Monday, January 16, 2012

Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Espresso Sauce

garnish with roasted french radishes and chopped parsley
The local halal market has a great meat counter. One day we noticed that the beef tenderloin was $8.99 a pound. We picked up a few pounds and invited friends over for dinner. This is a really great entree because the marinade is reduced to make a sauce. It's not too labor intensive, either.

Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Espresso Sauce

2 1/2 to 3 pounds beef tenderloin
3 tablespoons grainy mustard or Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups espresso (I use instant espresso and mix it into cold water.)
1/3 cup brown sugar
cracked pepper to taste
salt to taste
1 cup beef broth
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. Remove the silver skin.

2. If necessary, fold thin ends back on themselves and tie to create a uniform thickness. (See photo below.)

3. Combine mustard, garlic, shallots, balsamic vinegar, 2 tablespoons oil, espresso, brown sugar, beef broth and black pepper in a large bowl or in doubled up gallon Ziplock bags. Add the meat and marinate for 2 hours, turning occasionally.

4. Remove the meat from the marinade, strain and reserve.

5. Bring marinade to a boil and then lower the heat to medium low. Reduce the sauce by 1/2 or until nape. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and whisk it in. (Keep an eye on the sauce to make sure it doesn’t cook down into a syrup.)

6. Dry the meat with paper towels, sprinkle with sea salt or kosher salt and grill or sear in a hot pan. 
Cook the meat for about 3-5 minutes per side. 

7. Transfer to a baking sheet and finish the meat in a 450 degree oven until it’s medium rare. (Insert a meat thermometer until it reads 160 degrees.) 

8. Let the meat rest, slice, spoon sauce on top, then garnish. 

With this dish the only things to keep in mind are to tie the ends if they are thin so that the tenderloin roasts evenly. Also,  make sure that the sauce does not reduce so much that you end up with a syrup. That's it, really. :)

You can see how I folded the thin end of the tenderloin back on itself and tied it to create a uniform thickness. 


  1. I have a favorite steak house but it's really a long drive away from home. I don't have any idea about their franchise planning but I hope they'll open up a nearer branch. For the mean time, I'd love to try this recipe. I just might get over my craving. Thanks!

    1. I think you will love it. My wife is a chef and I ripped this recipe off from her. It's so good!