Sunday, September 6, 2009

Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Portobello Marsala Sauce

This recipe was originally posted in Southern Living magazine in 2005 and we have made it a half dozen times. It is a relatively easy dish to prepare and it works well in the oven or on a grill. The tenderness of the beef and flavor of the marsala sauce have never failed to impress our guests. (Here it is served with parmesan roasted asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes last night.)

Portobello Marsala Sauce
8 ounce Baby portobello mushrooms sliced

3 tablespoon Butter divided

3 cloves Garlic minced

2 ea Shallot diced
2 cups Marsala wine
1 cup Chicken broth

Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium skillet over high heat; add mushrooms, and sauté 10 minutes or until mushrooms are browned and liquid is evaporated. Add 1 tablespoon butter, garlic, and shallots to skillet; sauté 5 minutes.

Stir in Marsala and chicken broth, stirring to loosen browned bits from bottom of skillet. Bring to a boil, and cook 20 minutes or until reduced by two-thirds. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

*1 (8-ounce) package sliced button mushrooms may be substituted.

Yield: Makes 1 1/2 cups

Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Portobello Marsala Sauce
2 teaspoon Pepper fresh ground

1 teaspoon Salt kosher

1 teaspoon Lemon pepper
1/4 teaspoon Granulated garlic
1/4 teaspoon Thyme dried

4 pounds Beef tenderloin trimmed

Portobello-Marsala Sauce see recipe above

Ask your butcher to trim the tenderloin, or do it yourself. Use a sharp, thin knife to cut away the top layer of fat and the thin (about 2-inch-wide) membrane called silver skin.

Garnishes: fresh thyme sprigs, roasted garlic bulbs

Combine first 5 ingredients; pat mixture evenly over beef. Cover and stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

Broil 6 inches from heat 15 minutes on a lightly greased rack in a roasting pan; reduce oven temperature to 375°, and bake 30 to 35 minutes or until a meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 140° or to desired degree of doneness.

Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Serve with Portobello-Marsala Sauce (BigOven recipe 163395). Garnish, if desired.

Yield: Makes 6 to 8 servings

Cybil Brown Talley, Atlanta, Georgia
Southern Living, NOVEMBER 2005

Here are my changes/tips:
I like to use the butt end of the tenderloin with the "chain of bull" still attached. Normally you remove this side piece when trimming in fillet mignon, but since this is a roast, I wanted to keep some of the fat content. I did trim off the silver skin and excess pieces of fat, just not the whole strip. I cut the other 2/3rds into fillets.
Tie your roast for even cooking as shown above. Yes I know just three posts or so ago I was telling you to flatten your meat for even cooking and now I'm telling you to tie it to keep it round for even cooking. The difference is direct vs indirect cooking. In direct, all of your heat is coming from one direction as shown on the left, so if your meat is flat, it will be heated evenly. In indirect , heat is bouncing around and reflecting from all sorts of directions, so you want a more round "target" (your meat) so that heat will hit all surfaces somewhat evenly. (Nice graphic, huh? :) I spent a whole 5 minutes making it.)If doing on a grill, SEAR the roast at 600f for 60-90 seconds a side. Believe it or not, the string will not burn. Then cut the temp to 400-425f and ROAST the meat indirect until it hits your target temp. I'd estimate the roasting time at about 40 minutes, but I was watching the thermometer, not the clock.

The recipe calls for 140f internal which will be medium by the time it rests, because even after taking it off the grill, it will cook to at least 145f. I pulled ours at 135f and let it rest where it rose to 140f. This gave us some medium rare in the middle and the ends were more on the medium side of medium rare.
Wood: I used Jack Daniels Oak chips, which is my normal wood for beef like chuck roasts and briskets. I didn't really care for it with this cut, it was a bit strong. Next time I'll stick with plain lump coal.

Slice it and serve topped with the marsala sauce. Delicious stuff!