If you follow me on twitter or instagram (both are painfreekitchen, by the way), you might have seen a teaser photo for this recipe. After almost 2 months of no cooking, I, of course, decided that I wanted to make the most complicated recipe on the planet – Lobster and bacon stuffed beef tenderloin with béarnaise sauce. Thankfully both lobster and the beef tenderloin were on sale at Jewel-Osco. However I have to warn you, this recipe is not simple, it’s not fast, and it’s not cheap. But if you’re looking to impress your friends or if you’re an advanced cook that wants to try something different, you might give it a go. I think it would be perfect for a special anniversary meal. Just make sure you leave plenty of time to cook it. I think it took me about 2 hours total.
Lobster and Bacon Stuffed Beef Tenderloin with Béarnaise SauceAdapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe on Food Network
- 2 lobster tails
- 5 strips of bacon, chopped
- 6 oz of chopped onions and celery (I bought it pre-chopped, packaged)
- 4 cloves of garlic
- 2 tablespoons of green onions, minced
- 2 tablespoons of dry white wine (I bought one labeled “cooking white wine”)
- 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 3 lbs of beef tenderloin, trimmed and butterflied
Ingredients for Béarnaise Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons onion, chopped
- 4 sprigs fresh tarragon, whole
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (used the same type as above)
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 4 large egg yolks
- 1 cup clarified butter, melted (or 2 sticks regular butter, melted)
- 1 teaspoon lime juice (original recipe said lemon…I didn’t have any)
- 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
In your stemmer, heat water until boiling, then add your lobster tail, cover and cook for about 6 minutes. Your lobsters should be a bright red when they’re done. Set them aside to cool.
Chop your bacon into bite size chunks, then cook in pan until crispy. You don’t need any cooking oil because the bacon has enough of its own. I think it only took me about 8 minutes to cook.
While your bacon is cooking, cut open your lobster tails and pull out the meat. I have another blog post about how to cut open lobster tails. Basically you just cut down the sides of the underbelly and then pull it back. Don’t worry if the meat doesn’t come out in one piece. Chop up the lobster meat into bite sized chunks and set aside. Also at this point, you can take your beef out of the fridge and let it start to come to room temperature.
When the bacon is cooked, turn the heat off and remove it with a slotted spoon. Put the bacon on a few pieces of paper towel on a plate to cool. If you have a lot of grease, pour it out but leave about 2 tablespoons in the pan to use as your cooking oil in the next step.
So the original recipe called for 1/2 cup chopped shallots and 3 tablespoons minced celery. You are welcome to do that. I, on the other hand, hate buying celery. Because you can only buy it in those big giant bags and you can never eat all of it before it spoils. So instead, I grabbed the pre-cut mix of celery and onion. Close enough.
In the pan that you just used that still has a bit of bacon grease in it, pour in your chopped celery/onions. Cook until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Then add your chopped garlic and chopped green onions. Cook for another minute or so.
Add the 2 tablespoons of dry white wine, increase the heat and cook until much of the wine has evaporated. It only takes a minute or two.
Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl with the chopped lobster and add bacon. Add the 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley and incorporate all ingredients. Set aside.
So this was the beef I bought. When I originally read this recipe, I thought beef tenderloin would be similar to pork tenderloin. False. Beef tenderloin is a very expensive cut of beef. Thankfully when I bought it, it was on sale for only $12.99/lb.
Butterfly your beef by slowly slicing through the middle, keeping one end still intact (it looks like a butterfly…get it?).
Now take the lobster/bacon filling and try to pile all of it on one side of the butterfly. At first I wasn’t sure it all was going to fit but I somehow managed. (Feel free to eat bits of bacon and/or lobster that doesn’t fit. Just make sure it didn’t touch the raw meat first…)
Fold over the other half of the butterfly and use kitchen string to tie the meat shut. The string really is important. I tried at first without the string but the filling just falls right out.
At this point, pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees (F).
Heat up your pan again. Pour a little olive oil in your hands and rub the meat on all sides with it. Season with salt and pepper. When the pan is hot, sear all sides of the beef. It’s a little tricky since the beef is so big, but we found that a spatula and kitchen tongs work the best.
It doesn’t take too long to sear, only a few minutes per side. Also, if you can’t tell from the photo, we used a cast iron skillet for this step. Mostly because then we could transfer it directly to the oven. Feel free to use a regular skillet and then transfer the meat to a heavy roasting pan for the oven.
Place the meat in the oven. Cook for 35 minutes for medium – rare. (I cooked mine for 35 minutes and it was definitely on the rare side in the middle. I personally thought it was delicious that way but if you don’t like your meat mooing I suggest you try 45 min.)
In a saucepan, combine onion, tarragon (the four whole sprigs), 1/4 cup dry white wine and the 1/4 cup dry vermouth. Bring to a boil and cook until the liquid reduces to about 2 tablespoons. It doesn’t take that long, maybe only 5 minutes. Remove from heat, strain out solids and set aside as reduced wine.
So funny story guys. This is the point in which I realize my double boiler is actually in my storage unit and not in my kitchen. Thankfully, Jake is an engineer. So we got creative. If you don’t have a double boiler, just place your vegetable steamer inside a large saucepan and then place a smaller saucepan on top. Voila!
Anyway, place about an inch or two of water in the bottom pan and turn up the heat just enough to make it simmer.
Add the reduced wine/vermouth mixture and egg yolks to the top boiler and whisk constantly until it starts to thicken up. Do not let it get too hot. You don’t want scrambled eggs. I think I whisked for about 3 minutes. (Original instructions said to whisk until ribbons start to form. I have no idea what that means so I chose to ignore it). Now slowly drizzle the melted clarified butter a bit at a time. Don’t rush it and keep whisking. The mixture will really start to thicken up at this point.
Remove from heat. Add lime juice, chopped tarragon, salt and pepper.
At some point around this time, your meat should be done. When it is, take it out and let it rest for about 10 minutes before carving. In order to save it from sitting in its own juices, I put it on top of a cooling rack rested on a plate. This isn’t necessary but it’s nice. Also you can tent the meat with some tin foil to keep it from cooling too quickly.
Bam! Huge hunk of meat filled with lobster and bacon. Cut off the string and slice thickly.
Bam! Place slice of meat on a plate and drizzle with a spoonful of béarnaise sauce. I served mine with riced cauliflower (which I also drizzled with béarnaise sauce).
Yeah. So that was my Friday night. Like I mentioned, this is not a simple recipe (although it’s not that difficult either) and it certainly isn’t cheap. But if you are looking for a meal that will impress, I suggest you give this a try. Heck, you might even try just making the lobster/bacon mixture and leave out the beef. If you do try this recipe, please take pictures and send them to me.
Alright, that’s it. It’s 1am and I’m going to bed. Also if you’re a beginner cook and this post just scared the living daylights out of you, I will come back next week with a super simple beginner crockpot recipe, so keep your eyes open for it.