This recipe is great for a crowd! It's my personal dinner party go-to recipe. It always wows guests. The bacon crust adds an updated twist to beef tenderloin while the old-school sauce gives it a more refined taste.
- 1 chateaubriand (3 to 4 pounds and about 10 inches long) or a whole trimmed tenderloin (about 5 pounds and 14 inches long)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound thin-cut bacon, at room temperature
- Fresh thyme leaves, for garnish
Green Peppercorn-Thyme Sauce (makes about 1¼ cups)
- 10 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes, divided
- 1 large shallot, peeled and minced (about 2 tablespoons)
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons brandy, preferably Cognac
- 1 tablespoon strong Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream
- 1 dash hot sauce, preferably Tabasco (optional)
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, plus 5 sprigs for infusing
- 1 tablespoon green peppercorns, pressed dry
For the roast:
1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Brush the tenderloin all over with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. If using a whole tenderloin, tuck the small ends of the tenderloin under each side to make sure that the roast is about the same thickness all over. If roasting a chateaubriand, you won't need to do that.
3. Beginning at one end, wrap the bacon around the tenderloin, overlapping the strips so they stick to each other. Make sure the ends of the bacon are tucked under.
4. Place the bacon-wrapped tenderloin on a rack set on a rimmed sheet pan with the ends of the bacon touching the rack so the bacon doesn't unravel.
5. Roast until the internal temperature reaches 125°F on an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat, about 60 minutes. Remove the tenderloin from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes, covered with aluminum foil. If you used thin-cut bacon, it should be crisp, but if you want the bacon to be crispier, you can broil the roast for 1-2 minutes before removing from the oven.
For the green peppercorn-thyme sauce:
1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the butter, shallot, vinegar, brandy and mustard in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of the cream and whisk until it is incorporated. This addition of the cream will help prevent the sauce from breaking.
2. Start adding the butter cubes, one at a time, whisking continuously. When the first cube of butter is almost melted, add another. Repeat until all the butter is incorporated.
3. Add the rest of the cream, the hot sauce, if using, a pinch of salt, and a few grinds of white pepper. Add the 5 sprigs of thyme and let sit in the hot sauce for 10 minutes.
4. While the mixture is still warm, strain through a china cap or other fine strainer. Mix in the thyme leaves and peppercorns. Use immediately or keep in a pitcher in a warm water bath. If the sauce breaks, you can reincorporate it with a little heavy cream or by using an immersion blender.
Slice the roast and garnish generously with fresh thyme leaves. Serve with the sauce on the side.