A holiday recipe for Roast Tenderloin of Beef
Makes 8 servings (6 ounces each )
3 pounds of beef tenderloin
For the brine:
1 quart water
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5 ounces kosher salt
2 ounces brown sugar (about 4 tablespoons)
1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
1 yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
1 turnip, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon celery seeds
5 juniper berries
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
1 teaspoon allspice powder
1 quart ice
Chef’s Note: The secret to this recipe is the brining, which helps to ensure a moist, flavorful roast. Tenderloin is unmistakably tender, but relatively bland, and this brine helps to punch up the flavor. Be sure to purchase and truss the beef and begin the brining process in the refrigerator two days in advance of cooking the meat so the brine has time to do its work.
1. In a large saucepan combine the water, salt, brown sugar, chopped bell pepper, onion, carrot, turnip, celery seed, juniper berries, peppercorns and allspice and bring to a boil for 2 minutes to meld the flavors. Pull off the heat and allow to cool for a few minutes to combine the flavors. Pour brining liquid over the ice. The ice will melt, cooling the brine and diluting the salt. Leave the chopped vegetables and spices in the brining liquid as their flavors will continue to develop.
2. Remove any silver skin from the tenderloin by using a sharp knife. Using kitchen string truss the beef by tying up the tenderloin at intervals. Tie the thin part of the meat under a slightly thicker piece so the roast will cook evenly. Place the meat in a food-grade container just big enough to hold it and the brine.
3. Pour the cool brine (the brine must be cool!) over the meat until the beef is fully submerged, cover the container and refrigerate. If the container is too big you might not have enough liquid to cover the tenderloin. If so, on the second day, turn the tenderloin over in the brine and continue to refrigerate the meat in the brine. The process should take a total of two days.
4. When you are ready to cook the meat lift the tenderloin out of the brine and rinse off any excess liquid; discard the brine. Place meat on a roasting rack and season with ground black pepper and salt. Roast until the thickest part of the tenderloin reaches your desired doneness. Allow roast to rest before carving. Any drippings that escape from the beef while it is resting will be delicious stirred into your favorite gravy.
Editor’s Note: The USDA recommends cooking roasts to an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
Recipe provided by Jared Carpenter, an alumnus of Seattle Culinary Academy
at Seattle Central Community College, and Chef Alex Pitts