The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke

Mini Grill Camp '08 - Pt. 3 - Wed.

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After the DEATH DEFYING CAJUN BURGERS were done there was no rest for the weary. The next step was to begin prep for the Stuffed Herbed Tenderloin. Beef tenderloin is an amazing roast. It is so tender that you can cut it with a fork. It is also virtually fat free and so the trick is to supplement the meat with something else to give it some flavor. This recipe approached it 3 ways. The roast was stuffed with herbs & spiced, it was rubbed with an herb past and it was seared on the grill to give the crust extra flavor. After the sear the roast is finished indirectly so as not to dry it out.

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The stuffing consisted of mushrooms, leeks, wine sage, thyme, rosemary, EVOO, garlic, butter, salt & pepper.

There was a good deal of prep for this recipe. There was fresh rosemary, thyme & sage for both the stuffing and the herb rub . The stuffing also used mushrooms and leeks. I took a shortcut with the mushrooms and bought some cut up. I still chopped them to get them to 1/4” (0.66 cm) chunks. This was the first time I’ve used leeks, and in this case just the white part of the leek. I found the flavor interesting and not at all what I expected. The leeks were sauteed in some EVOO for 6 minutes or so until soft, after which the mushrooms, garlic, herbs & spices were added. These were sautéed for about 8 minutes. Some wine, salt & pepper were added during the final minute. The stuffing was poured into a bowl and while it cooled it was time to make the herb paste.

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A slit was cut in the meat to receive the stuffing

The herb paste was very tasty and used garlic, sage, rosemary & thyme like the stuffing. To this was added mustard, shallots, salt & pepper. The herb paste was mixed and set aside. The next step was to cut a slit in the roast to within one half inch of the bottom and the two ends. The stuffing had cooled to room temperature and was added to the pocket I cut into the roast. The roast was tied shut and in a couple places I also used tooth picks to help close the seam. The herb paste was applied and the roast was off to the fridge for several hours. This was the reason I began the prep right after lunch. Otherwise instead of supper it would have been a late night snack.

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The herb paste was applied to the outside of the roast.

The meat was removed from the fridge about 30 minutes before it was to go on the grill. The grill was heated to medium. On of the advantages of my 6 burner grill is it gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of setting up temperature zones. This roast was intended to be seared under medium heat for 6 minutes x 4 sides. After that it was to be finished under indirect medium heat around 350-375 degrees (175-190 C). To accomplish this I fired up the burners 1, 2, 5, & 6 to medium and left burners 3 & 4 unlit. I did the sear using burners 5 & 6 and then moved the roast so it was pointing front to back in the center of the grill. I inserted two temperature probes for my remote read thermometer to measure the internal temperature. I used two because it was a bit fussy getting the probes into the center of the meat, but not into the stuffing. Using the remote read thermometer I could monitor the meat from the Kitchen and not have to raise the lid and lose heat every time I needed to take a reading.


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The herb rub was applied and the meat was put in the fridge for a couple hours.

I was glad I used two probes, one immediately shot up about 12 degrees (6.6 C) higher than the other. So I ignored the readings from that one and used the lower temperature readings from the other probe. One of the things I like about these big roasts with lots of meat and little fat, is they are very linear in terms of their temperature rise. Using my iPhone as a timer, I quickly established the temperatures were rising 1 degree every 45 seconds. Based on this I predicted the end time and was accurate to within about a minute. This makes your other prep easy as you know well in advance when your other food needs to be done. When the roast temperature read 135 (57 C), it was time to remove it from the grill for a 5 minute rest before carving.

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The roast was seared using direct heat on burners 5 & 6. After all 4 sides were seared I moved it under burners 3 & 4 which were unlit. The grill lid was closed and the roast was finished indirectly.

During that 5 minute rest I was busy cutting off all of the strings and removing the toothpicks. Carving the roast was a bit fussy. I was cutting 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide slices and was happy to see the roast was a perfect medium rare. The main trick was getting the piece sliced and plated without losing the filling. The technique I finally stumbled onto was to actually keep the piece I was slicing off pinned up against the roast. I would use the meat fork on the main piece of meat to steady it while beginning the next cut. Once the cut was started, I used the fork to keep the slice up against the meat with one prong in the slice and one in the meat. Then I would put a spatula next to the piece prior to folding it over to lie flat. This kept the piece from splitting apart and losing the filling.

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The roast rested for 5 minutes before carving. In some ways the trickiest part of the cook was carving the meat.


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This roast was the best beef tenderloin I have made. It was even better than the holiday beef tenderloin I have done for New Years. That roast uses an herb rub including pink peppercorns, and while it was tasty todays roast was even better. I think two things put this one over the top: The first was the addition of the herb stuffing and the second was direct grill sear this meat gets. There is another beef tenderloin recipe in the Weber Big Book of Grilling which uses a direct grill sear that I will be very interested in trying based on how good today’s cook was.

  MINI GRILL CAMP ’08 - PT. 1-TUE Blog Entry
  MINI GRILL CAMP ’08 - PT. 2-WED Blog Entry


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