Char-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Three-Herb Chimichurri Sauce
1 whole beef tenderloin, about 5 lbs 2 tablespoons olive oil
½-1 tablespoon chipotle chile powder, depending on taste (if not available substitute Ancho Chile powder) 1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar 1 tablespoon Morton Kosher or coarse sea salt
Chimichurri Sauce: 3 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper ½ teaspoon red chile pepper flakes 2 shallots, peeled and cut into quarters ¾ cup of olive oil, more to taste 3 tablespoons sherry wine or red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice 3 cups tightly packed chopped curly parsley 2 cups tightly packed cilantro 1 cup tightly packed fresh mint
Grilling Method: Combo/Medium-High Heat
In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients until well combined. Set aside.
Meanwhile make the Chimichurri sauce by placing all ingredients except the herbs in a blender and pulse until emulsified. Add the herbs a little at a time and blend until they are incorporated. You may need to push them with a spoon to aid the pureeing. The sauce should be thick and very green, and the texture of presto.
Prepare a charcoal fire or preheat gas grill on high. Remove meat from refrigerator, let meat come to room temperature. Roll in paper towels to remove excess moisture. Set aside. Sprinkle tenderloin evenly all over with the char-crust rub mixture. Continue sprinkling until you've used all the mixture—it should be a thick coating.
Grill immediately. Place tenderloin directly on the cooking grate and sear for 2 minutes on each side over direct high heat. After all the sides are seared, move to medium-high indirect heat and finish cooking, about 40 more minutes for medium rare or until a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest spot reads 130°F. And remember, the larger the tenderloin the longer it will take to cook. Remove from grill to a clean platter and let rest 15 minutes before carving. Slice thinly and serve with the Chumichurri sauce.
© 2006 Elizabeth A. Karmel, recipes created for Bon Appetite magazine, July 2006