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Author Notes: This recipes comes from Lunch at the Shop by Peter Miller; we quite like it in an extra-fancy sandwich (https://food52.com/recipes/33137-roasted-tenderloin-sandwich-extra-fancy).
Of the tenderloin ends, Miller writes: "The tenderloin itself is not very flavorful, having little fat and having done little physical work; it is the shock absorber, or bumper guard, at both sides of the animal’s back. Italians often serve it when their children are feeling sick, for it is easy to chew and to digest. But it loves to be fussed with. Once you get it dressed up and cooked just to a pink on the inside and blackened outside, it makes a handsome addition, sliced thick, alongside a salad or layered into a sandwich.
You can make this dish with any part of the tenderloin, but the center cut can be expensive. Keep an eye out for the beef ends, the leftover piece where the tenderloin comes to a narrow point. The ends, when not folded and tied back onto the tenderloin, are often sold separately and at considerably less expense than the center cut. Some butchers even blend them into their ground beef. If you can find them, get some, or ask your butcher to hold them for you.
The beef ends cook and absorb flavors best at room temperature, so remove them from the refrigerator 15 minutes before preparing this dish." —Food52
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
- Pinch of red-pepper flakes
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon paprika or porcini mushroom powder
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound beef tenderloin ends
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup red or white wine
- 1/4 cup warm chicken or beef stock
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped, plus more as needed
- At home: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- In a stainless-steel bowl, combine the oil, red-pepper flakes, garlic, paprika or porcini powder, sugar, and salt and black pepper, to taste, and mix together into a paste. Roll the beef in the paste to coat. Add more black pepper. Cover the bowl with a plate or plastic wrap and set aside.
- Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat for a minute or two. Add a little oil to coat the pan, then add the butter and let it melt until foamy. Do not let the butter brown or burn.
- As the butter melts, wipe the excess marinade from the beef ends and lay them, a few at a time, in the pan. They should sizzle and begin to brown but not blacken. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan, or the temperature will drop and the beef will not sear properly. After the beef ends are browned, in 1 to 2 minutes, turn them and brown the other side, 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Transfer the pan to the oven. Roast the beef tips for a total of 8 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time. To test for doneness, push on them with your finger for a moment. When they have firmed up, when they do not give in as you push, they should be slightly pink and cooked to medium.
- Remove the pan from the oven and set aside on the stove top to rest for 5 minutes. Wrap the hot pan handle in a dishtowel or potholder to protect your hands and the hands of anyone coming in to see what is cooking.
- Remove the beef ends from the pan and set them on a warm plate. Pour off the fat in the pan and then add the wine. Set the pan over low heat and cook, scraping the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. As the wine reduces and thickens, add the stock, tomato paste, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste. Let the sauce bubble and thicken.
- Return the ends and any juices that have collected on the plate to the pan and roll them around in the sauce. Add the parsley and some additional pepper, and you are done.
- If you are serving them immediately, cut the ends into 1/2-inch-thick slices across the grain and place 3 or 4 slices on each plate. Pour the sauce over them and sprinkle them with a little extra parsley. Tenderloin loves to luxuriate. If you are taking the ends to work for lunch, pack them, unsliced, in their sauce in an airtight container and refrigerate.
- At the shop: Let the ends warm to room temperature and slice them into 1/2-inch medallions. They can be served with a salad, topped with a lemon vinaigrette, or put into a sandwich (https://food52.com/recipes/33137-roasted-tenderloin-sandwich-extra-fancy).
- Variations: There are many variations to cooking the tenderloins, for the cut loves the attention. You might chop rosemary and garlic into a paste with olive oil and salt and pepper, and smear that all over the ends before browning them. Or simply wrap them in prosciutto without any seasoning and add slivers of garlic to the pan. Then season them with salt and pepper after cooking.