RECIPES:
Jun 7, 2022

Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Cherry Port Sauce

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr
I love making this beef tenderloin recipe for entertaining. The whole tenderloin cooks surprisingly fast and makes for an impressive spread paired with a simple salad or roast vegetables.

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This post was sponsored by the maker of Chairmans Reserve ® Meats. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

This impressive recipe features a perfectly cooked Chairman’s Reserve® beef tenderloin crusted in coarsely ground black peppercorns and paired with a cherry and port wine sauce. While you can cut a tenderloin into steaks, I love leaving it whole for this recipe. The roast recipe makes a great special occasion meal and is wonderful for entertaining. Also, the contrast of tart cherries with sweet port wine pairs perfectly with the tender meat.

Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Cherry Port Sauce

ingredients for peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin

More About Beef Tenderloin

It’s so important to source the highest quality of meat available! This makes a huge difference in the flavor and texture. Chairman’s Reserve® Meats is the top tier of USDA Choice grade beef and always a great choice! The tenderloin of the cow is located just below the sirloin. This cut is prized for the soft, “melt in your mouth” texture and  flavor.

Because it is a lean cut of meat, if it is not prepared and properly cooked it can become dry. Beef tenderloin has a thick layer or white, silvery connective tissue (sometimes referred to as silver skin) on the outside of the meat that needs to be trimmed because it can be difficult to cut through. While tenderloin is extremely tender, it can be bland if not seasoned properly. I generously season the meat with coarse kosher salt and aromatic freshly ground black pepper.

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

Beef tenderloin

It’s important to take the beef tenderloin out of the refrigerator about an hour prior to cooking. Since this is a lean cut of meat, it’s important that it cooks quickly and evenly to prevent overcooking.

Black pepper

Rather than using pre-ground peppercorns, instead course grind the peppercorns just before the tenderloin is coated. Freshly ground pepper has less time to react with oxygen so it maintains the best peppery flavor. If you don’t have a pepper mill to coarsely grind the peppercorns, you can crack them by placing them on a cutting board and placing a large skillet or baking sheet over the top, pressing down until they crack.

Cherries

Tart cherries are simmered with the sweet port creating a perfect contrast to the pepper crusted beef. I use frozen cherries in this recipe because they can easily be found year round, rather than relying on the season which only runs from late April through the end of July. They are also already pitted.

Port

Port is a sweet, red fortified wine from Portugal. It has a higher alcohol content than red wine and is often served as a dessert wine in smaller portions. The sweet notes and nutty flavor the wine gets from aging in barrels complements the cherries in this sauce.

How to Make Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin

cherry pot sauce for ingredients for peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin
Step 1: Combine cherry port sauce. 

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the shallots and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes. Add the port, cherries, balsamic vinegar and sugar to the pot.

simmering cherry pot sauce for peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin
Step 2: Simmer cherry port sauce. 

Bring the mixture to a boil then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Use the sauce immediately or store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use for up to 3 days in advance.

tenderloin and sear for peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin
Step 3: Season tenderloin and sear. 

Rub the tenderloin all over with the salt and pepper. Heat oven to 550ºF (288ºC). Heat a large roasting pan in the oven, add olive oil so it is almost smoking and sear the tenderloin in the pan, about five minutes on each side.

tenderloin in a pan for peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin
Step 4: Cook tenderloin. 

Lower the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and roast for 20 minutes, until the internal temperature of the tenderloin is 125ºF (52ºC).

letting the tenderloin sit for peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin
Step 5: Let tenderloin sit. 

Remove the tenderloin from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. (Do not let it cool in the pan. Since the pan is still hot, it will continue to cook the meat).

Step 6: slice and serve 

Use a sharp knife to slice the tenderloin into 1/2-inch slices and serve at room temperature topped with the cherry sauce.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

How to Thaw a Beef Tenderloin

If your beef tenderloin is frozen I recommend thawing it in the refrigerator 48 hours before you plan to cook it. This is the best way to get it to thaw evenly and thoroughly.

How to Tie Beef Tenderloin

While not all roasts need to be tied, I recommend tying larger tenderloins like this one. Tying up a tenderloin with cooking twine (also called butcher’s twine or string) helps to keep the beef in a uniform shape. This is important so it cooks evenly.

  1. Secure the end. Tie the string around the end of the beef to secure it.
  2. Create loops. Pull the twine away from the anchor tie at the end and create a series of loops around the beef, about every few inches.
  3. Run the twine end to end. Once you have the loops, run the twine down the length of the roast, looping it around each larger loops so they are secured in place.
  4. Tie it off. Pull it so it’s secure around the roast and tie it off at the end. 

What to Do with Leftovers

Store the leftovers wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

  • The leftovers can simply be served cold out of the fridge for an easy meal paired with a salad.
  • Turn the leftovers into roast beef sandwiches on crusty bread with a bit of horseradish mayonnaise!
served peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin

Peppercorn Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Cherry Port Sauce

Print Pin
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Serves 9

Ingredients:

For the cherry port sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium shallot, diced
  • 1 cup ruby port
  • 1 cup frozen pitted cherries, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin:

  • 1 whole beef tenderloin, (about 4 pounds and 3 inches in diameter, trimmed and tied)
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, coarsely ground
  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instructions:

For the cherry port sauce:

  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through. Add the butter and allow to melt. Add the shallots and sauté until soft, about 3 minutes.
  • Add the port, cherries, balsamic vinegar and sugar to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce has reduced by half, about 15 minutes.
  • Use the sauce immediately or store refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use for up to 3 days in advance.

For the peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin:

  • Rub the tenderloin all over with the salt and pepper.
  • Heat oven to 550ºF (288ºC). Heat a large roasting pan in the oven, add olive oil so it is almost smoking and sear the tenderloin in the pan, about five minutes on each side.
  • Lower the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and roast for 20 minutes, until the internal temperature of the tenderloin is 125ºF (52ºC).
  • Remove the tenderloin from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. (Do not let it cool in the pan. Since the pan is still hot, it will continue to cook the meat).
  • Use a sharp knife to slice the tenderloin into 1/2-inch slices and serve at room temperature topped with the cherry sauce.

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