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Black-Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce


Serves 4

A tangy condiment made with fresh herbs and garlic, chimichurri sauce is a traditional accompaniment to grilled meats in Argentina and pairs well with peppery steak. Before cooking the steaks, you can use the weight of your skillet to crush the whole peppercorns for the coating.

For the chimichurri sauce
  • 1-1/2 oz. mixed fresh cilantro and flat-leaf parsley leaves (1 cup packed)
  • 1 Tbs. fresh oregano or 1 tsp. dried
  • 1 Tbs. chopped garlic

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. fresh lime juice; more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt
For the steaks
  • 2 Tbs. black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
  • Kosher or coarse salt
  • 4 6- to 7-oz. beef tenderloin steaks, about 1-1/2 inches thick
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil

Make the sauce

Combine the cilantro, parsley, oregano, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and stir in the olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and 1/2 tsp. salt.

Cook the steak

In a flat dish or shallow bowl, combine the crushed peppercorns with 2 tsp. salt. Firmly press both sides of the steaks into the mixture so they’re well coated. Set aside to come to room temperature, at least 20 minutes and up to 45 minutes.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F.

Heat a 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until very hot, about 2 minutes. Add the oil, swirling the pan to coat the bottom; then add the steaks and cook, undisturbed, until nicely browned on the bottom, about 4 minutes. Flip and cook, undisturbed, until nicely browned on the other side, about 4 minutes. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until an instant-read thermometer registers 120° to 125°F for rare, 130° to 135°F for medium rare, or 140° to 145°F for medium, 2 to 7 minutes. Let the steaks rest on a plate, loosely covered with foil, for 5 minutes. Serve the steaks topped with the chimichurri sauce.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 530, Fat (kcal): 43, Fat Calories (g): 380, Saturated Fat (g): 11, Protein (g): 33, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 24, Carbohydrates (mg): 4, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 3, Sodium (g): 770, Cholesterol (g): 120, Fiber (g): 1,

Photo: Scott Phillips

An interesting variation on my all time favorite, the classic pepper steak. Try using Madagascar peppercorns from They have a fragrant hickory smoke aroms that you will love.

I did not make the sauce, so I cannot rate it, but I followed the recipe otherwise, except wrapped them in bacon before seasoning and grilled the steaks outdoors instead of on/in the stove. Just excellent!

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