Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Grilled Beef Filet with Tarragon Garlic Butter

We didn't do anything for my birthday this year because I had two overnight cooking events back to back.  First I did a full BBQ spread for a co-worker's wedding shower at work and then left straight from there to cook at the Jim Beam Classic BBQ contest in Springfield, KY.  When I got home, Alexis surprised me with a nice pair of Certified Angus Beef filet - because, surprise surprise, I like to grill for my birthday, Father's day, and the like.

Bearnaise sauce is a personal favorite for beef filet but being worn out from days of cooking, I didn't feel like doing all of that whisking.  Instead I made a "bearnaise-ish" compound butter using some fresh tarragon and garlic instead of shallot.  Tarragon has a strong presence so it's best to use it sparingly and to add it at the end of the cooking process, perfect for a compound butter.

filet mignon on grill, filet mignon Big Green Egg, filet mignon kamado
CAB filet, baked potato, and brown butter carrots - simple and tasty.

You can just use regular black pepper but I like the flavor that the smoked black pepper adds.  We often cold smoke whole peppercorns ourselves.  It just takes a few hours and the whole peppercorns hold the smoke pretty well in storage.  When you grind them fresh, it gives a nice smoky kick.

Grilled Beef Filet with Tarragon Garlic Butter

Published 10/05/2015


  • 4 8-10 ounce CAB beef filet
  • NMT Beef Rub or your favorite beef rub
For the Tarragon Garlic Butter
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 leaves fresh tarragon, torn into pieces
  • 2 pinches kosher salt
  • 2 pinches smoked black pepper


  1. Mash together the butter, minced garlic, tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl.  Spoon this onto a sheet of wax paper and form into a log.  Refrigerate for at least and hour before serving.
  2. Set up your grill for direct heat and preheat your grill to 450°f.
  3. Lightly oil the steaks with a high temperature oil, such as; canola or peanut oil, and season liberally on both sides.
  4. Grill the steaks about 4 1/2 to 5 minutes per side to an internal temperature of 125-130°f for medium rare.
  5. Remove the steaks from the grill and immediately top with 1-2 slices of the compound butter.  The carry-over cooking will melt the butter and bring the internal temperature up about 5 more degrees for a perfect medium rare.
  6. Serve quickly while the butter is still melting. 
Yield: 4 servings

cast iron plate setter, Grill Dome
Before grilling the steaks, I used the Grill Dome to bake the potatoes at 450°f for about an hour and then switched to direct heat for the steaks.  That indirect piece is a cast iron plate setter from Innovations by Chance.  I thought about just flipping it and cooking the steaks on the griddle side - that works well too.

CAB beef tenderloin,
I did a post about their selection process recently.

beef filet and carrots
In general, I don't season my steaks until the last minute before they go on the grill.

compound butter for steaks, how to make compound butter

I spoon the butter into the rough shape of a stick of butter.  I roll the wax sheet over the butter and tuck it back tightly like this.  Then I just roll it up and tuck the edges under.

Waste not, want not - I used the stem from the tarragon to help season the brown butter for the carrots.

certified angus beef filet, how to grill beef tenderloin
Mise en place - I make the brown butter ahead of time on the stove top and then just use it to finish off cooking some parboiled carrots.

I used a coarse grind of my NMT Beef Rub but you can use whatever you like. Montreal Seasoning is a popular one.  Simply salt, pepper, and granulated garlic are also easy and effective.

I didn't measure how much rub I used, just sprinkle an even, moderate coating like this.

Beef Filet on a Craycort Cast Iron Grate.

Grill Dome carrots
While the steaks came off and rested, I finished the carrots in the brown butter and then tossed in some brown sugar, salt, and pepper at the last minute.

Certified Angus Beef filet, filet on kamado, Vision filet mignon
Tip:  Take your compound butter back out of the fridge a bit before using so it melts easier.

grilled beef filet with tarragon garlic butter
Nicely done without a reverse sear.

Serving Ideas
Here are a few shots from the wedding shower that I cooked overnight on Thursday.  I had everything cooked (except the burgers and dogs) and transported it all in Cambro's to the office.  I sliced the brisket and pulled the pork there.  That keeps it warmer and retains the juices better than if I sliced/pulled it at home which starts it drying out.

Just did this on the computer, printed it out and Alexis decoupaged it onto a canvas frame.

Set up buffet style - excuse my blurry phone picture - I was in a hurry.

Here's how I did my "bbq sauce bar".  I got the little chalk clothes pins at AC Moore for something like 8 pieces for $3.
[Standard FTC Disclaimer]  We are sponsored by Grill Dome and Craycort.