Saturday, July 2, 2011

Fire Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Have you ever made one of those recipes where at the beginning, you question the quantities of on or more ingredients? And then during the process, you question the quantities of on or more ingredients?

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Smoky Tomato-Chili Salsa from Wolfgang Puck's Live, Love, Eat! was one of those for me last week. The quantities of the liquids for the salsa seemed ridiculously out of proportion. Fortunately, Alexis and I adjusted on the fly and ended up salvaging the salsa by adding more chunky ingredients to balance out the soupy mess into a reasonable salsa.

The end result was a buttery tender beef roast and a flavor filled salsa that were a food marriage made in heaven.

Perhaps there was a conversion error when they were writing the book. Maybe they just had huge roma tomatoes. Either way, Puck can cook circles around me and it is still a good cook book. I've had it for 5 years or so and everything else I have made from it has been quite good. 

Here is what we ended up doing.

fire roasted beef tenderloin, big green egg beef tenderloin roast, grill dome beef recipe

Fire Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Smoky Salsa
Inspired by Live, Love, Eat! By Wolfgang Puck

2 lb beef tenderloin roast (I used a center cut section)
1 Tbsp Dead End BBQ beefrub (sub 1.5 tsp salt, 1 tsp black pepper, ½ tsp garlic powder)

10 small Roma tomatoes, cored
1 small onion, sliced
2 ea chipotle, seeded and diced
½ cup basil, chopped
6 cloves garlic
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ cup olive oil

Prepare grill for direct heat at 400f or medium high heat. Roast the tomatoes, onion slices and garlic, turning every few minutes until the onions are tender and the tomatoes and garlic are blackened and blistered. Remove from heat and let cool. Cut your grill heat to 250f and set up for indirect heat.
Veggies fresh from our garden.
Don't freak out if they split.

Use a cocktail toothpick to make grilling garlic easy.
Meanwhile, whisk the lime juice, balsamic vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper together. Slowly add in the oil while you continue to whisk.

Chop the veggies once cooled. Add the chipotle and basil, tossing to mix. Add the liquid mixture until you have the consistency you want for the salsa.

Rub your beef tenderloin with the beef rub and cook over indirect heat (250f as previously noted) until it reaches the internal temperature for the degree of doneness you want. I wanted medium rare so I was shooting for 125f to 130f. This took almost exactly one hour on my Big Green Egg but go by temps, not times.
fire roasted beef tenderloin, big green egg beef tenderloin roast, grill dome beef recipe

Change your grill to a direct heat set up and bring the grill heat to 450-500f. Now grill the roast directly over the heat source for about 1 minute per side just to get a darker browning for the outer crust. Let rest for at least 15 minutes. I had a little of the liquid left from the salsa mix and brushed it on as a glaze during the rest.

Slice and serve with the salsa.

We annihilated this dish. There was NOTHING left between the four of us. The salsa is not your normal tomato salsa since it uses basil instead of cilantro and has balsamic vinegar added.  But it is perfectly paired with the normally bland but tender beef fillet. It acts more as a "sauce-ah" than a salsa.

fire roasted beef tenderloin, big green egg beef tenderloin roast, grill dome beef recipe

The benefit of the “reverse sear” technique is obvious in the picture above.  Instead of having varying degrees of doneness, the roast is medium rare almost all the way through.

So back to my question, have you ever had one of those recipes where you just KNEW one of the quantities was wrong before you started?

Don't forget, if you need ideas or recipes for the grill this 4th of July - check out


  1. Chris- I'm think I'm going to have to come down to your house and relive you of some of that beef tenderloin. LOL! Seriously though, quite often I come across recipes that I know are completely off. I've pretty well learned my lesson with them and tend to go with what I think. Of course, it depends on who wrote the cookbook and how much I trust them. This beef is so perfectly cooked that I'm actually jealous. I can only imagine what you're serving for the 4th. I hope it's a great one!

  2. I have had one of those recipes, and then I feel very smug when I realize I had to correct either the publisher or the chef and serve it up correctly. :-) As always, this looks fabulous Chris. One of these days I'm going to cook a whole tenderloin...when I'm feeling brave.

  3. I guesss even Wolfgang is entitled to a mistake. It appears in one of your photos that you have a thermometer stuck into the meat. I use mine all the time. This is beautiful work, and regrettably not one I can reproduce without owning a grill. Alas.

  4. Looks delicious Chris and I believe I see this in my future. I have a tenderloin wet aging in the fridge and some fresh picked onion, garlic, and plumb tomatoes.

  5. That tenderloin looks fantastic! And yes, I have had one of those recipes and unfortunately, it was before I felt comfortable making tweaks to recipes. I followed the recipe to the T and it was almost inedible...too much garam masala and if you have ever had too much of that you know it can ruin an entire meal!

  6. Garlic kebabs; who'da thunk it? Great looking meal!

  7. I don't know how you do it but every time I visit you I crave meat! This looks impossibly and irresistibly delicious! It doesn't surprise me that there were no leftovers.

  8. Just yesterday my wife wouldn't let me buy the beef tenderloin for grilling on the Fourth. I will now offically forward you post to her.

  9. @Kim - Thanks! Come on down any time:)

    @Lea Ann - I have a feeling you would nail a whole tenderloin first try (with an assist from Tony's of course)

    @Stephen - Oh yeah, a remote probe thermometer is one of my favorite tools for roasts.

    @Larry - Just bought 3 day old garlic at the market and WOW does really fresh garlic make a difference.

    @Jenn - Ha! Garam marsala is certainly an ingredient that you wouldn't want to go heavy on. I bet that made you trust your instincts from there on out:)

    @Paul - It's one of those simple "Why didn't I think of that" tricks.

    @Reeni - It's only fair, your posts always make me want to go straight to the kitchen.

    @Dr Dan - Tell her it is 5 meals for the two of you. 4 fillet, 1 roast (2 meals), and ground fillet burgers from the chain of bull scraps.

  10. I'm about to buy a whole tenderloin or rib-eye for a party, but I think I'll wimp out and slice it into steaks. I'm going to be cramming for this event by reading your blog posts. Love the fire roasted salsa and the garlic trick!

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  12. You'd love KC right now -- we are in some sort of BBQ frenzy with competitions happening every other weekend...

  13. I have that Wolfgang Puck cookbook, but have never made this recipe. It looks delicious! Thanks for "testing" it and correcting it for me!

    Kim in MD

  14. Chris, I do the reverse sear method since I first heard about it from MEATHEAD. However, I do not indirect cook it at low heat to the finished temp. If I want it 125-130 finished, I usually start the sear when the internal temp reaches 105-110. What's your take?

  15. Kroger had beef tenderloin for $8.99/pound this week so we gave this recipe a try. Fantastic!! We had one person who prefers well done so I sliced off a steak for her while waiting for the egg to come to temp for the reverse sear. Cooked it while I was searing the larger roast. Amazing! I roasted the salsa veggies the night before which was a time saver.


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