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Parmesan-Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin

Featured in our 2019 Christmas Guide

Servings: 8

This roast’s crust is inspired by the Italian Parmesan crisps called frico. I’ve added just the right amount of black pepper to provide a little kick without obliterating any of the other flavors. The cornstarch in the recipe helps the crust ingredients to bond. For this roast, I didn’t use the reverse-sear technique that I use in the prime rib recipe. Instead, it roasts at a single temperature. The accompanying pan sauce includes some of the Parmesan mixture from the crust.


For the roast

  • Vegetable oil, as needed
  • 1-1/2 cups finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 6 oz.)
  • 3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 tsp. cornstarch
  • 1 4-lb. center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed but not trussed
  • Kosher salt

For the sauce

  • 1 oz. (2 Tbs.) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth
  • 2 cups lower-salt beef broth
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Kosher salt

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 600
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 350
  • Fat (g): 39
  • Saturated Fat (g): 17
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2.5
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 15
  • Cholesterol (mg): 190
  • Sodium (mg): 810
  • Carbohydrates (g): 5
  • Fiber (g): 0
  • Sugar (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 49


Make the roast

  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment. Lightly oil a large flat rack that fits inside the baking sheet, and put the rack on top.
  • In a medium bowl, combine the cheese, pepper, and cornstarch, and blend well. Put 1/4 cup of the mixture in an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator until needed for the sauce.
  • Put the tenderloin on a large piece of parchment, pat dry with paper towels, and season all over with 1 Tbs. salt. Coat the beef all over with the cheese mixture. Roll the parchment around the roast to press the coating firmly onto the bottom, sides, and top of the meat.
  • Transfer the tenderloin to the rack, and press a final coating of any cheese mixture that has come loose onto the top of the roast. Cover with the parchment, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 2 days.
  • When you’re ready to cook the roast, position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 375°F. Remove the parchment, and roast the tenderloin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 120°F to 125°F for rare or 130°F to 135°F for medium rare, and the crust is golden-brown, about 60 minutes.
  • Let the roast cool uncovered for 20 minutes.

Make the sauce

  • Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it foams, add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until softened and fragrant but not browned, about 30 seconds. Add the vermouth, and simmer until reduced by half, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and thyme, and raise the heat to high. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium low, and simmer steadily until reduced to 1 cup, about 12 minutes. Add the cream and the reserved cheese mixture, stirring until slightly thickened, about 8 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, season to taste with a pinch of salt, and keep warm.
  • Transfer the roast to a cutting board, and carve into thick slices. Stir the sauce well just before serving, and serve with the roast.


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