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Beef Tenderloin with Aromatic Thai Spices

Photo: © Tina Rupp
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Jean-Georges Vongerichten loves to cook beef tenderloin sous vide—a restaurant technique that home cooks can easily replicate by simmering the steaks in a resealable plastic freezer bag at a low temperature (a thermometer is essential).

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 8-ounce beef tenderloin steaks (about 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 8 1-inch rosemary sprigs
  • 10 thyme sprigs
  • 7 kaffir lime leaves, chopped
  • 6 1-inch strips of orange zest
  • 2 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 10 dried Thai chiles, coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

How to Make It

  1. In a small saucepan, heat the vegetable oil. Add the garlic and cook over low heat until pale golden and crisp, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes. Drain the garlic chips on paper towels and reserve the oil; let both cool to room temperature.

  2. Using a sharp paring knife, make 1-inch slits all over the tenderloin steaks. Stuff the slits with the garlic chips.

  3. Fill a large, sturdy, resealable plastic freezer bag with the shallots, rosemary, thyme, lime leaves, orange zest, fish sauce, soy sauce, dried chiles and the reserved garlic oil. Add the steaks and seal, turning to coat the meat with the marinade. Let stand at room temperature for 2 hours.

  4. Bring a large pot of water barely to a simmer; the water should register 135° on a candy or instant-read thermometer. Discard most of the marinade and reseal the plastic bag, pressing out any air. Add the bag to the water and cover with a rack or plate to keep it submerged. Cook the meat in the bag at 135° for 45 minutes, adjusting the heat as necessary to maintain the temperature. Remove the bag from the water. Transfer the steaks to a plate; scrape off the marinade.

  5. In a skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil and heat until nearly smoking. Add the steaks and cook over high heat, turning once, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the steaks registers 130° for medium-rare, 6 minutes. Serve right away.