Ever had this happen to you? I was at home, transferring a wood rack of seasoned firewood from the backyard into my garage. Despite the cool temps, I’m drenched in sweat and covered in dirt and grime from wood that sat outside for the last 6 months. My older boys were helping me haul the wood and the baby was taking a nap. About this time my cell phone rings. Of course I have an arm load of wood and by the time I get it to the rack inside, I miss the call. I finally get to my phone and it’s my wife. I call her back.
Before I can say a word I hear, “We’ve got a problem. We have (we’ll just call them the Smith’s), coming over tonight, not next week. I put the wrong date down for the dinner.”
“Can we reschedule for next weekend?” I ask, looking down at the all the tiny wood bits clinging to the hairs on my arm as a drop of sweat slips off my nose and free falls to the garage floor.
“They are out of town next week and we’ve already rescheduled on them twice. I feel terrible.”
“How quickly can you be here to get the house in shape and prep some sides?”
“I can’t be there for two hours. I left the conference late thinking we didn’t have anything to do today and had a lazy afternoon in Kansas City.” St. Louis is more than 3 hours from Kansas City (unless I’m driving!)
I check the time on my phone. “They are supposed to be here in two and half hours. The baby’s sleeping. I’m a mess. There’s no way I can get cleaned up, haul 4 kids to the store, clean up the house and prepare a meal in that much time.” And then I remembered Shipt. “Can you push the Smiths back 30 minutes? I have an idea.”
This post is both the recipe I prepared for that dinner party as well as a review of the Shipt experience. If you’ve never used a grocery delivery service, I have to warn you, it’s pretty addictive because it is so darn convenient. As a father of four small kids, I can’t tell you how much time I save not having to drag my kids to the grocery store. And it saves me money. Wait, a service you pay for saves you money? YES! I don’t have my kids begging for the newest cookie or the fattiest chips. So it also helps me save them (and me) from themselves! At the end of this recipe, I’ll have my full review of the whole Shipt process.
I placed my order for the ingredients for Beef Tenderloin and a Beurre Blanc Sauce and then hopped in the shower. After the shower I went to work cleaning up the incredible amount of clutter that only four children 9 and under can produce in what seems like minutes after putting it all away. Midway through the decluttering I got a text from my Shipt Shopper:
It occurs to me that I didn’t have any sides. Colleen usually handles the sides. I see a couple loaves of french bread on the counter we intended to use two nights earlier and decide to order the ingredients for my grilled lettuce and crostini for appetizers. The asparagus in the fridge will act as the side when I make my grilled balsamic asparagus.
Five minutes later, I get another text. Considering the high prices of steak these days, three pounds of beef tenderloin was not going to be cheap:
I’m the Grillin’ Fool. I can’t feed the Smiths grilled beanies and wienies! I have to impress them with something and dear friends should get a great meal.
I was just about finished cleaning the house when the doorbell rang to reveal my Shipt Shopper. My ingredients had arrived. Let’s just hope there’s enough time to save the dinner party:
Wait. Back up. Beurre blanc sauce? Some of you are thinking, it’s steak. All it needs is salt, pepper and maybe a little garlic. And I agree, most steak just needs salt, pepper and garlic, but tenderloin requires a bit of a flavor boost. Ever ask yourself why they wrap so many filets in bacon? It’s not to hold the meat together. It’s to give it some extra flavor from the bacon fat. It is the most tender part of the cow, but it also has very little fat and sadly, fat is what tastes good and is proof God wants us to do things in moderation because if I ate as much bacon as I want to, I’d be as big as a house. So I decided to jazz up this uber tender, but under flavored meat with a beurre blanc sauce. The sauce actually takes more time to prepare than the roast, but it’s soooooooo worth it
I tipped my shopper, Shannon, and got to work blowing my guests minds and taste buds!
Beef Tenderloin with a Beurre Blanc Sauce Ingredients:
3 lb beef tenderloin roast
Fresh cracked black pepper and white pepper
3 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced – divided
2 tbsp of olive oil
2 tbsp shallots, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter sliced into tbsp size pieces (16 pieces) and chilled
Let’s start with the beef tenderloin:
Season the outside of the beef tenderloin with salt, black and white pepper and 2 tbsp of the minced tarragon, then drizzle with olive oil and work all the seasoning and herbs into the meat:
I use both black and white pepper because each one hits a different spot on the tongue making the flavor profile more nuanced.
