Chef John’s To-Die-For Beef Tenderloin

Eva Faircloth - April 15, 2020

Serve up a mouthwatering feast with Chef John Hamme’s recipe for Pecan Smoked Coffee and Chili Rubbed Beef Tenderloin. This recipe is sure to have your family coming back for seconds! Finish it off with a delicious Warm Berry Sabayon.

Pecan Smoked Coffee and Chili Rubbed Beef Tenderloin


4 Servings


4 Tenderloin Filets
1/2 Cup Ancho Chili Peppers, dried & powdered
1/2 Cup Expresso Beans, ground fine
1 fl. Oz. Paprika
2 Tbsp. + 2 Tsp. Dark Brown Sugar
1 fl. Oz. Dry Mustard
2 Tbsp. Maldon / Flake Sea Salt
2 Tbsp. Black Pepper, ground
2 Tbsp. Coriander, ground
2 Tbsp. Oregano, dried
1 Tbsp. Ginger, ground
1 Tbsp. Aleppo Pepper, ground
1 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil
1 Cup Pecan wood pellets
or 2 Cup Small wood chips soaked in water for approximately 10 minutes.


Prepare peppers by lightly toasting them in a sauté pan to release their oils. Cool and grind in coffee mill. Prepare coriander, black pepper and oregano following the same process. Combine spice ingredients.

Coat your portioned Tenderloin filets with olive oil then heavily season them with the coffee rub.

To smoke the steaks place the wood chips in smoker box or wood pellets in smoke tube and light letting the flame burn for 5 minutes to ensure they will stay lit and produce smoke.

Blow out the flame on the wood and place the steaks and the smoke box / tube into a cold grill. We are using a cold smoke process to smoke the steaks. Place the lid on the grill and vent to keep the smoke chips burning.

* Smoke time is 20 minutes. 

Why Pecan Wood Chips?

Pecan wood provides a light smoky flavor.  This makes them suitable for almost any meat.  Do not make the mistake of thinking Hickory will work as a substitute. Although Pecan is a varitey of hickory, it’s flavor is much more mild.  For this application we do not want the smoke to be the dominant flavor.  

Warm Berries Sabayon


6 Servings


1 Qt. Strawberries, stemmed and washed
1 Pt. Raspberries
1 Pt. Blackberries
1 Pt. Blueberries
4 ea Egg Yolks
4 Tbsp. Water
4 Tbsp. Marsala Wine
4 Tbsp. Sugar


Top strawberries and wash them placing them in a mixing bowl. Inspect the remaining berries discarding any that are bruised placing them in the bowl with the strawberries.

Divide berries into 6 heat proof serving dishes.

Place a sauce pan on the range to simmer. Separate eggs placing the yolks in a large mixing bowl. The bowl needs to be oversized to allow room to whisk the mixture while it cooks.

Add remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.

Place the mixing bowl over the simmering sauce pan and cook the egg, water, Marsala and sugar mixture.

Whisk the mixture constantly but not vigorously the entire cooking time. If you notice the mixture cooking too fast remove from the heat and continue whisking until the temperature drops.

As needed return the mixture to the heat until the mixture reaches the consistency of a mousse. When this consistency is reached the eggs are fully cooked. The cooked egg is what thickens the sauce.

The mixture needs to be cooked just prior to serving. Once finished spoon the sauce over the berries and lightly torch to brown the sauce. Serve immediately.