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Filet Mignon, Marinated Asparagus & Baby Potatoes & Peppers: Blow-by-Blow Q-View on Weber Kettles

forluvofsmoke

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FILET MIGNON WITH MARINATED GRILLED MIXED PURPLE/RED/YELLOW BABY POTATOES, PEPPERS & ONION, MARINATED GRILLED ASPARGUS -  FOR TWO

This is only my 2nd Filet Mignon, and was an actual planned meal (wait...what...me, plan???) for a belated Valentine's Day dinner. I was scheduled to work today, but my services were not needed, so I got to prepare this meal on time, but ahead of my planned date. I rarely plan a meal, and prefer to shoot from the hip, grabbing whatever I find in the fridge, freezer and pantry and just rolling with whatever comes to mind...totally new meals every time. But this one was special. I picked up the Tenderloin Steaks and veggies a couple days ago, so my thoughts on this meal have been simmering on the back burner for several days, and I knew I wanted everything cooked outdoors. I just couldn't deny myself that opportunity with the great mid-February weather we're having, but I'd have done it in the middle of a winter storm, if need be...mother nature has rarely stopped me before, and this would be no exception. AT any rate, there are a few things I'll be doing today that are not part of my normal methods, with a new tool or two (to me) along the way.

I say this meal is for two, but with at least one reasonably large appetite, for the guys. This is one cut of beef that I think most guys want to eat more than the typical 5-6oz serving size at a high-end eatery...yeah, I think too many of us have been through that. So, if you like your beef tenderloin, and a lot of it, why not do up your own instead of being disappointed and leaving the table hungry? And, how many places smoke & sear their tenderloin over coals? Secondly, there will be plenty of vegetables to go around, as it takes two gill-pans to cook the potato & pepper mix.

That said, don't be afraid to cut the veggies by 1/3 to 1/2 for that dish if you feel it's overkill. But these would also make a great addition for a leftovers dish, including the base for a stew or pot-roast with another meat started before hand. I would not use leftover tenderloin for a dish as this...it would destroy it if cooked too long, but if added just to heat it through, yes, and it would be delicious.

My choice of vegetables is comprised of items we rarely have, or prepared in a manner we rarely, if ever, do. The marinating and grilling of vegetables is something I don't do often enough, and today, considering the cut of meat I'm cooking, I wanted a unique pairing for sides.

The goods:


I picked the tenderloin up on sale... surprise for me, as I was expecting, and willing, to pay full price:

This morning I thought I'd only cook 1 pack today and save the rest for the 15th. My better judgement says no...cook it all today and think on tomorrow's dinner when that time comes. These are so good I won't want to stop eating with just a ~10oz portion (I normally only eat 1/2lb of steak...this is way different). And, my wife may want more than ~6oz. So, I'm going for the whole ~1.9lbs...can you blame me? LOL!!!



So, let's get started marinating, shall we? I don't marinate foods very often, but today it seemed an appropriate option. I tossed these recipes together this morning with the KISS method in mind. Not too bold, but far from bland...and it gave me an opportunity to piece together a little bit of something new and different...something neither of us has eaten before...that's how memories are started. Marinating the veggies today will be for the usual two reasons: to impart flavor, and to lightly coat with an oil to aid in browning while cooking over the fire.

ANCHO CHILI MARINATED GRILLED BABY POTATOES WITH PEPPERS & ONION

1-1/2lb Creamer Potatoes (baby reds, yellows and a few purple in the bag I grabbed)
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
1 Orange Bell Pepper, chopped
1 lg  Sweet Yellow Onion, cut to 1/8 wedges (use less if you wish, we like onion)
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup White Vinegar (sub with 1/4 C Balsamic Vinegar for it's unique flavor & 1/4 C water)
1 Tbsp coarse ground Ancho Chili
2 tsp minced dried Garlic
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp fine ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt

Mix spices with Oil and Vinegar, add to whole Potatoes, chopped Peppers and Onion and toss/tumble to coat well. I opted for a 1-gal baggie. Marinade 4+hrs refrigerated, tumbling again periodically, before grilling in a grill pan.

You really can't marinate this too long...overnight would be better. Add Green Bell Pepper, if desired, for more color and a broader flavor profile...I opted for mostly sweet, and you could add Yellow Bell Pepper.

This is a dish that packs so much natural flavor that I didn't want to complicate the flavors with too much spices. I've used Balsamic Vinegar enough to know that if you have it and use it here, you won't be disappointed. We ran out, and don't have a good local source, so that's on the list for a road-trip.


