# 216 Spotlight on Crusts

Beef Tenderloin in Herb-Salt Crust

This recipe utilizes an interesting, ancient technique in which beef is cooked inside a salt dough which locks in the moisture and flavors, delivering unbelievably tender and fragrant results.
Serves 4
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 beef tenderloin, about 2 pounds
2 cups kosher salt
4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 egg whites
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (more if needed)
All-purpose flour for rolling out dough
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon sea salt (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. In skillet large enough to hold filet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Sear filet about 30 seconds on every side, or until golden brown. Remove filet from skillet and set aside to rest.
3. In a stand mixer mix together kosher salt, 4 tablespoons thyme leaves, rosemary, and egg whites until well combined.
4. Slowly add the flour with the mixer on low speed until the dough comes together to form a ball. If after 2 ½ cups the dough is still very sticky, add up to ½ cup extra flour.
5. Cover the dough and let rest 2 to 3 hours in the refrigerator.
6. On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to a 1/8” thick rectangle, approximately 2 inches larger than the beef filet.
7. In a small mixing bowl, beat the egg yolks with 1 tablespoon water to make an egg wash. Brush the dough generously with egg wash and reserve the rest.
8. Sprinkle the 2 teaspoons fresh thyme on top of the dough, and then place the filet in the middle.
9. Wrap the dough around the filet, making sure it is completely covered. Using your hands, seal the top and sides of the crust around the filet and cut off any excess. If the dough rips at all, use the excess dough to patch up the holes. Optional: sprinkle sea salt on top of the dough for a decorative effect.
10. Transfer the dough-wrapped filet to a sheet pan and brush with more egg wash. Bake in the oven about 15 minutes per pound for medium rare, or longer to desired doneness.
11. To serve, cut open the crust and remove the filet. Slice into ½” to 1” thick slices and serve.

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Copyright © 2009 Hubert Keller. All rights reserved.