Stuffed Beef Tenderloin

Sliced, stuffed beef tenderloin

Photo makes it look a little more rare than it is but mmmm…

This is not a cheap meal no matter where you are from… but man is it good. This beef will be like butter. This is great served with Grilled Asparagus.

Dipping Sauce

This can be done the day before or prior to prepping the beef…or after you put the beef on. It’s really up to you.


  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 Tbsp prepared horseradish
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped dill
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic

    Horseradish dip

    Spread it on or dip it in…

  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate until about 15 minutes before serving. Prior to serving I like to dish it up into small, shallow individual serving bowls. Failing that you can just add a serving spoon and put it in the middle of the table.

The Tenderloin

I buy my tenderloins from my butcher. It is nice going to a good butcher who will actually prep the tenderloin in front of you as they cut away the excess fat and silver skin so you don’t have to later and you just pay for the really great, single, solid piece of beef. This is a center-cut beef tenderloin. Depending on the amount of people you are feeding it should be 3-4 pounds. Count on about a ½ pound per person and you will be solid.

Prep the Grills

I use two grills for this cook but you can, of course, get away with one. See the note below for using a single grill.

I prep the charcoal Primo to indirect 350 degrees early so it stabilizes at that temperature. I will set the gas grill to sear (otherwise known as f’ing hot) a little later.

The Stuffing of the Beef

Ingredients (stuffing)

  • 6 slices of bacon
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 pound of fresh baby spinach (seems like a TON but it seriously reduces in size when cooked down)
  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped dill

For final prep before grilling

  • Reserved ~2Tbsp bacon fat (see below)
  • 2 Tbsp finely chopped dill
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Fry up the bacon in a large cast iron pan (or skillet) until crispy. Put the bacon between paper towel sheets for now and pour out all but approximately 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat from the pan and save for later. Keep the 2 Tbsp of the bacon fat in the pan.

Toss the minced garlic into the pan and cook for about 30 seconds stirring occasionally until it starts to brown. Add the spinach. Cook, stirring constantly, until the spinach is wilted which should be just a few minutes. You will think that the spinach is way too much for whatever pan you are using but it will shrink up.

stuffed beef tenderloin

Stuffed and ready for the bacon fat rub down.

Place the spinach and garlic mixture in a bowl. Finely chop the bacon and add it and the 1/8 tsp of black pepper to the spinach mix. Stir the mixture and allow it to cool to room temperature.

Coring the Tenderloin

Now this part always pains me when I know how much I have spent on this meat and how good it is but… Using a long narrow knife you are going to basically carve a tunnel through the middle of the beef. By inserting the knife and twisting it you will be able to slowly and carefully cut out the core. I start at one end and try to get halfway or better and then start from the other side. If you’re butcher was thorough enough to tie up the tenderloin with butcher’s twine this is where it might come loose on you. Once you have taken out the core and you have your little stuffing tunnel you are going to want to stuff as much of that spinach and bacon mixture in there from both ends. Make sure you fill it or you are going to have a gap in the middle.

If the tenderloin isn’t tied or the twine it came with is now all askew you are going to want to tie it up fairly tight to keep that shape.

Here is where that extra 2 Tbsp of bacon fat comes in. Rub the bacon fat all over the tenderloin and season with the dill, salt and pepper. If you forgot to save the bacon fat or used some of that pre-cooked bacon then olive oil will do.

searing the beef tenderloin

Get that searing action going.

The Cook

I sear the beef on all sides, which takes about 10 minutes but is really about how well your grill sears. You don’t really want to cook it too much here, just get those nice grill marks on all sides.

stuffed beef tenderloin on the smoker

On the smoker grill for about an hour at 350.

I then transfer the tenderloin to the smoker grill, insert the temperature probe (making sure to get it into the meat and not the stuffing), close the lid and wait it out.

Keep an eye on the temperature but this should take about an hour or so from my experience.

resting stuffed beef tenderloin

Post rest, pre-slicing. Almost there.

Remove the beef from the grill and let it rest under loosely wrapped foil for 10 minutes. (don’t skip this step!)

While the tenderloin is resting you should be taking out the dipping sauce and getting it on the table in whichever way you want.

Slice the tenderloin into ~1 inch slices and serve.


Sliced, stuffed beef tenderloin


** Single grill method: Simply sear over high heat on one side of your grill and then move to the side of the grill that doesn’t have flame under it. Reduce the flame side so that your grill settles on an overall temperature of around 350 degrees. (indirect medium heat)



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