Community Cooks: For a decadent dinner party, try the Tenderloin Tower

The Tenderloin Tower is a filet of beef that is best cooked on a grill or Big Green Egg, but can be cooked in the oven. Courtesy of Jim Shad
The Tenderloin Tower is a filet of beef that is best cooked on a grill or Big Green Egg, but can be cooked in the oven. Courtesy of Jim Shad

Credit: Jim Shad

Credit: Jim Shad

For much of his career, Atlanta native and University of Georgia graduate Jim Shad moved around the world, before returning to Atlanta in 2012.

For nearly a decade, Shad lived in Texas, and that had a big influence on his cooking.

“I got a great appreciation for how barbecue is done in that part of the world,” he said. “It’s mostly beef, which you would expect. And, living in Cincinnati ... I got their unique spin on more German-style food.”

Whatever he’s cooking, Shad enjoys having people over to share it. One of his favorite crowd-pleasing dishes is an audacious filet of beef dubbed Tenderloin Tower.

“I picked it up when I was living in Greenwood, Mississippi,” he said. “I thought it was awesome, and, so, I kind of adopted it as a go-to, high-end dinner dish.”

Essentially a deluxe stack of meat and potatoes topped with cabernet sauce and onion straws, Shad said it has “a lot of flavor, and a lot of wow factor.”

ExploreMore Community Cooks recipes
Jim Shad picked up the Tenderloin Tower idea when he was living in Greenwood, Mississippi. Courtesy of Jim Shad
Jim Shad picked up the Tenderloin Tower idea when he was living in Greenwood, Mississippi. Courtesy of Jim Shad

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Tenderloin Tower

The fillet of beef is best when cooked on a grill or a Big Green Egg, but can be cooked in the oven, if preferred. The instructions below are for the Big Green Egg, which adds a hint of smokiness to the meat.

Tenderloin Tower
  • For the beef:
  • 4- to 5-pound fillet of beef, trimmed and tied
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • For the onion straws:
  • 1 Vidalia onion
  • vegetable oil
  • flour
  • 1 egg
  • For the cabernet sauce:
  • 1 cup of good quality red wine
  • beef drippings from fillet
  • 2 pats of butter
  • 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • corn starch and water, to thicken
  • your favorite mashed potatoes, to serve as a base for the tower
  • Light an ample amount of hardwood charcoal on the Big Green Egg and allow the temperature to settle at about 325, for about 15-20 minutes.
  • Amply season the beef with sea salt and pepper, to form a bit of a crust on the exterior.
  • Cut the Vidalia onion in half, and thinly slice it into 2- to 3-inch string sections.
  • Place the beef directly on the grill surface, with the top closed, and set to maintain a 325-degree temperature. Achieving a medium-rare internal temperature of 140 degrees should take about 45 minutes, and you’ll want to flip the meat during the process, to avoid too much char on any side.
  • To make the onion straws, heat about an inch of vegetable oil in a large cast-iron skillet, dredge the onions in egg, throw them into a large zip lock bag with the flour, shake to cover, and fry them in the oil, until crisp.
  • Set aside on a paper plate covered in paper towels, to soak up any excess oil.
  • Remove the fillet from the grill and place it, uncovered, on a cutting board, to rest for at least 10-15 minutes, while you prep the cabernet sauce.
  • To make the cabernet sauce, melt the butter pats in the pan, pour in any beef drippings from the cutting board, the soy sauce, and about a cup of good red wine. Add a little salt and pepper, bring to a slow boil, and slowly pour in the corn starch-water mixture, until the sauce thickens.
  • If you haven’t done so already, pour yourself a glass of the cabernet.
  • Lay a few heaping tablespoons of mashed potatoes in the center of the plate.
  • Slice two 1-inch-thick slabs of filet, and arrange them over the mashed potatoes.
  • Pour the cabernet sauce over the meat and potatoes, to cover.
  • Sprinkle a heaping pile of onion straws over the filet.
  • When completed, the entire concoction should rise about 4-5 inches high, creating the tower. Serves: eight to 10

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 446 calories (percent of calories from fat, 57), 40 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, 27 grams total fat (9 grams saturated), 153 milligrams cholesterol, 374 milligrams sodium.

ExploreMore must-try recipes

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

In Other News