Wild Peppercorn-Rubbed Fillet of Beef
Source of Recipe
A few Decembers back, I was asked to create a centerpiece dish that was interesting and yet rooted in traditional holiday fare. This beef dish is my riff off the classic steak au poivre. I originally created this dish using Szechuan peppercorns, which aren’t actually peppercorns at all, but they are currently not available in the US. In their place, try regular black peppercorns, wild dried peppercorns (available in Indian markets (www.kalyustans.com)), or Sansho peppercorns (http://chefshop.com).
List of Ingredients
1 cup Szechuan peppercorns (called “red peppercorns” in many Asian markets), or a substitute
1/4 cup paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 3-to-4-pound fillet of beef, trimmed, cleaned and trussed, scraps reserved
3 tablespoons corn oil
4 carrots, cut into large dice
2 large onions, cut into large dice
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
6 sprigs fresh thyme
1/2 cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
1. Lightly crush peppercorns by either pounding them on a cutting board with a heavy sauté pan or crushing them in a mortar and pestle. Place in a small bowl with paprika, brown sugar, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/4 cup of the olive oil; mix together with your hands. Rub spice mixture over all sides of the fillet. Place in a baking dish, cover, and refrigerate 2 hours.
2. After 2 hours, place a flameproof roasting pan in the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. When oven has reached 425 degrees, add corn oil, carrots, onions, garlic, thyme, and beef scraps to pan, stirring to combine. Roast until vegetables soften and beef scraps brown, about 20 minutes.
3. While vegetables roast, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat with remaining 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Generously sprinkle all sides of fillet with salt. Add beef to pan and sear thoroughly on all sides, about 20 minutes total.
4. When vegetables are roasted, push vegetables to the sides of the roasting pan, place the fillet in the center, and return pan to the oven. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes or until the internal temperature of the beef reads 125 degrees.
5. Remove roasting pan from oven and transfer fillet to a dish. Tent with foil to keep warm.
6. On stovetop, heat roasting pan with vegetables over medium-high heat. Add red wine and deglaze by scraping pan with a wooden spoon to loosen any caramelized bits. Simmer until there is almost no wine left, about 10 minutes. Pour in chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cook until stock has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Strain contents of pans through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl. Taste jus and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly ground pepper.
7. Slice fillet into 1/2-inch medallions and pour jus over meat, or serve jus separately as you would gravy.