Smoked Beef Tenderloin

Recently I was so honored to cook at the James Beard House and I want to share the recipes!  This recipe for Smoked Beef Tenderloin was absolutely fantastic.  I served it with Guajillo Hoe Cakes and Blackberry Jus.  This is really an amazing dish and something you can serve for a special occasion.  As the dinner was a tasting menu (7 courses!) I made small portions and it didn’t have a traditional side item.  Feel free to add in what you wish with the smoked beef tenderloin.

plated tenderloin

What does cooking at the James Beard House entail?

In case you don’t know, Chefs cooking at the James Beard House pay for the dinner out of their pocket.  The dinners are fundraisers for the James Beard Foundation, which supports great programs and scholarships in the culinary field.  So, it’s a pretty expensive deal.   Luckily I have some great partners like Mishima Reserve, who helped me with their Ultra Grade Beef Tenderloin.  It literally melts in your mouth.  Amazing beef and I mean that.  I was absolutely not going to serve anything but the best at the dinner!

smoked beef tenderloin
photo credit to ericvitalephotagraphy.comm

Smoked Beef Tenderloin

Beef tenderloin is a wonderful cut and the most tender piece of meat on beef.  When trimmed it can be used in several ways.  It is most commonly cut into filet mignon steaks.  Roasts such as chateaubriand or beef wellington are used from the middle of the tenderloin.  The nose and tail are commonly cut into smaller pieces and used on kebabs.  But none of that for me, I wanted to smoke it!

plating beef
photo credit to ericvitalephotagraphy.comm

How to smoke it

Smoked Beef Tenderloin is super easy, you just need to watch your temperatures to make sure and not overcook it.  I wanted the beef flavor to shine, so I rubbed it down with my Grillin’ Shake and Bold Seasoning, then smoked it over cherry and pecan wood.  Place a drip pan underneath the tenderloins to make sure and catch the beef renderings to put in the jus.  This dish is best cooked to a medium-rare-ish temp of 127 in the thickest part of the filet. I let the more exotic flavors show up in the ancho hoecakes and blackberry jus.

slicing tenderloin photo credit to ericvitalephotagraphy.comm

If you really want a special dinner, I can highly recommend the tenderloins from Mishima.  It’s a wow experience.  Also, since they’re great friends of mine, if you enter the code “Melissa” at check out, you’ll get 10% off.  While the tenderloins are certainly in the “splurge” category, they have some really reasonable pricing for the quality of the beef you’ll be getting.

As always, I hope you enjoy!


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smoked beef tenderloin

smoked Beef Tenderloin

  • Total Time: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Yield: 8 people 1x


This smoked beef tenderloin is a show stopper of a special dinner. Make it on any special occasion to make it memorable. If cooking for a small number, just cut out what's needed for your group out of the middle and cut the rest of the tenderloin into kebabs or filets for the grill.


  • 1 whole Wagyu beef tenderloin (Mishima reserve recommended)
  • 2 TBS Grillin' Shake (or your favorite grill seasoning)
  • 2 TBS Bold Seasoning (or your favorite spicy BBW Seasoning)


  1. Prepare smoker to run with cherry wood and pecan wood and get to a temperature of 250 degrees.
  2. Remove tenderloin from packaging. Lightly rinse then pat dry. Using a sharp filet knife, remove any remaining silverskin. If you have a "pretrimmed" filet (like from Mishima Reserve,) then just remove the "ear" or lobe at the nose of the filet and go to seasoning. If using an untrimmed filet and you've never done this, watch youtube videos on how to trim a beef tenderloin. The meat is too expensive to make a mistake with or not trim it properly.
  3. Season whole filet and removed ear with Grillin' Shake. Then add a layer of bold rub onn top of that seasoning.
  4. Clean and oil grates. Place a drip pan underneath where you are going to put the tenderloin, then add tenderloins to smoker. Place a oven thermometer in the thickest part of the filet, and remove when it hits 122 degrees. Place on a pan, lightlu cover with aluminum foil, and rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Reserve drippings from resting plate and pan from underneath tenderloin during smoking.
  6. Slice portions into sized to fit your group and serve.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: beef tenderloin, bold seasoning, grillin' shake, james beard, smoked beef tenderloin, smoked fish dip


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Guajillo Hoecakes

  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


Hoe cakes are a Southern tradition. Basically griddle cooked corn bread, they are fast to make and easy to enjoy. I spiced up a traditional recipe with guajillo chili powder for a meal at the James Beard House. Enjoy!


  • 2 oz unsalted butter (melted)
  • 1/3 cup Diced onion
  • 1 TBS fresh jalapeno (minced)
  • 1 TBS minced garlic
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Cup S/R Yellow Cornmeal
  • 2/3 cup S/R flour
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 2 TBS red bell pepper (diced)
  • 1/2 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 TBS Kosher salt, or to taste
  • Canola oil, as needed
  • 1/3 cup guajillo powder


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients.
  2. On a medium hot flat top grill, or a large frying pan, add a small amount of oil and spread over surface. Drop 2" sized dollops of batter onto surface. Cook for 2-3 minutes, flip over and cook for 1 additional minute or until done. Remove from griddle and serve when hoecakes are finished.
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Category: Side Dish
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: cornbread, cornmeal, hoecakes, james beard


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blackberry jus

Blackberry Jus

  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes


This blackberry jus recipe has a long cook time. But, it's very flavorful and really accents beef, whether the beef is smoked or grilled, or even braised such as short ribs. It freezes well, so make a batch and freeze what you don't use to have some for your next beef dish.


  • 1/2 cup diced carrots
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup diced bell pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic (roughly chopped)
  • 2 TBS tomato paste
  • 34 bottle good red wine ((you get to drink the rest!))
  • 1 quart strong beef stock
  • 2 lbsq blackberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 2 TBS fresh thyme
  • 1 TBS kosher salt (plus adjust to taste)
  • 1 TBS Black pepper
  • 1/2 TBS Cayennne pepper
  • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup corn starch


  1. To a medium sauce pan, add blackberries and sugar. Cook over medium-heat, mashing the berries as they get soft. Strain out seeds and solides with a fine-mesh strainer. Put juice aside.
  2. In a dutch oven, add oil, carrots, bell pepper, celery, and onion. Cook over medium-heat for 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 6 minutes, stirring often. Add salt, pepper, and tomato paste. Turn heat to medium-high. Continue to stir and "sizzle" vegetables until dark and opaque.
  3. deglaze pan with wine, and scrape the bottom to incorpate any "frond." After the wine has come back to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until wine is reduced by half, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Make beef stock. I recommend you use a beef base such as "Better than bouillon" or "Minors." Whatever you use, make it twice as strong as the directions call for, or if using a canned beef stock, pour into another pan and heat and reduce by half.
  5. Add beef stock to dish. Simmer for one hour, then pour through fine-mesh sieve. Return sauce to stovetop and bring to a simmer. Add blackberry juice.
  6. Cook until sauce is noticeably thickened, then add thyme. Mix corn starch and white balsamic to form a slurry, then pour into sauce. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Turn off heat and whisk in honey. Sauce should be thick and glossy.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: au jus, beef sauce, blackberry, jus, sauces