Perfect For Your Holiday Buffet – Fennel and Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin

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Tender slices of medium-rare beef accented with a creamy mustard sauce – who (among beef eaters) wouldn’t want to see that on a holiday table?  With Christmas and New Years right around the corner, here is an easy to grill, delicious beef tenderloin that you can get on the table in about an hour. The tenderloin is the cut of beef that filet mignon and Chateaubriand are from and so it is perfect for a casual or elegant holiday table.  First sear over direct high heat, slather with fennel seed, herbs, garlic, and butter, and then finish on the indirect side of the grill.  It’s that easy!

I wanted to take my new Bull Outdoor Products Bison Charcoal Grill Cart out for a drive and couldn’t think of a better cut of meat to go with me.  Of course, it’s just as delicious prepared on the gas grill in your outdoor kitchen.  

Fennel and Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin

serves eight to ten

One 4- to 4 1/2 pound center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt (1/2 teaspoon per pound of meat)
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

Extras:
Butcher’s twine (optional)
Drip pan

Method:
Direct and indirect grilling

Take the tenderloin out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes before you want to start grilling to take the chill off the meat. If you are using a charcoal grill, get your fire going now — that way your meat and your coals will be ready about the same time. When the coals are ready, bank them to one side of the grill for two-zone cooking. If you are using gas, set your grill up for indirect cooking over high heat.

Tie the meat every inch or so with the butcher’s twine so that it holds it’s shape (purely for aesthetics). Rub the tenderloin with the oil and season with salt and pepper. In a bowl, use a fork to mash together and combine the remaining ingredients.

Sear the meat directly over the fire for about 2 to 3 minutes per side to get some brown crustiness starting to happen (brown crustiness = flavor). Remove the meat from the grill and let it rest until it’s cool to the touch; about 5 minutes. Slather the top of the meat with the fennel and butter mixture and place on the indirect side over a drip pan. Close the cover and grill roast for 35 to 45 minutes or until the internal temperature registers 125°F to 130ºF for medium-rare to medium. Try not to take it past medium as there is not a lot of fat in this cut, so it will start to get tough.  Loosely tent with foil and let rest for 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute through the meat.  Slice across into 1/2-inch pieces and serve hot or at room temp (on a buffet) with a little Creamy Dijon Sauce (recipe below) on the side.

Creamy Dijon Sauce

3/4 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Large pinch of kosher salt

Stir all ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Chill until ready to serve. Will keep covered in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Cheers and Happy Grilling!
~ Jeff

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