Don’t forget your meat thermometer. You don’t want to mess up $100 of steak by guessing when it’s done or the dinner party by being way early or way late on the cook time:
Now off to the smoker which is set at 225:
Why smoke then sear? Most people sear then smoke. Because searing first will keep most of the smoke from penetrating the meat. Smoking first infuses the smoke flavor and then allows for the sear at the end so it’s the best of both worlds. What I do is undershoot my target temp during the smoke session to allow room to sear at the end. In this case, I’m targeting 110 degrees in the smoke session and 125 (rare) from the searing step. This is called the reverse sear method and I use it for almost everything! Seriously, search this site for “Reverse Sear.”
While the beef tenderloin is doing it’s thing on the smoker, time to prep the sauce. On a much hotter grill place a sauce pan and pour in the wine, white wine vinegar, shallots and remainder of the tarragon. Bring to a boil:
Reduce the liquid down to at least a third of the original volume. Then bust out a second sauce pot and pour the liquid/shallot/tarragon concoction through a sieve into the other pot. Make sure to press down on the shallots and tarragon with the back of a spoon or butt of a knife to get the last of the glorious flavor into the pot and subsequently the sauce:
Now move the pot off the edge of the heat, add the heavy cream, salt and white pepper, and one tbsp of butter:
Let each pat melt over a slow simmer making sure to whisk the sauce after each one goes in. This takes a good 20-30 minutes to finish, but the results are magical:
Pull the sauce after it thickens a bit but before it thickens too much as much of the thickening happens after the sauce leaves the heat and it cools down. I was worried the sauce was too thin but after being off the heat about 5 minutes, it was a wonderful consistency.
The beef tenderloin reached 110 degrees on the smoker, time to give it a good sear over a hot fire:
Once grill marks form, rotate the meat 45 degrees:
Once the cross hatch grill marks form, flip it over and repeat. I essentially did this on three sides rather than just the top and the bottom to get nice browning all the way around:
My asparagus is lightly charred, the sauce is still cloying and creamy (keep whisking every couple of minutes as the steak cooks), while my beef tenderloin is at 125 and ready to be sliced.
But wait, you said 125. That’s rare. This looks more medium. Ah, so it does. Patience, grasshopper (Google “TV Show Kung Fu” for those of you that don’t get the reference). This happens sometimes with steak. I assure you it was exactly 125 when I pulled it thanks to my probe thermometer. It was also exactly at 110 when I took it off the smoker. The problem was that while my tenderloin was at 110, my sauce was only about half done, so I put the roast on a cutting board so it wouldn’t continue to cook. When my sauce was finally done, I seared the steak that had actually dropped down to 98 degrees. But the redness loss due to the delay in the cooking process is regained with a little oxygen. A couple minutes of “breathing” and my beef tenderloin reddens up nicely and is begging for the beurre blanc sauce:
Notice the edge to edge red. Not thick band of grey around the outside. It’s only slightly less red around the edge of that medallion of red, tender deliciousness.
You can add a little extra of the minced tarragon on top if you like:
And a pic from the other side:
And a couple more medallions and another drizzling of that thick sauce, this time with no blur (or bokeh) effect:
How was the beef tenderloin with the beurre blanc sauce? Absolutely, positively divine. The sauce was so fluffy and cloying that it gave the steak an amazing mouthfeel. Like the meat was wrapped in a pillow of deliciousness and took the filet mignon (another term for beef tenderloin) to another level that not even a slice of bacon could achieve.
