Horseradish-Crusted Beef Tenderloin
A crisp horseradish crust contrasts nicely with the mild flavor of beef tenderloin, but most horseradish-crusted recipes are uninspired and when carving time comes around, the crust falls off the meat in patches. We wanted to combine the bracing flavor of horseradish with a crisp, golden crust that would add textural contrast to rosy, medium-rare meat—and we wanted it to stick.
We chose to use a center-cut roast—also called a Châteaubriand—because its uniform shape cooks evenly. After lightly flouring the meat and applying a thin wash of egg white, we rolled the roast in crushed potato chips and panko bread crumbs flavored with horseradish, mayonnaise, mustard, minced shallot, garlic, and herbs. Potato chips may seem unconventional but they kept their crunch and contributed an appealing, salty potato flavor. In order to avoid store-bought potato chips’ processed taste, we made our own by frying shredded potato in oil until browned and crisp. To make the crust adhere to the meat after being sliced, we replaced the egg white with gelatin. Because both meat and gelatin are made up of linear proteins that form tight bonds with each other, the gelatin mixture bound the bread crumbs firmly to the meat, yet yielded slightly as we cut it.
And to prevent the crust from turning soggy from meat juices released during cooking, we seared the meat in a hot skillet and let it rest so that its juices could drain off before applying the paste and the crumbs. Then we coated only the top and sides of the tenderloin, leaving an “opening” on the bottom for meat juices to escape as it roasted.
- Serves 6
- 1 beef tenderloin center-cut Châteaubriand (about 2 pounds), trimmed of fat and silver skin
- Kosher salt (see note)
- 3 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
- 1 cup plus 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 1 small shallot, minced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
- 2 medium cloves garlic, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
- 1/4 cup well-drained prepared horseradish (see note)
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves
- 1 small russet potato (about 6 ounces), peeled and grated on large holes of box grater
- 1 1/2 teaspoons mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered gelatin (see note)
If using table salt, reduce the amount in step 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons. Add the gelatin to the horseradish paste at the last moment, or the mixture will become unspreadable. If desired, serve the roast with Horseradish Cream Sauce (recipe follows; you will need 2 jars of prepared horseradish for both the roast and sauce). If you choose to salt the tenderloin in advance, remove it from the refrigerator 1 hour before cooking. To make this recipe 1 day in advance, prepare it through step 3, but in step 2 do not toss the bread crumbs with the other ingredients until you are ready to sear the meat.
1. Sprinkle roast with 1 tablespoon salt, cover with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Toss bread crumbs with 2 teaspoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in 10-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until deep golden brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to rimmed baking sheet and cool to room temperature (wipe out skillet). Once cool, toss bread crumbs with shallot, garlic, 2 tablespoons horseradish, parsley, and thyme.
3. Rinse grated potato under cold water, then squeeze dry in kitchen towel. Transfer potatoes and remaining cup oil to 10-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over high heat, stirring frequently, until potatoes are golden brown and crisp, 6 to 8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to paper towel-lined plate and season lightly with salt; let cool for 5 minutes. Reserve 1 tablespoon oil from skillet and discard remainder. Once potatoes are cool, transfer to quart-size zipper-lock bag and crush until coarsely ground. Transfer potatoes to baking sheet with bread-crumb mixture and toss to combine.
4. Pat exterior of tenderloin dry with paper towels and sprinkle evenly with remaining teaspoon pepper. Heat reserved tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Sear tenderloin until well browned on all sides, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and let rest 10 minutes.
5. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons horseradish, mayonnaise, and mustard in small bowl. Just before coating tenderloin, add gelatin and stir to combine. Spread horseradish paste on top and sides of meat, leaving bottom and ends bare. Roll coated sides of tenderloin in bread-crumb mixture, pressing gently so crumbs adhere in even layer that just covers horseradish paste; pat off any excess.
6. Return tenderloin to wire rack. Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 120 to 125 degrees for medium-rare, 25 to 30 minutes.
7. Transfer roast to carving board and let rest 20 minutes. Carefully cut meat crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve.
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