LEMON-PEPPER MARINATED ASPARAGUS

1 bunch fresh Asparagus (approx 1/lb)
1/8 cup Canola Oil (EVOO may overwhelm the mild-flavored Asparagus, but I'll try it)
1/8 cup Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp fine ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt, coarse

Mix spices with oil and juice,snap off ends of Asparagus, add marinade to Asparagus  and toss/tumble to coat well. Marinade for 3+ hours in refrigerator, gently tumbling again periodically, before grilling.


BEEF TENDERLOIN STEAKS

No recipe is needed here: I kept the seasoning simple with SPOG. This is such a great tasting, tender cut of Beef that I wouldn't dream of insulting it by going overboard with spices. KISS method, here. I used fresh crushed (with Mortar & Pestle, not cracked) Black Peppercorns, fresh crushed Onion, Kosher Salt, and granulated Garlic.

Spice Tip:

Why crush the Peppercorns & Onion? Varied particle size. Varied particle size = varied texture and depth of flavor. Finer particles release their flavor and aromas right up front. The more small particles, the stronger the flavor, up front. Larger particle size = more flavor as you chew. The more large particles, the longer the flavor lasts as you chew. So, by having fine, medium and large spice particles, well, you get flavor all the way, from bite to chew to swallowing that scrumptious bite of food.

With careful use of varied particle sizes with your different spices you can use the above to create a dry rub with a specific, targeted flavor profile, such as with stronger, short-term garlic up front, and a strong and lasting Onion and Pepper.

Working my Peppercorns and Onion with Mortar & Pestle (if you don't have one, I recommend you add it to your list as it can really open the doors for creating unique flavor profiles from your dry rubs):



Coarse to medium size, with very little fines/powder:


Chopped Onion:


Coarse to medium, with a small amount of some powdered onion:


All that said, I think you can figure out where I'm heading with my dry rub blend. Although it may look like a heavy application of dry rub, keep in mind two things: these are to be warm smoked, then high-heat seared to finish...high-heat cooking can break-down some of the flavors, yet can also enhance them, including some of the rub ingredients. If these were to be hot-smoked only, I'd back off on the application rate...might have quite a punch, otherwise. Some of this rub will be lost to the grill from handling as well (I try to be gentle, though), while if smoked only the rub would be set tighter onto the meat by the time it's cooked and ready to eat (I don't turn my smoked-only meats):


I rested the rubbed tenderloin at ambient temps for a bit while I started coals for this smoke. Into my Weber 14" for a warm smoke while I get things started on the veggie-side of things...get warm & happy, my little friends:


So, with the warm smoke to begin warming the meat through slowly there should be a bit less rain-bow effect (grey under seared meat, then pink to red in moving into the center) than would be seen with going straight to a hot grill.

Starting the veggies in my Weber OTG-26: I pre-heated the grill-pans over 1 chimney of briquettes for a few minutes..direct heat to start so i get more caramelizing of this dish...coals will take a hit when I dump the marinated veggies into the pans, but the searing of those liquids will add some flavor. I'll add 3/4 chimney of RO Lump after a bit to jack up the heat on the front and back (indirect heat) for more intense roasting heat...wide-open lid and intakes all the way through cooking, pushing around 300*, then closer to 350* with the RO Lump added. I haven't used these pans before (brand new), or this roasting method very often, and I'm changing things up as I feel the need from other cooks I've done...just rolling with what feels right:


I'm tossing these pans every 5 minutes or so to turn the veggies. I started open-lid for about 5 minutes to keep the fire nice and hot, then closed it up for the duration, other than food-tending. Just into the grill:


Warm Smoke the Beef Tenderloin (approx 30-min or less with lighter smoke @ ~120* or less...it's easy to over-smoke these smaller cuts, so pay attention to your timing) while grilling the Potatoes, chopped Onion and Bell Peppers. I started my tenderloin before anything else, so I nearly pulled the smoke wood (a couple of small chunks of hickory) after 30 minutes until I realized how opaque (very thin) it was and that it smelled subtle, but sweet. So, the tenderloin got roughly 70 minutes of very light smoke. The potato/pepper-mix may take 60+ minutes to cook, depending on grill temp, with turning or tossing them frequently...mine took about 75 minutes with lid openings for tending, pics, etc. I opted for a separate small grill with just 4 briquettes for heating smoke wood for the tenderloin while grilling the Potatoes, Peppers and Onion on my main grill, then bringing it all together for the finish. You may choose to hot-smoke and sear, and could use one cooker with that method, starting your tenderloins after the potatoes & peppers veggies are underway.

