Roast Tenderloin of Beef with Jack Daniel's Peppercorn Sauce
SERVES 6 - 8
This dish is introduced by the "Squire" at the annual Bracebridge Dinner, a Christmastime tradition for seven decades at the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite National Park.
1 3-4-lb. piece beef tenderloin, well trimmed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1⁄2 cup Jack Daniel's whiskey
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1 1⁄2 tsp. green peppercorns
1 1⁄2 tsp. red peppercorns
1⁄4 cup rich veal or beef stock
4 tbsp. butter, cut into pieces
1. Preheat oven to 400º. Generously season beef with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large ovenproof skillet over high heat. Add meat and brown on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Transfer skillet to oven; roast meat until internal temperature reaches 125º for rare, 15-20 minutes, or 135º for medium rare, about 25 minutes. Transfer meat to a cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and set aside for 15 minutes before slicing.
2. Meanwhile, warm whiskey in a small pan over low heat. Return the ovenproof skillet to medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, 1-2 minutes. Add green and red peppercorns, then whiskey, and carefully ignite with a kitchen match. When flames die out, continue cooking for 1 minute. Add stock and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, 1-2 minutes. Add butter, a few pieces at a time, swirling skillet over heat until melted and sauce is velvety, 2-3 minutes. Adjust seasonings.
3. Serve meat with whiskey sauce and boiled fingerling potatoes, sugar snap peas, and carrots, if you like.