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Espresso Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Truffle Sage Risotto

The ultimate special occasion meal! Espresso crusted beef tenderloin paired with truffle sage risotto. So much flavor - it's perfect for the holidays!
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  • 1 (3 pound) trimmed beef tenderloin
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter for melting
  • cacio e pepe brussels, for serving

truffle sage risotto

  • 6 to 8 cups chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 handful fresh sage, 12 to 15 leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cups Chardonnay
  • 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons truffle oil
  • ½ teaspoon truffle salt


  • The key to a delicious beef tenderloin is to start a day or two before! Ideally you want to tie the filet up with kitchen twine so it cooks evenly. You can do this with the method of using butcher's knots - there is a great tutorial right here.
  • Place the tenderloin on a wire rack that's sitting on a baking sheet. Season the meat liberally with the salt and the pepper. Place the sheet in the fridge and let the tenderloin sit uncovered overnight.
  • Be sure to pull the beef from the fridge at least an hour or so BEFORE you want to start roasting it.
  • Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. Place the tenderloin in a roasting pan with the onions around it. Stir together the sugar, espresso powder and garlic powder. Rub it all over the tenderloin.
  • Place the roasting pan on the center rack in the oven and roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (for a 3-pound tenderloin) or until the internal temperature reaches 120 to 125 degrees F on your meat thermometer. Remove the beef and set it aside for 10 minutes.
  • During those 10 minutes, place the butter in a saucepan and let it melt. If it verrrry slightly begins to brown, I let it, but I don't let it brown too much because it's going to be under the broiler!
  • Adjust the oven rack so it's about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Spoon some of the melted butter over the roast and place it under the broiler. You want to turn the beef every 30 seconds (and I also spoon more butter on it!) until the outsides are golden and browned. You only want to do this for about 2 to 3 minutes total - keep an eye on it!! Remove the beef from the oven.
  • Lift the beef from the roasting pan and place it on a cutting board to rest. Place the roasting pan over a burner and heat to medium-low heat. Stir any bits from the bottom of the pan and let the mixture simmer for a minute or two, so it thickens. You can use this as a drizzling sauce for the filet!
  • Slice the filet into 1-inch slices and serve with the truffle risotto. Note: I added the rosemary on top for garnish for these photos! But you can do it to help it look pretty on the table.

truffle sage risotto

  • Fill a stock pot with the chicken stock and heat over medium-low heat until it comes to a simmer. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
  • While your stock is heating up, you can crisp your sage. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter in a saucepan. Once melted, add in the sage and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until it’s crispy. Remove the sage and place it on a paper towel. Set the butter aside.
  • Heat a saucepan over medium-low heat and add the butter. Stir in the rice and the garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the rice is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Chardonnay and continue to stir as the rice absorbs the wine. When most of it is absorbed, add in about a third of the warm chicken/vegetable stock. Repeat the process, continuously stirring until the stock is absorbed, then add another third. Repeat until nearly all of the stock is used and absorbed and the rice is cooked, making sure to take a spoonful and taste test. You want the risotto to be moist when serving - you don’t want all of the rice to have soaked up the liquid.
  • The whole process will take about 20 to 25 minutes. It’s a labor of love! If the rice is still too chewy and dense, heat a bit more liquid and add it again, stirring. The rule I go by is to add enough liquid just to cover the very top of the risotto.
  • To serve, stir in the truffle oil, truffle salt and reserved sage butter. Top with the crispy sage.

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