Moving forward...at approx 40 minutes I moved to all indirect fire, as I thought the caramelizing was moving along a bit too quickly. Some of the seasoning from the marinade had stuck and scorched to the pans, but hey, that still added another depth of flavor to the dish:


Mmm...starting to look more and more like part of a meal...I love cooking on these kettles, but I've literally just scratched the surface with the what I've done with them, so far. Left pan:


Right pan:


If desired, cook the pepper/onion separately from the potatoes, as the level of cooking/caramelizing can be controlled much more easily. Cooked as I did, the peppers/onion were cooked very well, and caramelized quite a lot...that's OK, because it's all about the flavor, though if texture is a concern, work with the separation to cook.

Begin grilling/searing the Tenderloin and add the Asparagus over hot coals after turning the Tenderloin once. I tossed them on early, but no harm done as the pan was there to drop them into anyway. The Asparagus takes just a few minutes to cook. You'll want a VERY hot fire if you hot smoked (unless you reduce smoking time a lot) just so you can get a decent sear before they're over-cooked.

Potatoes checked slightly firm, but tender @ 75 minutes...perfect...let's get this meal finished, shall we?

Now, THAT'S a fire!!!



I poured both pans together and kept them warm in the rear with indirect heat while the searing commenced:


WOW!!! The Asparagus went fast!!! I expected just a couple minutes, but I couldn't keep up due to such a wicked-hot fire:


Oh, I almost can't wait (insert emoticon of little boy rubbing his hands together while he licks his lips):


Valentine's Day Dinner is served!!!





Here's the rainbow effect I mentioned earlier with the cut on the left that's charred more:



And, the best of the two largest, IMHO...well, it's difficult to say which I liked best. The charring was nice...I usually don't go to that extreme...it offers that extra punch of flavor some of us really enjoy, myself included:



Oh, and the Purple Potatoes? That's another new food for us...unique and tasty, with a bit different texture than the yellow and red. The color is...well, pretty freekin' cool!!:



That, my friends was worth every minute of prep time, fire tending, waiting for the potatoes to finish...and anything else I've already forgotten...it's just part of the passion for great food from my outdoor kitchen.

My wife and I ate to our heart's (and bellies) content. Nothing wasn't good about this dinner...kinda impressed myself, with the couple of hiccups that I either recovered from, or, weren't cause for concern at the end of the day. I didn't consider a desert, but my better half is already asleep and we're both stuffed to the brim.

Any questions come up, don't be shy...I may not have included all the notes in their entirety due to waiting for this meal to happen with great anticipation for several days...some things just get lost in the shuffle and translation.

Oh, that was so good...I'd do this again in a heart-beat!!!

Thanks for peekin'!!! You can stick a fork in me now, 'cuz I'm DONE!!!

Great smokes to all, and to all a good night!!

Eric

I had to look them up...the below info on the Purple Potato is from: http://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Purple_Potatoes_641.php
[h2]Description/Taste[/h2]
Purple potatoes have deep violet, ink-colored skin and flesh. Depending on the specific variety, their coloring can be opaque or marble throughout the flesh. Purple potatoes are inherently dry, starchy, earthy and slightly nutty in flavor. Though one may find that many purple varieties of potatoes yield small tubers, they are generally harvested young. If left to grow to maturity they become large and oblong, making them suitable for baking and mashing.
[h2]Seasons/Availability[/h2]
Purple potatoes are available year-round, though winter reduces crop availability mid-winter into spring.
 
[h2]Current Facts[/h2]
The Purple potato, botanical name Solanum andigenum, is the name designated to dozens of heirloom and heritage varieties of Purple potatoes. Common names of these varieties include Purple Peruvian (fingerling variety), All Blue, Congo, Lion's Paw, Vitilette, Purple Viking and Purple Majesty. Purple Majesty is known the the deepest purple of all purple varieties, hence the given name. Purple potatoes are grown for both fresh market potatoes and for chipping potatoes.
 
[h2]Nutritional Value[/h2]
Unlike white -fleshed potatoes, Purple potatoes are rich in the antioxidant, anthocyanin. This flavonoid is most often found in blue, red and purple produce such as berries and pomegranates and has been shown to be an immune system booster and aid in the prevention of certain cancers. The Purple potato's nutritional value and energy-rich properties have become factors for the potato's explosion in popularity in the late 20th century and early 21st century. Its ability to provide high quantities of vitamins, proteins, and antioxidants has become a valued measure of food security and sovereignty.
 
