Pepper-Crusted Center-Cut 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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Serves 6

It is important to use coarsely cracked (and not ground) pepper for this recipe. To ensure that you are using only coarsely cracked pepper, sift it through a fine-mesh strainer. You can crack the pepper by hand using the bottom of a skillet or saucepan. You can also use the coarsest setting on some pepper grinders to achieve the right texture. Center-cut beef tenderloin roasts are sometimes sold as Châteaubriand. Serve with our Pomegranate-Port Sauce or Red Wine–Orange Sauce (see related content), if desired.

Ingredients

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