Emily’s Christmas Dinner

My mom has been making this on Christmas Day for as long as I can remember. This is one of the ten or so recipes she gave us, handwritten on index cards, when we got married — our own family dinner starter kit — many of which are still in rotation today. You’ll have to check out DALS: The Book to get the rest of them. — Andy

1 beef tenderloin (approximately 3 pounds for 6 people)
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup cranberry juice cocktail
1 cup port
3 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
6 fresh thyme springs
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 tablespoon flour

1. In a large zip-top bag, combine tenderloin, cranberries, cranberry juice, port, sugar, thyme, soy sauce, salt and pepper. Seal and marinate for 24 hours, turning occasionally. Remove and reserve marinade.

2. Preheat oven to 500°F

3. Place tenderloin on a broiler pan that has been coated with cooking spray. Place in oven and immediately lower temperature to 350°F. Bake approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 145°F (medium-rare) to 160°F (medium). Remove from oven and let stand 10 minutes.

4. In a large skillet, combine flour with two tablespoons of reserved marinade and whisk until combined. Add remaining marinade. Whisk until blended. Bring to a boil; cook 8 minutes until thick, stirring constantly. Serve warm with tenderloin.

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