Brown Butter Beef Tenderloin

I always used to be scared of cooking steak at home because I never thought I would do it justice. Whenever I used to cook steak, I would buy cheaper cuts (or steaks that weren’t raised in a more sustainable fashion) and over-cook them.

To be honest, my tastes have changed over time. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this in a previous post. I used to always order medium-well steak, because that’s how my mum always ordered it. But, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to prefer medium-rare to rare steak.

I’ve also started buying better quality beef, from the way it’s fed to the way it’s raised. I don’t settle for cheap beef anymore. If I’m going to eat it, I want it to be of a really high quality where I can enjoy it for what it is, without the need for a sauce.

I used only one pan for this dish, my trusty skillet. It made sense to keep the dishes to a minimum and use the butter and steak juices to cook the mushrooms and asparagus. I used leftover pearl barley that I’d cooked the day before, but you can use risotto, leftover rice or you omit it completely if you like. The asparagus, however, I personally believe is non-replaceable. I’m an avid fan of asparagus, as I think it’s a delicious and super simple vegetable to cook and it goes well any protein.

If you’ve ever seen Julie & Julia, then you know that butter is key. If anything tastes good, you’ll probably soon find out that it is because of butter. Do not skip on the butter. This recipe is delicious, and fairly healthy, so just… don’t skip the butter.


150 grams tenderloin, tied if needed, at room temperature
20 grams butter
2 cloves garlic, peeled
100 grams mushrooms, thinly sliced
70 grams asparagus, ends trimmed
100 grams cooked pearl barley (as per packet instructions)

  1. Season the tenderloin with salt and pepper on both sides.
  2. Place a skillet over a medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and allow it to melt and sizzle, spreading it around the skillet.
  3. Place the steak in the pan, and use a spoon to scoop the melted butter over the beef. Allow the beef to sit on the pan, without touching it, for 2 minutes, then flip and cook each side of the steak for 2 minutes. Do not move the steak around too much, you want a sort of caramelisation to occur.
  4. Remove the steak from the pan for rare, and allow to rest on a chopping board. If you like your steak cooked more, then cook until your desired done-ness.
  5. Add the garlic and sliced mushrooms and cook for 5 – 6 minutes, seasoning to taste, until they have cooked down. Add the cooked pearl barley, mix with the mushrooms, then push to one side of the pan.
  6. Add the asparagus to the pan – add more butter if needed – and cook for 4 – 5 minutes.
  7. Slice the steak and place on top of the pearl barley and asparagus. Serve in the hot skillet.

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