Reuniting With An Old Friend: Smoked Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin (Pics)

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Back in '08 I got the honor of building a new house for a person who we became very good friends with. The build process was pretty much seamless and the friendship continued after closing. We have done tons of activities with him and his family over the years: parties at his house, parties at our house, boating, motorcycle trips, just hanging out at the brewery for a few beers, etc. When the pandemic hit 3 years ago we kinda lost touch and hadn't seen him since then. He reached out last week just to say HI and that turned into a dinner invite for last Saturday. This would also be the first time meeting his new fiance' and we were really looking forward to that. Since it had been years, I decided to pull out all the stops and put together a really nice dinner. The decision was made to do the beef tenderloin so I put together a complimentary array if side dishes.

To get the ball rolling, I had to make our beloved sour cream and onion rolls. The dough after the 2nd proof.
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We love the asparagus this way: Kerrygold butter, shaved pecans, and dried cranberries.
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A nice bowl of homemade garlic & sour cream mashed potatoes.
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Homemade beef and onion gravy. @Brokenhandle are you paying attention?
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The roast. Just over 1 1/2 pounds but there are only 4 of us and 3 aren't big eaters.
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Rubbed down with a Worcestershire sauce, a sprinkle of kosher salt, and coated with black pepper.
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The rolls done and off the grill.
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A pan full of mushrooms simmered with Marsala wine, butter, garlic, and black pepper.
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Appetizer plate with homemade Hawaiian Portagee sausage, some amazing smoked 16 year aged extra sharp cheddar I got from our very good friend Steve H Steve H in the Christmas exchange, and some club crackers.
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Some cherry wood TBS rolling in the afternoon sunlight. For some reason I really like this pic.
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Tenderloin on the smoker. Running 245 for the first 40 minutes to set the crust then drop to 180 to finish.
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Time to put the asparagus on the grill.
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The roast all done and getting happy. Pulled at an IT of 128.
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Sliced...oh baby!!
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Tracy putting the finishing touches on the table. We don't use the dining room but a couple times a year so she likes to make it kinda pretty.
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The spread. Kind of a funky pic and the rolls didn't make it in, but you get the idea. Rolls did show up in time for serving though.
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Finally and alas, my first plate.
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To say this meal was superb wouldn't be doing it justice. Everything was pretty much perfectly done and came together in a complimentary way to create an extraordinary meal, and not just a meal, an experience. It was a perfect way to get back in touch with Gerald, and his new bride-to-be Dana was an absolute hoot!! Such an amazing lady and we fell in love with her immediately. A fine tribute to a fine friend. Now to bring this story full circle. Gerald (aka @snakehead ) is the person who turned me on to SMF a long time ago when I was failing miserably trying to smoke ribs. Well there ya have it.....the truth is out so you can blame him for all the weird stuff I've subjected you to over the years. It's all HIS fault :emoji_laughing:

Now that I'm finished blamestorming, gonna call this one done. Take care and stay safe folks.

Jesus ! Just Awesome I say ! Good looking for sure.

Wow Robert, like has been said multiple times - What a great meal with great friends. There isn't one aspect of that meal that is not carousel worthy! Going to try that asparagus recipe.
Thanks so much Cliff. I thought it may have had what it took to get the ride also but I guess the staff sees things differently :emoji_wink: Appreciate the kind words though. It was a nice meal for sure.

Hard to say what already hasn’t been said! Your cooks are something to keep striving for, not just the meat, but the whole menu.
As time has gone by, I've tried more and more to coordinate meals in a manner that work together, especially a higher-end dinner like this one.
That’s one of the things you’ve definitely influenced me on, I used to focus on the meat, but now I’m thinking about the whole meal! You SOB🤣!
Uh oh...I'm now being lumped into the "Enabler" category along with Steve H Steve H Not really en enviable place to be but I'll take it :emoji_laughing:
Robert. You really are an amazing friend to all and next level on cooks!
Once again sir, the praise is far higher than deserved but I do thank you.

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Wow! Amazing to say the least.
Thanks very much. I appreciate it.
Any chance you would share your sour cream onion roll recipe?
It is a pre-made sour cream and potato mix from The Prepared Pantry and I just add a good shot of minced onion to the dough when it starts to mix. They have a ton of great offerings. One is the sour cream and onion but I like the potato aspect and just add my own onions. A lot of folks here have started getting stuff from them and I've not heard a negative comment yet.

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That plate is perfection Robert! The doneness of that tenderloin doesn’t get much better! Nicely done and what a meal to serve to a friend/mentor.
Thanks so much Joe but the praise is a bit much my friend. A good piece of meat, a good cooker, and a good remote thermometer makes it almost foolproof.

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