Stuffed Beef Tenderloin
Lomo relleno is a stuffed beef or pork tenderloin. We prefer to make a beef tenderloin for special occasions because it is a pricey cut of meat. Pork is a more economical option, but also very tasty. It is a very special dish that requires a little bit of time and love. We make this for Christmas or New Year’s Eve for a fancy family dinner. It is a nice break from turkey and the beef and red wine are a nice variation using the same traditional Salvadorian sauce that we make for turkey, chicken and tamales.
The process begins with cutting the meat open and pounding it thin. Then you stuff it with a meat and vegetable filling, and finally roll it and tie it. It is then roasted in the oven and basted with the traditional tomato sauce, the same type we use for the holiday turkey. It is traditionally served with rice and salad, but any of your favorite sides are just as good. Mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables would go really well with this meat because it is saucy and juicy.
For Christmas we made three beef tenderloins. Luckily I took some quick photos to show you here. Nothing fancy, but hopefully you get the idea:
Let’s begin with the filling which I advise making a day ahead because it is easier to stuff the loin with cold filling. I also highly suggest making the sauce a few days ahead to make this process less labor-intensive on the special day of your meal.
Relleno or filling, also known as picadillo:
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 lb ground beef or turkey
- 1 medium carrot, diced into tiny cubes
- 1 potato, diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/2 cup pimento stuffed Spanish olives, whole
- 1 small jar capers
- Brine liquid from the capers and olives
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/4 dry white wine or any wine you have
- Salt & Pepper to taste
Traditional Salsa Criolla (same as you would make for a turkey): https://salvikitchen.com/2014/05/13/salvadorian-christmas-turkey/
- 2 lb (or approximately) Beef Tenderloin
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
- 1/2 cup red wine
- To prepare the filling, heat oil a large skillet. Begin by cooking the onions, bell pepper, oregano, cumin, tomato paste and garlic until slightly brown.
- Add the ground meat, carrots and potatoes and stir to mix it in with the other ingredients. Cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes, breaking up the chunks of meat. Season with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.
- Next, stir in the olives, capers and add wine and a little bit of the brine liquid from the olives and capers. The brine liquid will add a little saltiness to the mix so keep that in mind when you season with salt. There is really no way to mess up this picadillo recipe unless you salt it too much or burn it.
- *A note about tomato paste: Tomato paste adds an intensity of flavor and subtle sweetness to this recipe. It isn’t meant to make a tomato-y filling. This depth of flavor also comes from cooking the tomato paste along with the onions and spices. That is your initial base of flavor.
- Cook the mixture until the liquid is mostly evaporated and the meat is cooked through. Taste to adjust the salt level. Store in the fridge for later use or cool completely before stuffing your tenderloin.
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- To butterfly the loin, cut in the middle but not all the way through. Open it like a book, then make additional cuts on the left and right sides. Cover the meat with plastic wrap and pound it until it is somewhat even and thin.
- Season the meat with salt, pepper, and Worcestershire sauce.
- Spread the filling evenly over the meat and roll. Secure with kitchen twine or toothpicks.
- Heat oil in a cast iron skillet or Dutch oven and sear the meat on all sides. Any skillet works, but it is best to use one that can handle high heat. Deglaze the pan with red wine.
- Place the loin in a roasting pan, pour the red wine from the pan on top, and bake covered with aluminum for 30 minutes or until it reaches desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer as your guide. We baked ours for 45 minutes for medium-well.
- The last step is to pour the sauce and a few olives on the beef loin. Bake uncovered for an additional 15 minutes. Allow it to rest before removing the strings. Slice the roasted beef tenderloin and serve.