[h2]Applications[/h2]
Purple potatoes are an invaluable staple in a South American kitchen and many recipes reflect such. Their historical culinary presence has lent them to perhaps thousands of recipes over thousands of years. Though, Peruvian in origin, the Purple potato can be utilized in any cuisine that would otherwise use potatoes. Purple potatoes can be roasted, braised, boiled, baked, fried for chips, and even confit'd. They pair well with savory herbs, garlic, pork, poultry, artichokes, both rich and mild cheese, other starchy vegetables such as corn and shelled beans and of course, salad greens.
 
[h2]Ethnic/Cultural Info[/h2]
Purple potato varieties are among hundreds of other varieties found in Parque de la Papa (Potato Park) near Cusco, a Spanish Colonial city high in the Andes. At Parque de la Papa, roughly 700 varieties native to the region are grown for food, enrichment, research, biodiversity and preservation. Most of these varieties never see a market, as they are traded among communities or given as gifts.
 
[h2]Geography/History[/h2]
The Purple potato is native to the Lake Titicaca within the high plains and mountain slopes of Peru and Bolivia. They are among thousands of varieties that have been cultivated for nearly 8000 years in the Andean regions of Peru, Boliva, and Ecuador. The diversity of Purple potato varieties, their resistance to disease and ability to withstand harsh conditions has allowed them to evolve for thousands of years into a 21st century food crop. Purple potatoes are cultivated in potato growing regions of South America, North America and Europe.

There's more on that web page, and tons of hits if you do a search...ENJOY!!!
 
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DanMcG

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Awesome looking meal Eric, But I have a problem with blue food, just doesn't look right to me.:dunno
 

SmokinAl

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Awesome looking meal Eric!

Point worthy  for sure!

Al
 

worktogthr

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Wow, what a great looking mea and I loved watching it unfold!  Great pictures!!  Points all the way!
 

dirtsailor2003

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Great looking meal and write up!

I like to serve purple mashed taters to unsuspecting guests!

Point!
 

bmudd14474

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Eric,

Great job my friend. Anytime you have the desire to do this again let me know and ill come help so you don't get so stuffed. :biggrin:
 

disco

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Great Meal, Great Picture, Great Post.

If I had any points left I'd give you one!

Disco
 

forluvofsmoke

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Awesome looking meal Eric, But I have a problem with blue food, just doesn't look right to me.
Thanks, Dan! Ah, yes, those potatoes almost look like they'd have an agenda. At least they don't leave you with blue teeth like artificially colored cake frosting, which I strongly dislike. So, do you eat Bleu Cheese? I can't get past all the funk in that stuff...tried it once when I was very young...I guess just so I could say I did.
Great looking meal, nice write up.
Thanks!
 
Awesome looking meal Eric!

Point worthy  for sure!

Al
Thanks, Al! It tasted awesome!
 
Wow, what a great looking mea and I loved watching it unfold!  Great pictures!!  Points all the way!
Thanks, I always enjoy sharing the ride with everyone here.
Great looking meal and write up!

I like to serve purple mashed taters to unsuspecting guests!

Point!
Thanks! Now that would be worth seeing the looks on their faces!
Eric,

Great job my friend. Anytime you have the desire to do this again let me know and ill come help so you don't get so stuffed.
Thanks, Brian! Oh man, that was a lot of food for 4 to attempt to eat...we could have put a couple more mouths to work on it and I have no problem with sharing.
 
Great Meal, Great Picture, Great Post.

If I had any points left I'd give you one!

Disco
Thanks, brother!

I may have some teaser pics to post up later today. I didn't make it last night as I expected I would (and why I haven't responded earlier) because my better half was out of town, so I was a bachelor for the night. Tonight will be a dish from the leftovers. I just need to decide what it will be. I have a few ideas, but want to keep it simple, as everything is already cooked and just needs to heat through. One might not think it, but there are SO many possibilities. More on that later.

