While organizing all the recipes I’ve saved over the years, I came across this elegant looking appetizer. Some co-workers of mine came over last week, and I wanted to have finger foods that weren’t on the “cheesy” side. This recipe actually turned out a lot better than I originally thought it would. It was also packed full of flavor and perfect to carry around and eat. It can also be served at room temperature or on the colder side. I’ll type the original recipe and add what I changed in bold.
- Cooking spray
- 8 cloves garlic, peeled (or to taste) (I didn’t do all 8 at once, 4 at a time)
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil (added more to create more paste for breads)
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice (I only added one tsp. for my 1st batch of garlic paste)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (plus more for seasoning)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (plus more for seasoning)
- 1.5 Tablespoons parsley, fresh, finely minced (didn’t use this)
- 2 pounds raw lean beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied (1 pound, didn’t tie it)
- 24 oz french bread, cut into slices (1/3 inch thick)
- Pesto (basil) for a topping
1. Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray. Set pan on middle rack in the oven and then preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, combine garlic, oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and parsley; mash to a fine paste using the back of a wooden spoon. I used a mortar and pestle, which worked MUCH better. It grinds the garlic down better. I’m sure using a small blender/food processor/immersion blender would work too, but do not pulse too long. Set aside about 1/3 of garlic paste for use on the meat (the other 2/3 will be for the toasts).
3. Rinse beef and pat dry with paper towels. Rub about 1/3 of garlic paste on the meat. Place meat in preheated roasting pan and cook about 22 minutes for medium rare or 24 minutes for medium. (I turned it halfway through. I also kept an eye on mine because I only used a pound instead of 2.)
4. Remove meat from oven and place on a cutting board. Loosely cover meat with aluminum foil and let stand 15 to 20 minutes (meat will continue to cook slightly). Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. (See observations)
5. Meanwhile, spread tops of bread slices with garlic paste; place in a single layer on baking sheets. Bake until slightly toasted, about 5 to 7 minutes. Slice thin pieces of beef against the grain.
Observations: Most of this dish was created the day before I had people over. I made enough garlic paste to rub on the beef and baste on the toasts and stored it in the fridge. I made the beef, sliced it, and stored it in an airtight container. Also, I sliced all the bread and stored in airtight Ziploc bags. The day of, I layed the bread on a baking sheet, basted it, and toasted it at 350 degrees. When they were done, I topped with the sliced beef. Also, I had recently defrosted some pesto, which I made last summer, and added a teaspoonful on the top of each slice. A very easy and elegant party dish.
Analysis: When I arrived at the butcher and realized how much my beef was going to cost for 2 pounds, I decided I would stretch 1 pound instead. Thankfully, the butcher was nice and gave me a discount when he saw me freaking out at the price. Maybe that will work for you…look shocked, discombobulated, start sweating and turning red. Apparently, this helps you receive discounts in a meat market. Too bad it wasn’t an act for me! Anyway, it actually worked out perfectly, and I probably had 50-60 toasts overall. I had several left over, which were quickly consumed in the days to follow. I was surprised at how the toast held its crunch while in the refrigerator. Luckily, I didn’t get the two pounds, or it would have been way too many.