Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic-Herb Butter


Our national appetite for grilled meat shows no sign of abating. In Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book, pit master Chris Lilly shares his secrets for prizewinning meat — like the beef here, marinated in black pepper and brown sugar.

Peppered Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Garlic–Herb Butter
Photo: © Tina Rupp
Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 40 mins


  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 tenderloin steaks, about 1 1/2 inches thick

  • 4 garlic cloves, unpeeled

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh rosemary

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh oregano

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened


  1. Preheat the oven to 275°. In a bowl, mix the pepper, salt, brown sugar, soy sauce, vinegar and 1 teaspoon of the olive oil. Rub 2 teaspoons of the paste all over each steak. Wrap the steaks individually in plastic and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. Meanwhile, on a double-layer square of aluminum foil, toss the garlic with the herbs; drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil on top. Fold the foil to enclose the garlic and transfer to a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes, until the garlic is very soft.

  3. When the garlic is cool, squeeze the cloves from their skins into a bowl; add the herbs. Using a fork, mash the garlic with the herbs and butter. Spoon the garlic butter onto a sheet of plastic wrap, roll into a log and refrigerate until firm, 30 minutes.

  4. Build a very hot fire on one side of a charcoal grill or light a gas grill. Unwrap each steak and grill over high heat for about 7 minutes, turning once, for rare meat. For medium-rare, transfer the steaks to the cool side of the grill, close the lid and cook for 4 minutes longer, turning them once halfway through. Top the steaks with the garlic-herb butter and let stand for 5 minutes, then serve.

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