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Beef Tenderloin Two Ways

What do you do when you are in your local Lowes Foods and you find a $130 cut of grass fed beef tenderloin at 50% off? You buy that sucker, take it home and dry brine it!! Then you ask you dig through recipes, ask for advice and suggestions, and get to work. At least that is what yours truly did. I settled on steaks and Beef Wellington cooked a few days a part. Here is how that went.


I trimmed the silverskin from the tenderloin and cut it in half, the half that was smaller in diameter I placed in a vacuum sealable container, sprinkled it with kosher salt, sealed it up and put it in the fridge where it would spend the next 96 hours. We will come back to that.

The other half got the same treatment along with some rosemary and Pennsylvania Pepper however it went into a vacuum seal bag for 24 hours.

After the dry brine worked it magic it was time to do use take advantage of some modern conveniences, chiefly my Anova Precision Cooker, a sous vide machine, aka the hot tub time machine aka HTTM. The sealed bag went into the HTTM for 3 hours at 130F. When time was up I put the beef, still in the bag, in an ice bath, because strangely, my wife and daughter seemed to be taking a long time 'shopping'. No matter. A quick ice bath and then into the fridge to hold. When I received the text that they were on their way home I started the Kingsford and prepped the Weber. Thirty minutes later the ladies walked in, the grill was hot and I started to slice the tenderloin into steaks and give them a healthy dose of Oakridge BBQs Santa Maria Steak Rub. I made sure to save the drippings to make gravy with later in the week. Here is what they looked like before going on the grill.

I walked out the door saying, dinner will be served in six minutes. Please finish the salad", and headed out to the Weber. I use my GrillGrates with the flat side over the SlowNSear and the raised grill mark side on the indirect heat side of the Weber. This gives me a consistent sear across the meat, grill marks are pretty, but they aren't giving you as much flavor as you deserve. Trust me on this. Bam, I was back inside carrying a plate full of what would be the most tender steaks I have ever eaten. I have had $100 plates of ribeye and porterhouse and some of America's top steak houses. I killed them, this beef was top notch. Steak and salad no need for taters that night.

And fast forward to Saturday...Remember that other half of the tenderloin we left to dry brine so long? It is time to bring it out. Note the difference in color in the before and after pictures.

Now it was time to put a generous coat of fresh ground Pennsylvania Pepper, rosemary, and a sprinkle of Santa Maria Steak Rub on and vacuum seal this beast. It went into the HTTM at 130F for 3 hours as well. When it came out I added the drippings to those I reserved from the steaks earlier in the week, plucked the larger bits of rosemary off the beef, and gave the tenderloin a quick sear in olive oil in a pan. I pulled the steak out and immediately brushed it with a stone ground mustard that had a touch of horseradish in it.  Next it was time to wrap the tenderloin with prosciutto, Gordon Ramsey's recipe called for Parma Ham but we did not find any so we sent in a sub. I laid the prosciutto down, ground some PA pepper over it and wrapped it tightly around the beef, sealing it. It went into the fridge to set. While the beef set I worked on the mushroom stuffing, 8 ounces of regular button mushrooms and 8 ounces of baby portobellos went into a food processor with salt, PA Pepper, turmeric, thyme, and celery seed. Then the mushroom mix went into a pan to get as much water out as possible. I set the mushroom mix aside to cool in a container raising one end so that any remaining water would drain to the end. It was time to pull out the puff pastry. As it turned out, I had just enough pastry to cover the beef (lesson learned). I laid out the pastry dough, spread the mushroom mixture on it evenly and wrapped it tightly around the tenderloin making sure to seal the ends tight. Then it went into the refrigerator to set until it was closer to dinner time. I took the drippings from searing, added the reserved drippings from the HTTM cooks, added water, worcestershire, salt and beef stock and whisked in some flour along with some red wine. I also had some leftover mushroom mix so I added that as well. Once those ingredients had married but not yet thickened, I put it all in a blender to smooth out the texture. I vacuumed sealed corn on the cob with tarragon and butter and set the HTTM to 184F. I turned the oven to 420F. When they both reached temperature the wellington received an egg yolk wash and generous dusting of sea salt and it went into the oven. The corn went into the HTTM. The corn came out 30 minutes later and went into a pan to be seared, caramelizing the sugars in the corn and making it the perfect bite. After the corn finished (five minutes) the wellington was ready and it was time to serve dinner at the table for a proper family meal.