Food & Drink

December 1, 2014

Food and Wine Pairing: Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Roast with Wente Vineyards Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon

Wente Vineyards partnered with America’s Test Kitchen to compile quick, easy, and impressive holiday recipes and wine pairings for holiday entertaining. We’ve given a few of the recipes a whirl here in the South Florida Food and Wine kitchen and have decided to share with you some of the more quick, easy, and impressive recipes to consider when planning your holiday menus. For an impressive Christmas Dinner we recommend the ever-so easy to prepare Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin Roast paired with Wente Vineyards Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon. This entree, and that wine will impress your guests, and you to no end.

Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin, Roast photo credit: America's Test Kitchen

Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin, Roast photo credit: America’s Test Kitchen


  • 4 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 9 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup coarsely cracked black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1(6-pound) whole beef tenderloin, trimmed


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 300 degrees. Combine salt, sugar, and baking soda in bowl; set aside. Heat 6 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 3 tablespoons oil, orange zest, and nutmeg. Set tenderloin on sheet of plastic wrap. Sprinkle salt mixture evenly over surface of tenderloin and rub into tenderloin until surface is tacky. Tuck tail end of tenderloin under about 6 inches to create more even shape. Rub top and side of tenderloin with peppercorn mixture, pressing to make sure peppercorns adhere.

Pepper-Crusted Technique

CRACK: For a crunchy crust that also sticks, coarsely crack—don’t pulverize—the peppercorns.

SIFT: To remove the dusty bits of ground pepper, sift the cracked peppercorns in a strainer.

GLUE: Rub the meat with salt, sugar, and baking soda to make the surface tacky.

Spray three 12-inch lengths kitchen twine with vegetable oil spray; tie head of tenderloin to maintain even shape, spacing twine at 2-inch intervals. Transfer prepared tenderloin to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet, keeping tail end tucked under. 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), 60 to 70 minutes. Transfer to carving board and let rest for 30 minutes.Remove twine and slice meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Serve.

Wente Vineyards Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon

Wente Vineyards Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon

Wente Vineyards Charles Wetmore Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 shows off its rich aromas of black cherry, mocha with a subtle hint of vanilla joined with lush flavors of cherry, chocolate and oak; a well balanced wine with a long finish. SRP $30

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