So I dig beurre blanc sauce and I dig beef tenderloin. Normally the beurre blanc is served over fish or chicken, but I had a hankering at the same time I wanted steak. Thus, after I reverse seared said steak, I crated Beef Tenderloin with a Beurre Blanc Sauce and I’m quite enamored with it, particularly when served over a bed of grilled asparagus.

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 maybe garlic, but tenderloin requires a bit of a flavor boost. Ever ask yourself why they wrap so many filet mignon 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 wanted 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

Beef Tenderloin with a Beurre Blanc Sauce Ingredients:

  • 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
  • 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:

Time to get that tenderloin ready for the smoker

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:

Simple yet elegant flavors added

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 almost $100 of steak by guessing when it’s done:

Make sure your probe thermometer is in the middle of the tenderloin

Now off to the smoker which is set at 225F:

Time for the smoke bath

Why do you Reverse Sear Steak?

Most people sear then smoke/bake until the steak is done. The reason we reverse sear steak is because searing first will keep most of the smoke from penetrating the meat. By smoking first it infuses the smoke flavor but still allows for the sear at the end to get that gorgeous browning 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 110F degrees in the smoke session and 125F (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 its thing on the smoker, time to prep the sauce. On a much hotter grill, in this case my gas grill, place a sauce pan and pour in the wine, white wine vinegar, shallots and remainder of the tarragon. Bring to a boil:

Beurre Blanc Sauce in the making
This is where the magic is happening

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:

Disregard the grilled lemon I had planned on them being a garnish for the plated shot but decided not to use them

Now move the pot off the edge of the heat. Add the heavy cream, salt and white pepper, and one tbsp of butter:

Butter in a sauce pan
Mmmmmm 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:

Our finished but not quite thickened sauce

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 110F degrees on the smoker, time to give it a good sear over a hot fire on my gas grill:

Time to bring the heat

Once grill marks form, rotate the meat 45 degrees:

Dont worry about peeking under the steak to see if grill marks are forming just make sure to place the meat down in the exact same spot on the grill grates for that great presentation

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:

If after you sear all the way around its still not 125 throw it on the side with no heat or an upper rack and close the lid until it gets there I had to do that with this as it only got to 118 after I seared it

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.

Sliced beef tenderloin
Let that steak BREATHE

But wait, you said 125F. 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 125F when I pulled it thanks to my probe thermometer. It was also exactly at 110F when I took it off the smoker. A couple minutes of “breathing” while the sauce finishes and my beef tenderloin reddens up nicely and is begging for the beurre blanc sauce:

Pouring sauce onto the beef tenderloin
Coast to coast redness that only a reverse sear can produce

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:

Beef tenderloin medallions drizzled with the beurre blanc sauce on a bed of grilled balsamic asparagus
Who wants to dive into that plate

And a pic from the other side:

Beef tenderloin medallions drizzled with the beurre blanc sauce on a bed of grilled balsamic asparagus
Beef tenderloin medallions drizzled with the beurre blanc sauce on a bed of grilled balsamic asparagus

And a couple more medallions and another drizzling of that thick sauce, this time with no blur (or bokeh) effect:

Not bad for a cell phone pic


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.

I have a funny story about this 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 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 (I said it was a small publication). 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 16 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.

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Beef Tenderloin with a Beurre Blanc Sauce

Ingredients delivered by become a magical dinner party meal of reverse seared beef tenderloin with a beurre blanc sauce
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes
Course: Entree, Main Course, Steak, Steak Topper
Cuisine: American, American Fare, Beef Tenderloin, Filet Mignon, Steak
Keyword: Beurre Blanc, Beurre Blanc Sauce, Gas Grill, Ham Recipe, Pellet Cooker, Pellet Grill, Pellet Smoker, reverse sear, reverse seared, Reverse Seared Beef Tenderloin, Reverse Seared Steak, Sear, Seared
Servings: 6 People


  • 3 lb beef tenderloin roast
  • coarse salt
  • fresh cracked black pepper and white pepper
  • 3 tbsp fresh tarragon minced - divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp shallots minced
  • ¼ cup white wine
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • cup heavy cream
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • tsp white pepper
  • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks 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


Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas

Scott Thomas, the Original Grillin’ Fool, was sent off to college with a suitcase and a grill where he overcooked, undercooked and burned every piece of meat he could find. After thousands of failures, and quite a few successes, nearly two decades later he started a website to show step by step, picture by picture, foolproof instructions on how to make great things out of doors so that others don’t have to repeat the mistakes he’s made on the grill.
Scott Thomas

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one comment

Scott, I am so glad that I do not have a grocery delivery service available to me. That sounds like an amazing service and I am sure I would go broke using it! By the way…beautiful steaks!


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