Eric
 

cmayna

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Eric,

Will those blue potatoes make your tummy glow at night? LOL

I'm really enjoying using my weber and what you've done here just helps me look forward to a lot more webering (word?)    Nice presentation indeed.
 

ab canuck

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That looks MIGHTY FINE.... great job on the cook and presentation, Great layout, Pics, And description, Point for sure for all the work that went into this....
 

forluvofsmoke

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Eric,

Will those blue potatoes make your tummy glow at night? LOL

I'm really enjoying using my weber and what you've done here just helps me look forward to a lot more webering (word?)    Nice presentation indeed.
Thanks, hey I gotta say, I enjoy cooking outdoors SO much more with my Weber kettles than anything else. The versatility is probably unmatched. I'd rather smoke in these than my WSM-18, unless it's a longer cook that otherwise would require multiple additions of fuel...and I've done a few of those cooks, as well...no big deal, really. When you can do smoke & sear all in one cooker, well, that makes it even sweeter. Oh, and mustn't forget about the rotisserie kit I have for my OTG-18...that's a handy tool to have, for sure.

Whole meals are something I've been doing for a while, but not as often as I'd like to. The kettles do seem to make it easier, though. Enjoy your Weber!
 
That looks MIGHTY FINE.... great job on the cook and presentation, Great layout, Pics, And description, Point for sure for all the work that went into this....
Thanks! It may seem like a lot of work (posting it all), but it doesn't when I'm doing it...helps me stay busy and keep my mind off of waiting for that dinner to be ready! And, this meal may have seemed like a lot of work, too, though it really wasn't. This was one of the more simple preps for a meal that I've made in quite a long time. An easy cook now and then is always welcome. I seem to get so caught up in things sometimes that I don't realize what I'm getting myself into until it's well underway...no stopping then...just suck it up and roll with it.

Pics of tonight's dinner are on the way...it's been in the "O" warming through for the past 45 minutes, now. Smells awfully good in the kitchen already. Hmm, that's a weird descriptive statement, isn't it? Who ever came up with it 
and rubbed it off on me needs some therapy...awful and good should not be used in the same sentence, right?


Eric
 

smokeymose

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Very nice, Eric!
Part of the "deal" when I got the stick burner was that I had to get rid of something (patio space and all that), so I kept the MB gasser to use the chamber for sausage smoking with a mailbox and got rid of the old Weber kettle which didn't get used much. Of course I didn't get rid of it. I resides at work in the warehouse. I miss it dearly and you've convinced me to get it back home. Wish me luck!
Point for a great post!

Dan
 

forluvofsmoke

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I finally made up another dish from leftovers again. I don't know why, but this was a dish that I wanted to take that extra step with, and I usually just freeze them for a day when we/I want something quick for a meal. This was a simple and easy use of leftovers from the tenderloin, potato/veggie mix...a casserole the likes of no other I've ever eaten.

I separated and sliced-up the potatoes and dropped into a baking pan (S/S 1/2 size Steam Table Pan was my choice)...sliced Tenderloin came next:


Then, cut up the Asparagus, and also reduced the size of the Peppers and Onion (cut up at the same time):


The add-ons were few, and again, simple.

Topped with 10.5oz Beefy Mushroom Soup and added about 4oz water, just in case:


Threw on several hands full of grated Mozzarella to mostly cover it all up...no stirring, just leave everything in thin layers...it'll come together just fine:


Into the "O" for 1hr @ 250, no cover..killed the oven and let it coast for another 15 minutes, and rested on stove top for about 5 minutes before serving:



2 servings are gone...1 left for the first taker...



Easy and delicious:


This has all the flavors from the lightly smoked/seared Tenderloin and grill-roasted veggies, but with some added richness from the soup and cheese...nice way to finish it all off, and never had this combination come from the "O" before. Another new one for us for dinner, so, 2 new meals from one cook...gotta love it!!!

All in all, worth every minute from when I started cutting the Peppers and Onion for marinating on the 14th until I hit the SUBMIT button here again tonight.

ENJOY!!!

Eric
 
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forluvofsmoke

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Very nice, Eric!
Part of the "deal" when I got the stick burner was that I had to get rid of something (patio space and all that), so I kept the MB gasser to use the chamber for sausage smoking with a mailbox and got rid of the old Weber kettle which didn't get used much. Of course I didn't get rid of it. I resides at work in the warehouse. I miss it dearly and you've convinced me to get it back home. Wish me luck!
Point for a great post!

Dan
Thanks, Dan! Oh buddy, I don't know how I'd live without my Weber kettles. I've had my OTG-18 for 6-1/2 years, after messing around with el-cheapo wally-world specials for a few years before that...no comparison, as you already know. My Weber OTGs will be the last thing to leave if I gotta get rid of cookers for any reason. Hey you really don't need luck with the Weber...you just need to settle back into that groove and take every ride that comes your way, right? Tell you what I'll do, I'll welcome you back to the Dark Side!!!


Eric
 
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