Beef tenderloin is almost the perfect party food. You can serve it hot or cold. You can make it ahead of time. It can get fancy or casual. It’s basically the same amount of effort regardless of whether you’re cooking for two or twenty.
This recipe is inspired by The Pioneer Women – she has a few versions on her site if you want something a little different. It’s pretty hard to mess up, unless you overcook it. It’s an expensive cut of meat, so don’t over cook it. Remember…you can always put it back in the oven if it’s too rare your tastes, but you can’t cook it less. (In Texas, too rare isn’t really a thing. :-))
- 1 whole Beef Tenderloin (2.5 To 3 Lbs.)
- 3 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- 1/4 cup Whole Peppercorns,
- Lawry’s Seasoned Salt (or your favorite salt blend)
- Olive Oil
- Bag of Arugula
- Hawaiian Rolls
Mostly likely your tenderloin is ready to go, but if it looks a bit fatty, go ahead and trim any excess fat. (Your local butcher can help with that as well.) Season generously with your preferred salt seasoning – you don’t have to worry too much about over salting since each slice will only have a very slim edge.
Place the peppercorns in a Ziploc bag, and with a mallet or a hammer or a large, heavy can, begin smashing the peppercorns to break them up a bit. Set aside.
Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is to the smoking point, place the tenderloin in the very hot pan to sear it. Throw a couple of tablespoons of butter into the skillet to give it a nice little butter injection before going in the oven. A minute or two later, when one side is starting to turn nice and brown, flip and repeat.
Place the beef tenderloin on an oven pan with a rack. Sprinkle the pummeled peppercorns all over the meat. Press the pepper onto the surface of the meat. Put several tablespoons of butter all over the meat. Stick the long needle of the thermometer lengthwise into the meat. Place it in a 475-degree oven until the temperature reaches just under 140 degrees, about fifteen to twenty minutes. Stay near the oven and keep checking the meat thermometer to make sure it doesn’t overcook.
Let the beef tenderloin stand ten minutes or so before slicing, so the meat will have a chance to relax a bit.
If you’re making it ahead of time, just wrap the whole beef tenderloin in tin foil and keep refrigerated until needed. It’s best to slice right before serving. Lay the sliced tenderloin on a bed of arugula (I like the peppery kick, but you could use baby lettuce or spinach, if you prefer.) Service with sliced rolls and a yummy horseradish sauce and you’re all set!