When I made this recently at family request, I could not get my camera out fast enough for a “before” picture. The photo is after my hungry crew sliced into it. This is definitely a delicious entrée choice for a special occasion. In fact, we first tried this recipe for a Christmas dinner about 3 years ago. A bacon-wrapped filet mignon is a more simple single portion version of this since pancetta is Italian bacon, salt cured with black pepper and sometimes other spices. Its round slices curl and ruffle as they crisp, very pretty on top of the tenderloin. My version is adapted from one found in December 2010 Southern Living magazine, but it can be found many places on the internet.
Beef Tenderloin with Pancetta and Rosemary Wrap
1 4 lb. beef tenderloin, trimmed
1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil,
14-16 thin pancetta slices
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
Prepared horseradish cream, found near the deli section of your supermarket
1. Preheat oven to 425°. Sprinkle tenderloin with salt and pepper. Brown tenderloin in 2 Tbsp. hot oil in a large skillet about 5 minutes on each side. Let stand while you prepare pancetta and chop garlic and rosemary.
2. Arrange pancetta slices in 2 rows on a piece of wax paper, overlapping to form a rectangle the same length and width of tenderloin
.3. Sprinkle half of garlic and rosemary over pancetta . Place tenderloin on edge of 1 long side of pancetta and sprinkle with remaining garlic and rosemary. Tightly roll up tenderloin with pancetta, using wax paper as a guide.. Tie tenderloin with kitchen string, securing at 1-inch intervals. Discard wax paper wrapping and transfer to an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet, and brush with remaining 1 Tbsp. oil.
4. Bake at 425° for 30 minutes or until pancetta is crispy and a meat thermometer inserted into center of tenderloin registers 120° (rare). Let stand 10 minutes. Discard kitchen string before slicing. Serve with Horseradish Cream.
Note: For medium-rare, cook tenderloin to 135°, or to 150° for medium.