And what about the Shipt experience? I must say it was outstanding. At first I was put off at what I couldn’t order like the beef tenderloin. But it allows for custom items that the user creates. So I created a custom item of a 3 lb beef tenderloin roast (not individual filet mignons) and added that to my cart. Fresh tarragon was not an item to choose from so I created a custom item of “Fresh tarragon. Substitute dried if there is none.” I got fresh tarragon! Also, they didn’t have the heavy cream I had originally chosen (which was just the first on the list) and she texted me to make sure I was OK with the other option:
Before checking out Shipt asked me if I wanted to have the shopper A) not make any substitutions B) use the shoppers discretion on making substitutions or C) send me a message if a substitution needs to be made. I chose C. I got a couple texts as you saw and she absolutely nailed my order and then some. By asking me right before she began shopping if I had forgotten anything it reminded me that I had in fact forgotten some things.
At the end you can choose to tip the shopper via the app (or give cash like I did because I had no idea how this worked).
One thing I wish it did was deliver alcohol. Luckily I had a bottle of red (for the meal) and a bottle of white (for the sauce), but I wasn’t sure when I placed my order and searched on one of my favorite vintners but found nothing. In the end, that’s pretty minor. In fact, Shipt.com saved my dinner party. Also, I didn’t bother trying to see if I could do a custom item there and ask for a specific bottle of wine or two, so I don’t know if they do or do not deliver alcohol. I didn’t have the time to mess with it as I needed to get into the shower and get the house cleaned up before the baby woke up.
I’m not sure I would use this server to buy steaks as I’m pretty particular in terms of marbling and types of cuts For example, rib eyes cut from near the chuck end rather than the loin end which means a fatter cap muscle and such. But I tend to keep a number of steaks in my freezer at any given time so this wouldn’t be a problem.
On a side note about the sauce. Way back when, in my 20’s, I worked at a small legal publication while I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I had a friend that was a chef at a local restaurant that wanted to purchase some ads in our paper. I decided to try my hand at sales. I sold them an ad in which featured a fish dish with a beurre blanc sauce, something I had never heard of at that time. Well, the restaurant never reviewed the proof I sent and it was published as is. The problem was I misspelled the sauce and the ad listed it as beurre BLAND instead of beurre blanc. Bland!?!?!? Oops! I felt bad about it but I didn’t return my $65 commission. In the end, maybe that was God telling me to skip the sales. He had much bigger things in store for me like being the Grillin’ Fool! I will say this though. At that little legal publication, I met my wife. I fell in love with her immediately. After she broke my heart twice, she eventually came around and we got married. Over the next 11 years we had four kids together. Sales wasn’t for me, but she was. And this Fool is good with that because we have a pretty spectacular life together with our little family of 6.
If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or send me an email.
I was compensated by Shipt.com for this post/recipe/review. I’m ready to tell anyone that I’m ecstatic with the service and I only work with brands/products/services that I absolutely believe in and I believe in this service absolutely! Redundancy intentional
- 3 lb beef tenderloin roast
- Coarse salt
- Fresh cracked black pepper and white pepper
- 3 tbsp fresh tarragon, minced - divided
- 2 tbsp of olive oil
- 2 tbsp shallots, minced
- ¼ cup white wine
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup heavy cream
- ¼ tsp salt
- ⅛ tsp white pepper
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter sliced into tbsp size pieces (16 pieces) and chilled
- Season the roast with the salt, black and white pepper, tarragon and olive oil
- Place the tenderloin in a 225 degree smoker
- While the steak is smoking, start the sauce
- Place an oven safe sauce pot on a hot grill and pour in the wine, vinegar, shallots and tarragon
- Boil the liquid down to at least a third of the liquid is remaining
- Get a second oven safe pot and pour the wine/vinegar/shallot/tarragon concoction through a sieve into the other pot
- Put this new pot off the edge of the heat and pour in the heavy cream, salt and white pepper
- Add a tbsp of butter and whisk a bit
- Once the tbsp of butter melts, add another tbsp of butter and whisk again
- Repeat until all 16 tbsp of butter are incorporated in the sauce
- Let the sauce simmer for another 5 minutes or so, whisking every couple minutes
- Sear the beef tenderloin all the way around
- Once the beef tenderloin reaches 125 for rare remove it from the heat
- If you want medium rare, place the roast on the side with no heat or an upper rack until it reaches 135 for medium rare or 145 for medium
- Slice the beef tenderloin into medallions and drizzle with the beurre blanc sauce