered with fresh sage leaves and pancetta, quickly pan seared and then finished with a sensuous red wine and butter pan sauce.
What made this gorgeous Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca even more perfect was the wine I paired with it – 2013 Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon. This sumptuous wine is from one of the most celebrated vintages in the history of the Napa Valley. “It displays a level of balance, elegance, structure and ageability”. Silky and lush, the 2013 Yao Ming Cabernet Sauvignon pairs elegantly with the saltimbocca, allowing the uncomplicated and bright flavors of the dish to shine while complimenting the beauty of the wine.
Although this exquisite dish might seem fancy, it’s perfectly simple to prepare. I love to serve this with a seasonal green and vegetable salad with a light vinaigrette such as a lemon Dijon or balsamic or roasted zucchini, broccoli or braised bitter greens. If you’re looking for a little more substance to add to the meal, good old-fashioned mashed potatoes pair nicely. 😉
Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,
*Although I’ve been a huge fan of Yao Ming Family Wines for a while now, I was fortunately gifted with a bottle for this recipe.
- 2lbs beef tenderloin, cut into 8-10 medallions
- 1 bunch fresh sage leaves
- 8-10 slices pancetta
- 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup red wine (any wine that you would drink)
- 6 tablespoons butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped fresh Italian parsley for garnish
On parchment paper or a cutting board, pound out each medallion to about ½ inch thick. Season each medallion with salt and pepper on both sides.
Place a sage leaf on each medallion and then layer with a slice of pancetta. You can use a toothpick to secure the sage and pancetta to the beef or you can try placing them in the pan completely assembled.
In a large skillet, add the two tablespoons of ghee or olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Once the ghee/oil is hot but not smoking, add the medallions to the pan, pancetta side down. You may need to pan sear in batches so that you don’t over crowd your skillet.
Cook each medallion for about 2 minutes on each side or until the beef is done to your liking. Transfer the beef to a platter when done. Cover lightly with a piece of foil to keep warm.
When all the beef has been cooked, turn the heat down to medium and add the red wine, scraping all the fond (brown bits) off the bottom of the pan. Whisk in the butter one tablespoon at a time and bring the sauce to a lively simmer. Let the sauce simmer until it’s been reduced by half. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Place the pan sauce on the bottom of a serving dish and then place the Beef Tenderloin Saltimbocca over the pan sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh Italian parsley and serve with Roasted fingerling potatoes or mashed potatoes and roasted or steamed seasonal vegetable.
The fragrant and earthy flavors in this gorgeous beef dish pair exquisitely with the Mao Ying 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon. Sip, savor and enjoy.