Beef tenderloin and asparagus with blue cheese crumbles

The title of this post should be Whistle Pig Rye, Peppercorn and Garlic, Reverse Seared Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Crumbles, but that is a bit wordy so Whiskey Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin it is because the three main ingredients of this epic recipe are, in no particular order, whiskey, peppercorns and beef tenderloin:

So let’s get after it and show how to make this recipe.

Whiskey Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin Ingredients:

1 chunk of beef tenderloin (approximately 2.5 lbs)
Salt
1/2 cup peppercorns
1/2 cup minced garlic
4 ounces of Whistle Pig Rye
Blue cheese crumbles

Start by making sure there is no silver skin on the beef tenderloin and coating it liberally with the salt. Then roll it in the peppercorns:

Peppercorn beef tenderloin and Whistle Pig Rye
You could make your pepper corns go farther if you run them through a mortar and pestle and rough crunch them a bit

Place it inside a 2 gallon resealable bag and add the garlic in, working the garlic around to coat as much as possible. Then pour in the whiskey:

Beef tenderloin marinating in peppercorns, garlic and Whistle Pig Rye
Beef tenderloin marinating in peppercorns, garlic and Whistle Pig Rye

I know some of you are wondering about this right now. There is no way you are going to pour a half a bottle of Whistle Pig over a beef tenderloin to completely submerge it in rye. I’m not advocating that. Four ounces is about all it takes. Along with a couple turns of the plastic bag in the fridge. I think I rolled the bag over, redistributing the whiskey all over the beef, three times before I went to bed and a couple more times in the morning. That was all it took to keep the whiskey in contact with the beef while in the bag. With the application of the salt first, this is almost a whiskey brine, so we don’t need a half gallon to impart a lot of flavor.

Now on to the other matter here. Some will skip past Whistle Pig in favor of a cheaper libation. Maybe even one of those bottles with the white label that simply has the letters W H I S K E Y on the front. Don’t do that. Don’t be that guy (or girl). As a general rule, if the ingredient is not something you would drink independent of the recipe, then don’t use it in the recipe. Never buy cooking sherry or cooking wine. Use sherry or wine that you would have no problem pouring into a glass for yourself. Same here with the whiskey. Whistle Pig is one of my absolute favorite whiskeys and has been for years. I used what I like to drink and you should as well.

After spending the night in the fridge absorbing all the flavor from the whiskey, peppercorns and garlic, pull the bag and let the beef come up to room temp on the counter. It would take half a day or more for the entire beef tenderloin to hit 72 degrees on the counter. The goal here is to get the outside up to temp. That could take a good two hours. Plan accordingly. And when it is time to smoke it as part of the reverse sear, we take the temp up slowly and we should get a nice even pink or red.

I set my Green Mountain Grills pellet cooker to 200 and placed the beef tenderloin in the middle of the smoker:

Whiskey, Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin on the grill
Whiskey, Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin on the grill

Some of you are wondering about the peppercorns. No, I don’t recommend eating them. So why haven’t I knocked them all off? Because cooking them will do it for me. The tenderloin starts off with all sorts of peppercorns, but after it smokes to about 110, it gets seared off and pretty much al of them will fall off. I smoked this for about 2 hours at 200 and after it got to 110F, I pulled it from the cooker and tented it under some foil:

Beef tenderloin resting in a foil tent
Beef tenderloin resting in a foil tent

At this point I cranked the Green Mountain Grill to 550 and placed some grill grates inside:

My thermoworks IR thermometer is showing 550 at the grill grate
My thermoworks IR thermometer is showing 550 at the grill grate

Time to sear:

The beef tenderloin back on the cooker to sear
The beef tenderloin back on the pellet cooker to sear
Beef tenderloin with some grill marks
Beef tenderloin with some grill marks
Beef tenderloin ready to come off the grill
Beef tenderloin ready to come off the grill

Once the Whiskey Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin is seared all the way around, pull it from the grill:

Beef tenderloin and Whistle Pig rye
As you can see, the searing process took care of pretty much all the peppercorns. Knock off any stragglers and this beef is done except for the resting time

While the tenderloin is resting, I tossed some asparagus on the grill grates:

Grilled Asparagus

For the asparagus recipe, click here, because it is as easy as it is delicious.

Some will argue that the beef needs to rest more than it takes to cook the asparagus. Don’t sweat the rest. I’m not as adamant about resting as I used to be.

Time to slice:

Medium rare beef tenderloin
This beef tenderloin is now ready to be turned into portion sized medallions

Time to plate and top with some blue cheese crumbles:

Whiskey, Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin topped with blue cheese and a side of grilled asparagus, accompanied by a glass of Whistle Pig 12 year
Whiskey, Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin topped with blue cheese and a side of grilled asparagus, accompanied by a glass of Whistle Pig 12 year

But how was it? The whiskey adds a great earthiness, along with some outstanding nuanced flavors, to the beef and the pepper adds a bit of spice, but not hot spiciness. The earthiness and the subtle bite of the pepper merge very well with the garlic and the creamy savoriness of the blue cheese. Pair it with a lovely Whistle Pig Rye and that is a meal fit for a king or a queen, or with this much food, both and the rest of the court!

I’m proud to partner with Whistle Pig on this post. They are truly one of my favorite whiskeys, if not my favorite. I always have a bottle on my bar at home.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below or shoot me an email.

Whiskey Peppercorn Beef Tenderloin
Author: 
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Steak
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Beef tenderloin, brined in whiskey, peppercorns and garlic and then reverse seared and topped with blue cheese crumbles.
Ingredients
  • 1 chunk of beef tenderloin (approximately 2.5 lbs)
  • Salt
  • ½ cup peppercorns
  • ½ cup minced garlic
  • 4 ounces of Whistle Pig Rye
  • Blue cheese crumbles
Instructions
  1. Salt the tenderloin all the way around thoroughly
  2. Coat the tenderloin with the peppercorns and place in a resealable plastic bag
  3. Add the garlic and work it around the beef to get good coverage
  4. Add the Whistle Pig rye whiskey and place the sealed bag in the fridge overnight, rotating the bag a few times before bed and again a couple times in the morning
  5. Prepare the smoker for 200 degrees internal temperature
  6. Smoke the beef tenderloin until it reaches 110 degrees internal
  7. Crank the cooker up past 500 degrees and sear the beef all the way around
  8. Remove from the grill and let rest
  9. After a few minutes of rest, slice into medallions, plate and top with blue cheese crumbles
  10. Serve and enjoy
 

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

@GrillinFool

https://t.co/lVWgniik3V - #GrillPorn abounds here. All meat, all the time!
Oh my wow! There is so much perfection right there! 😲✔️👍😎 . Video shot by the insanely talented @carlaocarvalho77 …… https://t.co/uKHWyunSxp - 2 years ago
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