As a family of humble means, we don’t often eat buy premium cuts of beef like deliciously fat-marbled rib roasts or melt-in-your-mouth tenderloin. We opt for chuck or sirloin, confident that a long, slow braise will break them down into the succulent, meaty heaven we’re after. But every so often we splurge on something special… as a meal for a celebration or just because it’s the weekend and we want to pat ourselves on the back for another hard fought week with something that feels congratulatory.
Working with Sterling Silver Premium Meats has afforded me the opportunity to work with incredible cuts of premium quality beef and now that we’ve spoiled ourselves, I’ll have a hard time returning to lesser cuts when we’re craving a succulent roast beef. I mean, can we talk about this tenderloin? Rosy pink and slow-roasted then seared to perfection, it’s coated in crushed peppercorns and dried porcini mushrooms, giving it incredible umami flavour that will have your mouth watering from the second you get that earthy, funky whiff from the bag. I’ve served it with a totally indulgent bourbon cream sauce with just the right amount of lemon to lift the heaviness of the beef and cream. If you’re planning on cooking for someone special, a lover or otherwise, this Valentine’s Day, may I suggest splurging on something truly celebratory and making them this elegant but entirely simple-to-make roast? I don’t know many better ways to show someone how much you appreciate them.
I did some research on cooking Beef Tenderloin since it’s not something I make often enough to just know what the best method it. If asked a week ago, I would have said that searing it off and finishing in the oven would likely produce a near-perfect roast… which is not a lie. It seems it’s the method used most by homecooks and one that is simple enough for anyone to try. But when I’m looking for the science behind cooking, I turn to Kenji Lopez-Alt, chief culinary consultant of the inspiring Serious Eats and author of the James Beard Award–nominated column The Food Lab. He unravels the mysteries of food using good old fashioned science and explains things in a way that makes sense, even to the not-so-science-minded folks (like me). From Kenji, I learned that when it comes to tender meats with little fat, “the faster a piece of meat cooks, the larger the temperature gradient within that piece of meat. This means that with a lean tenderloin, it’s very easy to end up with a roast that is well-done in the outer layers while the center barely hits medium-rare”. So with that little tidbit in mind, I took his advice to cook the tenderloin low and slow to an inner temp of 120 degrees followed by a quick sear in herb and garlic infused butter for colour and flavour. I feel like my sear wasn’t quite hot enough so I ended up a little deeper golden around the edges than what I was hoping for, but it was just freaking delicious anyways! Rosy pink from the center to the edges with a little crispy seared meat around the outside. I’m definitely going to experiment more with this method for roasts with minimal fat marbling.
If you’re feeling fancy, treat yourself to something special and give this ultra savory, shroomy beef tenderloin a go. It makes killer dinner and if you happen to have leftovers, slice the meat thin and make THE GREATEST ROAST BEEF SANDWICHES EVER. 🤤
You can find Sterling Silver Meats at Sobey’s/Safeway across Canada and buying is easy as anything. Look for their products in the meat department, but if you’re unable to find the cut or size you’re looking for you can simply chat with the butcher and have them cut one fresh in whatever size you need. A 3 pound beef tenderloin will feed 4 with leftovers…and you’re gonna want some leftovers, believe you me!
- BEEF TENDERLOIN
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 (2lb) center-cut Sterling Silver Premium Meats
- ½ cup dried porcini mushrooms, rough chopped
- 1½ tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 tbsp butter
- few sprigs of thyme, whole
- CREAM SAUCE
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 small shallot, minced
- ½ cup bourbon
- ¾ cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp lemon zest
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp parsley, minced
- MAKE AHEAD
- One day before you plan to serve your roast, sprinkle and press the salt all over the roast so it's coated well and let it sit on a rack in the fridge (uncovered). This will help dehydrate the top layer so the roast will brown quicker. If you can't manage a whole day, an overnight rest in the fridge will do, too.
- FOR THE TENDERLOIN
- Preheat oven to 225 and adjust your oven rack to the centre.
- In a spice mill/food processor, add the mushrooms and whole peppercorns and pulse until coarsely chopped.
- Rub down the whole tenderloin with the mushroom rub, pressing it into the meat so it sticks. Place your tenderloin on a rack and place into your 225 preheated oven. Cook until internal temperature registers 120°-125°F (49 to 52°C), 2-3 hours. I typically start checking the temp after 2 hours to get an idea of how much more time, if any, is needed. Remove from oven and let rest while you get your skillet prepared.
- Place 2 tbsp of butter in a heavy skillet over med-high heat. Once the butter is melted and starting to brown lightly, add in your thyme and let it flavour the butter for a minute. Remove the thyme and add your cooked roast to the skillet. Let it cook about 30 seconds on each side trying not to leave it too long or it can overcook. Turn and Remove from pan and let rest, tented in tin foil, for 5 minutes.
- FOR THE CREAM SAUCE
- Wipe out the pan you used for the roast, and place over medium heat. Add the butter and let it melt and start to bubble. Add the shallot and cook until very soft, 2 minutes. Add the bourbon and cook until reduced by half, 5 minutes. Pour in the cream, lemon zest and a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste and let simmer until sauce coats the back of a spoon, 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon and parsley.
Disclaimer: I am part of a Holiday Campaign sponsored by Sterling Silver Premium Meats and receive compensation as part of my affiliation with this group. Regardless, I only work with brands I use personally and enjoy.