From the Pioneer Woman
First, let me just say, LOOK AT THAT PICTURE. Sweet, sweet nearly raw meat, how we love you in the HMK. On nights when we can’t afford to go pick up a beef tenderloin (99.9% of nights) we just pull up this picture and drool a little.
The exciting event that spurred the purchase of this beautiful piece of meat was one of our signature dinner party test runs. We are planning to do a surf and turf extravaganza for a few friends on New Year’s Eve, but until recently we had very little experience with turf. Far be it for us to make everyone chip in for expensive meat on NYE only to over cook it (just typing it makes me sad inside). So we splurged on a random weeknight to test it out, and boy are we glad we did.
If you’ve ever cooked large hunks of meat before, you know that the most important tool, hands down, is a meat thermometer. We know this. That’s why when we started the recipe we rummaged through our big bin of crap potentially useful kitchen gadgets and found one. We popped it in the meat, set it on the grill, and…EXPLOSION. As it turns out, our meat thermometer is NOT, I repeat NOT, the kind you can leave in the oven or grill. Considering it was Pyrex brand and their supposed specialty is awesome glass capable of cooking on the surface of the sun, this was a very shocking discovery. So now our [expensive] dinner is cooking away, our thermometer is ruined, and we have absolutely no idea what temp we are at. Back to the bin of [lifesaving] gadgets. The only other thermometer we have is a candy thermometer…also not heat stable, but it does have a really long metal part. SO, John runs back to the grill and Macgyvers some sort of extensive temperature reading station (being honest, I avoid going outside in the fall/winter in Chicago, and thus never actually went out to see this invention. I’m sure it was marvelous). In the end: IT WORKED!!! I’ll refer you back to the majestic picture above for proof.
Bottom line: if you are looking for an impressive and delicious holiday protein, consider beef tenderloin…but buy a heat stable meat thermometer FIRST!!!
- 1 whole beef tenderloin (butt), about 4-5 lb
- seasoned salt, to taste (be liberal with it, since only the outside touches seasoning)
- lemon pepper seasoning, to taste (be liberal with it, since only the outside touches seasoning)
- olive oil
- 4 Tbsp butter, divided
- whole peppercorns (about 1/3 cup or more, to taste)
- Preheat grill or oven to 475 degrees.
- Rinse meat and trim off any fat and cartilage (we’re spoiled and our butcher did this for us, which saves a lot of time).
- Generously sprinkle seasoned salt on the meat, rubbing it in with your hands.
- Generously sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on the meat, rubbing it in with your hands.
- Heat a skillet and add enough olive oil to lightly coat the bottom.
- When oil reaches it’s smoking point, place the tenderloin in the pan and toss 2 tablespoons butter in next to the meat.
- Sear each side of the meat for a minute or two.
- Remove seared meat from pan and set aside.
- Place the peppercorns in a plastic bag. Smash them with a mallet or whatever aggression-releasing tool you have lying around. They don’t need to be dust, just broken up a bit.
- Use your hands to rub the peppercorns into the surface of the meat, covering all sides and pressing to make them stick.
- Place the tenderloin directly onto the grill or in an oven pan with a roasting rack.
- Top the tenderloin with remaining 2 tablespoons of butter.
- Insert meat thermometer and cook until meat reaches just under 140 degrees.
- Place meat on a cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Slice and enjoy!