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Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin


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  • 4 1/2 Teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 Teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 plus 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 9 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium orange
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 (6-pound) whole beef tenderloin , trimmed
  • Vegetable cooking spray
  • Red wine-orange sauce
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 shallots
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 Teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 Cups low sodium beef broth
  • 1 Cup red wine
  • 1/4 Cup orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Sprig fresh thyme
  • table salt
  • ground black pepper



Step 1

Prepare Ingredients

Coarsely crack enough whole black peppercorns to yield ½ cup. If using pepper mill, start with ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons peppercorns. Place cracked pepper in fine-mesh strainer and tap strainer to remove fine dust. Discard dust. Most mills will yield about 2 tablespoons dust along with ½ cup cracked pepper. Grate zest from 1 medium orange to yield 1 tablespoon.

Prepare and Cook Roast

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine 4 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, 1 ½ teaspoons granulated sugar, and ¼ teaspoon baking soda in bowl; set aside. Heat cracked peppercorns and 6 tablespoons olive oil in small saucepan over low heat until faint bubbles appear.Continue to cook at bare simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until pepper is fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes.

Using fine-mesh strainer, drain cooking oil from peppercorns. Discard cooking oil and mix peppercorns with remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, grated orange zest, and ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg. Set 1 (6-pound) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed, on sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle salt mixture evenly over surface of tenderloin and rub into tenderloin until surface is tacky.

Tuck tail end of tenderloin under about 6 inches to create more even shape. Rub top and side of tenderloin with peppercorn mixture, pressing to make sure peppercorns adhere. Spray three 12-inch lengths kitchen twine with vegetable oil spray; tie head of tenderloin to maintain even shape, spacing twine at 2-inch intervals. Transfer prepared tenderloin to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet, keeping tail end tucked under. Roast until thickest part of meat registers 120 degrees for rare and 125 degrees for medium-rare (meat will be slightly more done in thinner parts), 60 to 70 minutes.

Make Sauce

Start sauce as soon as roast goes into oven. Mince 2 shallots. You should have about 6 tablespoons. Mince 3 garlic cloves. You should have about 1 tablespoon. Melt 2 tablespoons unsalted butter in medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, and 2 teaspoons sugar. Cook, stirring frequently, until deep brown, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 cups beef broth, 1 cup red wine, ¼ cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire, and 1 sprig fresh thyme, scraping up any browned bits. Bring to simmer and cook until reduced to 1 cup, 35 to 40 minutes. Strain sauce through fine-mesh strainer and return to saucepan. Return saucepan to medium heat and whisk in remaining 4 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep sauce warm.

Rest and Slice Roast

When roast reaches desired temperature, transfer it to carving board and let rest for 30 minutes. Remove twine and slice meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve, passing sauce separately

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