Beef tenderloin is actually the perfect weeknight entertaining choice. For a special dinner, it’s big, it’s fancy and it’s quick and easy. My Mother used to always say, “Make a roast, Mary. It’s easy!” And you know, she was right.
So, remember, it’s always about the ingredients and their quality. So as long as you’re spending money on a tenderloin, get the best that you can. My butcher, Bob, at Esposito’s, has the best! His man, Solomon, did a spectacular job trimming and tying this piece of meat. See how even it is all the way through. These butchers take enormous pride in their job and it certainly shows. (They’re located at 38th Street and 9th Avenue.)
Now I don’t think I’ve told you, but we’re moving our offices (I do have another day job running a brand design and marketing communications firm) down to TriBeCa so I’ve been a little off this week and I will be until the end of the month. We’ve been in our current space for 10 years and accumulated way too much stuff. I promise I’ll get back on track when this is all over. But we’re very excited about our new space!
Back to the dinner party I had this past Thursday night. I made up this recipe as a combination of what I made on Christmas day and what I used to make years and years ago from, believe it or not, Joy of Cooking! I received this cookbook from my sewing teacher, the wonderful Mrs. Mellor, at a bridal shower 30 years ago!! (OMG) My Mom was so afraid that I would be a tomboy and useless wife, and because I went to Catholic school, we were not taught home economics, so she coerced the woman who taught sewing at the public high school to give me private lessons one summer, in order for me to learn how to sew. Mrs. Mellor was a wonderful woman with an infectious laugh, twinkling eyes and everything was always okay with her, even if you really screwed up – she would fix it. She ended up making all of my bridesmaids dresses from this beautiful silk I had bought – 4 of them – all as a gift!! Sweet, sweet woman! Her son, Jimmy, was a good friend of my two brothers and we recently reconnected through Facebook! Good ol’ Facebook. He’s an airline pilot for American Airlines flying the St. Louis to LaGuardia route. I always look for him when I fly back home. He said I should just knock on the cockpit door next time, that they get lonely in there. Well, these days I think I’d get shot!
Here’s what I made.
BACON-WRAPPED BEEF TENDERLOIN
– serves 10 – 12
1 (5.5 lbs.) beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
1 rounded tbs. kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
6 garlic cloves, minced
15 slices of bacon
1/2 cup creme fraiche
2 tbs.white horseradish
Several dashes of Tabasco
Season the tenderloin all over with the salt, pepper, and garlic. Cover the meat and refrigerate overnight. Let it come to room temperature for 2 hours before roasting.
Heat oven to 500 degrees. Wipe off as much garlic and seasonings as possible with a paper towel. The flavors have penetrated the meat overnight. Place the meat on a rack in a large roasting pan and wrap the bacon around it.
Place the roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and immediately reduce the heat to 400 degrees and roast for 30 – 40 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer reaches 120 degrees (for rare). Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before carving.
In a small bowl, whisk the crème fraîche and horseradish plus a few dashes of Tabasco. Serve alongside the tenderloin.