Cooking a perfect, center cut beef tenderloin is one of our favorite, classic “special occassion” dishes to make when entertaining. Surprisingly easy to prepare, as this delicate, delicious cut of meat needs little enhancement to make it taste any better than it already does. Usually we just rub it with a bit salt and pepper, freshly chopped rosemary and garlic a few hours before we cook it, adding a touch of olive oil to help the rub stick to the meat. Last week, however, we were cooking for some bacon loving friends, so after cooking a batch of bacon to include in my Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Brown Sugar, I let the fat harden just a bit to be able to use it instead of oil in the rub. The result, an extra layer of smoky richness in the already decadent dish. Delicious!
Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Bacon Fat and Garlic
1 two pound, center cut beef tenderloin, all access fat removed
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh rosemary
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons bacon fat
About 2 hours before cooking the meat rub it all over with the bacon fat, season generously with salt and pepper, then rub the garlic and rosemary into the meat, forming a crust all around it. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for 2 hours. Let come up slightly to room temp before cooking. When ready to cook pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the unwrapped meat in the center of a baking dish. Place in the oven and cook for about 25-30 minutes, until a meat thermometer reads 135 degrees. Remove from the oven and tent the meat for 10 minutes, this will help it cook up a touch more to about 140-145 (about medium rare-medium) and let the juices redistribute. Cut against the grain and serve with a bit of red wine sauce, and horseradish-mustard mashed potatoes and the Brussels sprouts.
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