Inspiration: Simply put, I love Brandon, and I love to make him nice dinners with some of his favorite things :)
What we Loved: Sometimes, I don’t think that fancier meals need to be super complicated. I used a couple beautiful cuts of grass-fed tenderloin, some locally grown white beans, bacon, onions, and a dollop of truffle butter. I threw some salt and pepper into the mix, and that was really all there was to it for a rich and wonderful supper. I don’t think that there are many cuts of meat better than tenderloin steaks that are seared on the outside and rare on the inside, and we were actually really surprised by how much we enjoyed the white bean puree, too. It was rich with the flavors of bacon and onions, with a nice and creamy texture that paired perfectly with our steaks. If you’ve never had truffles before, they have an extremely earthy flavor (that I think Brandon would name as one of his favorite things in life?). Putting that flavor into butter results in a wonderfully rich combination. We loved it on top of our steaks, because that fabulous buttery, earthy flavor seeped down into our entire meal.
Helpful Hints: There’s nothing worse than buying an expensive cut of meat and overcooking it, so my best advice is to be very vigilant when cooking these. I don’t think that precise instructions for searing a perfect steak can exist, since preferences/cuts/stovetop temperatures are always going to be different (and experience is what helps the most), but here are my tips. These tips are for rare tenderloin steaks, which is what we prefer.
I always set a timer with tenderloin, and I always follow these general guidelines: place the steak in the pan, set a timer and cover, flip the steak, set the timer and cover again, remove the steak from the pan, and let rest. The only variable is how thick your tenderloin is, and I’ve found that four minutes per side is generally a good rule of thumb for a rare steak. If your steaks are a little thicker, shoot for five minutes. It takes a bit of practice to be able to tell just how long you need, but I think that a good trick is to use a pair of kitchen tongs to cook the steaks, rather than a spatula. Using tongs really gives you a feel throughout the cooking process for how well the meat is being cooked on the inside. Placing the steaks in the pan with the tongs and flipping them with the tongs gives you a feel for the amount of give that there is when the steaks are raw and when they’re halfway cooked. And though you should only move (flip) the steaks once to ensure a good sear on both sides, you can take the tongs and squeeze the sides of the steak as they’re getting close to being finished. There should still be a good bit of give for a rare steak, so if it’s starting to feel too firm, you need to cut the cooking time short and get it out of the pan. Alternatively, if it seems like it offers too little resistance, you may want to cook for just a little bit longer.
Seared Beef Tenderloin with Truffle Butter and Mashed Cannellini Beans
Source: Original Recipe
For the Steaks
2 beef tenderloin steaks, 6-8 ounces each
Kosher salt and black pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
A couple dollops of truffle butter (we find ours at Whole Foods, in the cheese section)
1. Remove the steaks from the fridge 30 minutes before cooking to bring them to room temperature. Season well with salt and pepper.
2. Heat a saute pan over medium heat. When hot, add a good drizzle of olive oil. Place the steaks in the pan, cover, and let cook for 4-5 minutes without touching. Flip the steaks, cover, and let cook for 4-5 minutes more. This will give you a rare steak, but judge the time based on the thickness of your steaks. Thinner steaks will be closer to four minutes, while very thick steaks might edge past five.
3. Remove the steaks from the heat, cover with foil, and let sit for five minutes. Top with truffle butter and serve.
For the Beans
~1/2 cup dried cannellini beans
6 slices bacon, diced
1/2 large onion, sliced
Kosher salt and black pepper
1. Soak the beans overnight, then place them in a pan covered with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cooking until the beans are softened.
2. When the beans are nearly cooked through, place the bacon in a saute pan over medium low heat. Cook until starting to crisp, then add the onion. Reduce the heat to low, and let the bacon and onions cook until browning and caramelizing.
3. Place the beans in a food processor with a splash of milk. Process until the beans form a smooth puree, adding more milk if necessary.
4. Mix in the bacon and onion. Season well with salt and pepper.