What say you to a piece of beef and mustard?
Oh, Shakespeare and his rhetorical questions… I say:
Spend a small fortune and make Peppered Beef Tenderloin!
Peppered Beef Tenderloin may seem far too simple to require a recipe, but it does. In fact, it requires hand-crushed Tellicherry peppercorns, well-balanced seasoning, a well-timed rest, and paper-thin slices to get the beauty out of this pricey, tender cut of beef… Trust me.
1 pound Prime Beef Tenderloin
2 Tbs Whole Tellicherry Peppercorns
2 Tbs Kosher Salt
2 Glugs Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Sheet Parchment Paper
1 Small, Heavy Bottomed Pot or Skillet
1 Baking Sheet
Sturdy Cutting Board
First, Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
Next, get comfortable with your butcher. Explain that you are looking for a one pound roast; a center-cut of Prime Beef Tenderloin (you must purchase Prime). Tell them you are roasting it and need even-cooking throughout the loin. Request a clean “peeled” loin, with all fat and silver skin removed (unless you plan to do it yourself). Don’t forget to smile. Butchers love a smile and rarely get one… (you’re welcome, guys!).
Tellicherry are unique for one reason only– they are the largest of the peppercorns. And being that the larger peppercorns are fewer than the smaller peppercorns, they are prized for their availability. They work great for a hand-crushed preparation like this, because they crush beautifully. You can buy them at Costco.
How To Crush Peppercorns
Make a small handful of dried peppercorns, about two tablespoons, and carefully lay them flat and close together on a clean cutting board.
With the bottom of a small heavy skillet or pot, apply pressure to the peppercorns, trying not to lose any. This step can be difficult but DO NOT GIVE UP! This, after all, is the fun part. And the very reason it tastes sublime. No substitutions! Sorry for yelling…
Continue to apply force and slowly push the pan away from you, crushing the pepper. You will hear and feel small bursts of pepper. Keep it up. You will find your groove. Crush until they are beautifully uneven, colorful and fragrant.
Combine the crushed pepper and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Line your baking tray with parchment.
Rub the olive oil all over the tenderloin.
Spread the salt and pepper mixture on the cutting board.
Roll the tenderloin in the salt and pepper mixture being sure to coat it evenly.
Place the tenderloin on the parchment-lined baking sheet and roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
The beef should spring back when squeezed. Depending on your oven, it could need an additional 2-5 minutes– set your timer! In other words, utilize your smart phone timer and pay close attention.
Let him rest… until room temperature, about 20 minutes.
Slice paper-thin and serve as charcuterie with accoutrements of pickles, mustards, horseradish, olives, relishes, whatever turns you on.
Or, sliced thin and laced over arugula dressed with lemon, olive oil, crunchy salt and shaved Parmigiano Reggiano.