Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Roast

Published November 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.

Why this recipe works:

Rubbing the raw tenderloin with an abrasive mixture of kosher salt, sugar, and baking soda transformed the surface into a magnet for the pepper crust. Cracking the pepper into rough pieces and sifting off any powdery grounds created the crunchiest crust and ideal textural contrast for the… read more

Rubbing the raw tenderloin with an abrasive mixture of kosher salt, sugar, and baking soda transformed the surface into a magnet for the pepper crust. Cracking the pepper into rough pieces and sifting off any powdery grounds created the crunchiest crust and ideal textural contrast for the juicy tenderloin. In order to tame the heat of so much pepper, we simmered the cracked pieces in oil and strained them before use, replacing some of the complex flavors with orange zest and nutmeg. For a final touch, we serve the pepper-crusted tenderloin with a tangy fruit juice–based sauce.

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Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Roast

Tenderloin with a crunchy peppercorn crust sounds ideal—but not when it cracks off the roast or has a flavor so spicy that it overpowers the beef.

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Serves 10 to 12

Not all pepper mills produce a coarse enough grind for this recipe. For alternative methods for cracking peppercorns, see “Cracking Down on Peppercorns,” (related content). Serve with Red Wine–Orange Sauce or Pomegranate-Port Sauce (see related content), if desired.

Ingredients

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