• 2 ¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ½ tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 ½ teaspoons grated orange zest
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 (2-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin roast, trimmed


1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine salt, sugar, and baking soda together in bowl; set aside. Heat 3 tablespoons oil and peppercorns in small saucepan over low heat until faint bubbles appear. Continue to cook at bare simmer, swirling pan occasionally, until pepper is fragrant, 7 to 10 minutes. Using fine-mesh strainer, drain cooking oil from peppercorns. Discard cooking oil and mix peppercorns with remaining 1½ tablespoons oil, orange zest, and nutmeg.

2. Set tenderloin on sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle salt mixture evenly over surface of tenderloin and rub into tenderloin until surface is tacky. Rub top and side of tenderloin with peppercorn mixture, pressing to make sure peppercorns adhere.

3. Transfer prepared tenderloin to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet. Roast until thickest part of meat registers about 120 degrees for rare and about 125 degrees for medium-rare (thinner parts of tenderloin will be slightly more done), 45 to 55 minutes. Transfer to carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.

4. Cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve.


It is important to use coarsely cracked (and not ground) pepper for this recipe. To ensure that you are using only coarsely cracked pepper, sift it through a fine-mesh strainer. You can crack the pepper by hand using the bottom of a skillet or saucepan. You can also use the coarsest setting on some pepper grinders to achieve the right texture. Center-cut beef tenderloin roasts are sometimes sold as Châteaubriand. Serve with our Pomegranate-Port Sauce or Red Wine–Orange Sauce (see related content), if desired.



MacGourmet downloadPepper-Crusted Center-Cut Beef Tenderloin Roast. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.


Cooks Illustrated


Servings: 6
Yield: 6