peppered beef tenderloin

Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine and Portobello Mushroom Sauce

Recipe for a peppered beef tenderloin that is worthy of being the centerpiece for any special occasion dinner or holiday meal.

This recipe was made and written for SABER Grills by Chris Grove of Nibble Me This.

When planning a menu for a memorable holiday meal or a special occasion, a beef tenderloin roast is a crowd pleaser.

Whole beef tenderloin is the cut that filet mignon comes from and it is renown for its namesake tenderness.  It is also a low-fat alternative to other beef roasts, such as a chuck roast or prime rib roast.  Beef tenderloin is also quicker cooking than either of those other two options.

Beef tenderloin is mildly flavored so I like to pair it with a sumptuous sauce.  You want a sauce that will complement, not cover, the beef flavor.  This Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine and Portobello Mushroom Sauce is a good example.

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I use the reverse pan seared method for two reasons.  First, this technique ensures that your roast is evenly done from one edge to the other.  Secondly, the bits left in the pan create the foundation of this delectable sauce.

Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine and Portobello Mushroom Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pound center cut beef tenderloin roast
  • For the dry seasoning

  • 4 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley
  • For the red wine sauce

  • 2 tablespoons beef tallow or other high temperature cooking oil
  • 1 shallot, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 8 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1/2 cup cabernet sauvignon
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon cold water
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch

Directions

  • Temper the beef tenderloin. Leave it out at room temperature for one hour.
  • Preheat the grill for low, indirect heat. For 3 and 4 burner models, this means having the two outer burners on low heat and the center burner(s) off. For a 2 burner model, you will use just one burner but you will have to rotate your meat halfway through for even cooking.
  • Season the beef tenderloin. Pat the roast dry and lightly oil it with 1 tablespoon of high temperature cooking oil, such as; peanut, avocado, or canola oil. Mix together the dry seasoning mix and sprinkle it all over the roast, turning it to get all sides covered.
  • Slow roast the beef tenderloin. Set the roast on a wire rack set on top of either a skillet or a small sheet pan. Place this over the center burner(s), close the grill lid and let it roast until the beef reaches an internal temperature of 125°f, about 45 to 60 minutes. It is best to use a remote probe thermometer so you don't have to keep opening the lid to check temps.
  • Rest the beef tenderloin. Remove the roast from the grill and let it rest on a wire rack (can be the same rack). Rest the roast until the internal temperature has stopping going up and starts to go back down, about 10-15 minutes.
  • Sear the beef tenderloin. Preheat a heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef tallow and sear the roast on all sides until they get a crispy golden brown crust, about 1-2 minutes a side. Remove back to the rack.
  • Saute the sauce aromatics. Add the shallot, garlic, and mushrooms to the skillet and saute until the mushrooms are just starting to turn tender, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Make the sauce. Add in the cabernet sauvignon and thyme. Simmer until the wine is reduced, almost evaporated, about 5-8 minutes. Add the stock and simmer lightly for 5 minutes.
  • Thicken the sauce. Whisk the flour and cold water together to make a slurry. Whisk this into the sauce and let simmer until thickened, another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Slice and serve. Slice the roast in 1/2 inch medallions. Serve 1-2 per person and top with some of the red wine mushroom sauce.

Notes/Substitutions

  • A center cut beef tenderloin is expensive so here are two budget-friendly alternatives
    • An untrimmed butt end of a whole beef tenderloin costs $3 less per pound.  I show how to trim this cut into a roast below.
    • A top sirloin petite roast is similar in shape and size.  It is richer in flavor and almost as tender.  The best part is that it costs a good deal less.

How to Trim a Beef Tenderloin Butt

The butt end of a beef tenderloin can be a bit intimidating. But it isn’t that difficult to trim and will save you a few bucks per pound.

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The goal is to remove the fatty membrane on top. the “chain” (top left) and the side roast (bottom right).  This will leave you with a gorgeous roast.

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First, work a finger underneath the membrane as shown below, separating it from the meat.

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Next, use your fingers working along the seam on both sides of the roast.  You may have to use a sharp boning knife to remove it in some places.  But you can do about 80% of this just by hand.

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Now you have the center roast and the next step is to remove this white band which is called “silver skin”.  This is not fat and won’t render during cooking so don’t leave it on.  Work the tip of your boning knife below the silver skin and slice it off into long strips.

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Use the chain to make beef chunks (left) for kebabs, tacos or whatever.  In the center is the beef tenderloin roast.  The iliacus or “side roast” (right) can either be cut into chunks, petite filet or cooked as a small roast.

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Cooking Notes

I cooked this on my SABER 1500 Elite SSE as follows.

  • The outer two burners were on low and the center one is off.
  • The roasts are on a rack above a skillet.
  • I have a remote probe thermometer to monitor the roast’s internal temps while they cook.
  • The lid is closed while cooking.

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If you don’t have a grill safe skillet, you can just use a small sheet pan as shown below.  I prefer the skillet because using it on the grill helps preheat it.

Another trick shown in this picture is that morsel of beef to the left.  That’s a “taster”.  I took one of the beef chunks, seasoned it, and cooked it.  That lets you taste to see if you need to adjust the seasonings on the roasts.

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When it comes to beef, a golden brown crust means flavor from the Maillard reaction.  I think cast iron pans do the best job for searing.

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It’s hard to go wrong pairing mushrooms with beef.

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Sure, you could make this sauce inside on the stove top….but why on Earth would you want to do that when you can be outside using your grill?

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The sauce is finished when you can scrape a spatula across the skillet like this and the sauce doesn’t immediately fill in the void.

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A meal fit for any celebration or holiday! We like to serve it with roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

peppered beef tenderloin

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