There are many ways to cook a steak, or a tenderloin in this case. My favorite way is pan roasting it. Something about pan roasting a tenderloin makes it perfect every time, but lets keep that for another post. This is different. Typically when it comes to a tenderloin for me I’m quite the minimalist. Just pepper, a little salt and maybe a dash of fresh herbs.
Although sometimes a tenderloin by itself just doesn’t do it, sometimes you have to wrap a slab of smokey bacon around it and slap a glob of sweet creamy pecan butter on top of it. It’s quite the deviant in flavor when you combine sweet and salty like this. It always brings good results and a huge smile followed by uproars of simultaneous “oh my god’s” from stuffed mouths that you can hardly even make out as a sentence.
Because tenderloin is so lean already adding the bacon around it kind of encases it in its own basting device, so yes you can basically baste it without having to really do anything. Not to mention the smoky bacon flavor will penetrate the meat while in the oven, and bacon flavor is not to be trifled with. It’s widely known that it’s a strong flavor, but I’m not sure people are aware of how easy it is to use it as an aromatic even though it’s a meat. The flavor in bacon is so pungent it will give off it’s flavor to anything you put it on or near for that matter while cooking, which makes it a perfect vehicle of flavor for a lean piece of meat like tenderloin.
Besides from the fact of the bacon, why not take the richness up a notch and add a glob of pecan butter. It’s slight sweetness and creaminess really lend a hand to the smoky, briny bacon. Truly an unbeatable combo for any slab of meat in my opinion. With that said who is to say it has to be bison tenderloin? Not me. You could probably do this on just about any steak including a beef tenderloin or pork tenderloin. I also found that making a pan sauce along side is just another decadence to add to this long list of gastronomic details that make this dish so satisfying.
Try and make sure your pecan butter isn’t too cold if you refrigerate it when you put it on the meat. You want it to kind of melt away on to the meat, not completely but enough to create a beautiful nutty mess on the top. Or you could just do what I did and spread it around on the top so you have a little bit of everything in one tongue twitching bite. Just be sure to take your time enjoying the taste of this because I scarfed mine down so fast I’m not even sure I got to fully taste it.
Regardless of my idiotic scarfing I still really enjoyed the meal and will definitely be making it again because it’s so incredibly quick to make and something perfect for a special occasion without too much hassle. Just remember to get that sear nice and good on each side and you will have a really flavorful piece of meat. I like to test the meats doneness by touch rather than by thermometer because if you take the thermometer out it will spill juices everywhere.
Not to mention, nobody wants to leave a big thermometer in a nice beautifully cut tenderloin, it just doesn’t look appealing, at all. Luckily I figured out the timing for you guys but everyones oven is different so if you want to go buy feel, rare feels like the soft spot between your thumb and index finger, medium rare feel likes the soft pad behind and under your thumb and medium feels a little higher up.
- 2 (8 oz) bison tenderloins
- 2-4 strips of bacon per tenderloin (depending on whether or not one strip will wrap all the way around, if one strip doesn't wrap all the way around simply overlap two)
- 2 sprigs fresh rosemary and thyme
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 teaspoons pecan butter or more depending on how much you want (I used Artisana Organic Raw Pecan Butter which is delicious by the way)
- oil for brushing(I used Avocado oil, but you could use Macadamia nut oil as well)
- salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste (coarse ground black pepper)
- 1 cup chicken stock or red wine
- 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon grass fed butter
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pull out your tenderloins and let thems it out and come to room temperature for about 20 minutes before you put them in the pan (this is not 100 percent necessary but it is nice to let your steaks come slightly to room temperature before cooking)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Line a medium sized baking sheet with aluminum foil and place to the side
- Remove leaves from rosemary and thyme and place on cutting board discarding the stems.
- Sprinkle salt on herbs and crack fresh black pepper liberally on the herbs then mince with 2 cloves of garlic finely.
- Brush both sides of each tenderloin with oil and then rub herb mixture onto them both sides of oil brushed tenderloin.
- Wrap each tenderloin with 1 strip or more of bacon so they are overlapping and hold in place by piercing a toothpick through the overlapping bacon and into the tenderloin.
- Heat a dry nonstick pan over medium high heat and wait for it to get nice and hot. You have to make sure the pan is hot before you put the steaks in that way you get a nice sear, you should hear the sizzle the second it hits the pan. Once the pan is hot place steaks in the pan and sear about 1-2 minutes per side or until desired browning is achieved.
- Place seared tenderloins onto foil lined baking sheet and place in preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes depending on your oven.(this is where you would start making the optional pan sauce if you would like it)
- Pull tenderloins out let them rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
- Serve steaks with 1 teaspoon or more of pecan butter on top of each tenderloin, an optional pan sauce and a side of veggies. (I had mine with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and sauteed spinach but I bet this would go great with Cauliflower Mash)
- Once meat has finished searing and are in the oven in the same pan you seared them in add a little bit of oil and fry 2 more cloves of minced garlic until fragrant.
- Deglaze the pan with 1 cup chicken stock or red wine scraping the browned bits at the bottom of the pan(two completely different flavors but both work great)
- Bring to a simmer and add 1½ tablespoons red wine vinegar and stir
- Simmer until liquid has reduced by half and add 1 tablespoon of butter and melt.
- Bring back to a simmer a lightly simmer until it reduces slightly more.
- Strain pan sauce into a bowl and spoon strained pan sauce over finished steaks when serving.