Spice Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with Creole Mustard Sauce

My family has always shared a love of good food, cooking, and gathering together. Even when we’re not together, I love brainstorming ideas with my dad for big family dinners to cook up and serve. It’s been a long time since we’ve been back to my folks’ house for a big family dinner and even longer since I’ve been able to cook with my dad, so these brainstorming sessions are important. I feel like when I cook up something based on our discussions, we’re at least cooking together in spirit.

This one took root when we started talking about one of dad’s grandmother’s recipes for a roast with Creole mustard dressing.

My great-grandmother was a character to say the least. From her youth, she did her own thing, for better or for worse, and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about whether or not people thought that was proper. Not everything she did was great, but you had to admire her confidence. But one of the great things she did was to become a hotel chef and learn French cooking, and bring that together with recipes she picked up on her travels throughout the South.

Thanks to her, our family recipe box is full of Cajun, Creole, and Cuban goodies along with the French staples she studied. But this particular Creole mustard dressing is a thing of beauty. Its tangy goodness meshes so well with a peppercorn-rubbed steak.

Traditional Creole food is all about cream and sauces and lots of variety in spices. With that in mind, I put together a homemade spice rub and used it on a hearty beef tenderloin, and mixed sour cream and heavy cream together in the sauce to make it even more flavorful.

My Sunday Supper Test Kitchen loved it. We started the SSTK back in Hawaii and have only just rebooted it here, but we decided that at least a couple Sundays a month, we would gather together a group of foodie friends we wanted to catch up with and serve up some fun and sometimes experimental meals in the process! It’s a great excuse to gather and I get some great feedback on my food!

The tenderloin and mustard sauce, served up with rosemary roasted cottage potatoes, steamed broccoli, and buttery popovers, resulted in a lot of clean plates.

Spice-Rubbed Beef Tenderloin with Creole Mustard Sauce

Serves 6-8 hungry people.

What You’ll Need:

For the tenderloin and rub:

  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Spanish paprika
  • 1/2 tsp ground red pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 5-6-lb beef tenderloin

For the sauce:

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 8-oz container of sour cream
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

How to Make It:

1. Let’s start by making the sauce. In a saucepan or skillet, sauté the garlic and shallot in the olive oil until they’re nicely softened and the shallot is translucent. Stir in the wine, mustard, and sugar and bring the mixture to a boil. Let it cook for about 3 minutes, or until it reduces by half.

2. Remove the sauce from the heat and whisk in the sour cream, salt, and pepper. Try not to snack on all of it before your tenderloin is done – but it makes great dip for steak fries. I won’t tell you how I know that and how many times I’ve had to make more sauce.

3. Let’s make the tenderloin. Start by heating your oven to 500F.

4. Mix the salt and spices together in a small bowl. Set out the tenderloin on a large plate or prep space and rub it with more olive oil. Rub in a handful of the spice mixture into both sides of the tenderloin until you have a nice coating. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to absorb.

5. Place the tenderloin on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake at 500F for about 15 minutes.

6. Reduce the oven temperature to 375F and bake for an additional 25-35 minutes, until the tenderloin is nicely colored and you get an internal temperature of about 130F. I needed the full 35 minutes when I cooked mine, but you want to err on the side of tender here!

7. Let the tenderloin rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve garnished with sauce!

We might bring this one out for our Christmas dinner as well, if this tired mama doesn’t break with tradition and suggest we {gasp} actually go out to eat!

What are your favorite family cooking traditions?

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