Delicate medallions of petite tender are cooked to a perfect medium rare, and complimented with lashings of creamy roasted garlic aioli.
The Petite Tender is one of my very favorite cuts. It’s a perfect size to feed two lighter eaters, or arguably to feed one person who doesn’t like to share! It’s one of those tricky cuts that can be difficult to find unless you have a kickass local butcher or grocery store with an extensive meat counter. Also difficult – the fact that it is known by so many different names. Petite Tender is maybe the most common, but you’ll also find it as Bistro Tender and by the latin name, Teres Major. Pro tip: it’s NOT the Mock Tender, which is also from the shoulder region but it’s a different cut.
One of the reasons, aside from the tenderness and flavor, that I really favor this cut of beef is the shape – it’s nearly like a mini tenderloin, a long cylindrical piece that cooks quickly, evenly and presents beautifully when sliced for serving. Believe it or not, the shape of the raw product can have an influence in how easy it is to cook (one of the reasons brisket is so dang hard to master).
To allow the beef to remain the star of the show, it needs only a sidekick, not a co-star. This roasted garlic aioli is super mellow, with the roasting removing any bitter or strong flavors, and developing caramelized sweet notes in their place. For an extra garlicky result, you can even use three or four whole heads of garlic.
Finally, I must insist that you use a good quality meat thermometer to monitor your temperature to perfect results. I use and recommend the Thermapen.
Preheat an oven to 400f. Prepare the garlic by peeling off the outer papery layers, and cutting off the very top of the bulk to expose the top of the cloves within. Place each bulb into a square of foil, and drizzle with half a tablespoon of olive oil per bulb. Bring the foil up to close the bulb in completely. Place in the oven and roast for 40 minutes.
When the garlic is roasted and cooled, place it in a deep container (or the deep cups that come with the immersion/stick blenders) and add in the egg yolk, dijon, lemon juice and salt. Blend by pulsing with a stick blender for a few seconds. Add 1 cup of the olive oil on top, then hold the container at an angle and blend until the entire mix emulsifies together to form the aioli. If too thick, add a little water or more lemon juice and blend again. Taste, add more salt if required. Stir through the chopped chives.
To assemble the final dish:
Place the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil into an oven-safe skillet, and place over medium to high flame. Heat an oven to 350f.
If the meat has been vacuum sealed, remove from packaging and pat dry with paper towel, then season generously on both sides with kosher salt. Place the steak into the pan and sear for 10 minutes, flipping the steak over every two minutes.
Once seared, place the pan into the oven, and continue to cook, turning every 4 minutes, until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 135f.
One at temperature, remove steak from pan onto a board, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10 minutes. To serve, slice against the grain into medallions and serve with roasted garlic aioli.