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Beef Tenderloin with a Confit of Piquillo Peppers

July 2013

Solomillo con pimientos del piquillo confitados
Beef Tenderloin with a confit of piquillo peppers
Yield: Serves 4
20 piquillo peppers (Spanish wood-roasted sweet peppers), or one 13-ounce can
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cloves garlic, peeled
Salt to taste
1 cup plus 2 teaspoons Spanish extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound beef tenderloin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Pre-heat the oven to 250 degrees. Place 8 of the peppers in a large cup along with the sugar and 2 tablespoons of water. Using a hand blender, puree the peppers.
In a small cazuela or terra-cotta casserole, lay half the remaining peppers in a single layer, taking care not to overlap the peppers. Spoon half of the pepper puree on top of the peppers and smooth it out with the back of the spoon. Split open the garlic cloves by placing them on a cutting board and pressing down hard with the base of your hand or the flat side of a paring knife. Scatter the garlic over the puree and season to taste with salt. Make another layer of peppers, cover with the remaining puree and season again with salt.

Cover the peppers with one cup of the olive oil. Bake in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, until the peppers are completely tender. Remove from the oven, set aside and keep warm.
Increase the oven to 450 degrees. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of olive oil in an ovenproof sauté pan over high heat. When the pan begins to slightly smoke, add the tenderloin and sear on all sides, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer the pan with the beef to the oven and roast for 6 to 8 minutes or until the beef reach 130 degrees on a meat thermometer (for medium rare). Transfer the tenderloin to cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. 
To serve, spread the peppers and puree on a serving tray. Slice the tenderloin into 1/2-inch thick medallions and place them on top of the peppers. Drizzle the beef with extra olive oil from the peppers, sprinkle with salt and garnish with fresh chives. 
Photograph by Powers & Crewe