Since we have turkey and ham for Thanksgiving, I usually try to have a beef dish of some sort for Christmas. This year’s recipe was “Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Beef Tenderloin” from http://www.aspicyperspective.com/slow-cooker-honey-garlic-beef-tenderloin which I found on Pinterest, of course. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/398076054548533005/ . My first thought of this recipe was “slow cooker for Christmas dinner, very interesting. . . the idea has merit.” Another added benefit was the simple ingredients. A lot of dinners like this tend to also encumber you with A LOT of ingredients – some you need to go to the four corners of the Earth to locate. NOT THIS ONE!! There are minimal ingredients and they are ingredients either you have in your pantry or are easy to locate in the grocery store. Always an added benefit.
Flogger Deviation: I switched it up and hand peeled 8 heads of garlic on Christmas morning. Now I think I would much rather get the jarred, already peeled, garlic and dispense with the 45 minutes of peeling. Didn’t think of that as I was rushing around the grocery store with the hordes of other people looking for their ingredients for their own Christmas dinner.
Flogger tip: Another surprise is the vegetable fennel and how sweet it really is. I’m thinking I’m planting fennel in my garden this spring. It’s a substitute for onion. My husband LOVED the gravy this recipe produced all because of the garlic and fennel and the beef stock.
So, I woke up Christmas morning and watched the kids open gifts and then started peeling garlic . . . made breakfast and continued peeling garlic… put a few toys together, continued to peel garlic. . . put on a new movie, continued to peel garlic. Get my drift? The garlic peeling was a pain my A-S-S, but, according to my husband, worth it.
Flogger deviation: Another thing, unless every person eating this dish loves garlic, you can probably dispense with 8 heads of garlic and probably get away with 8 cloves as suggested.
Flogger alert: Another issue I did not expect was that the bacon did not fit entirely around my beef tenderloin. I used the longest bacon pieces specifically for this recipe. Nonetheless, some pieces of bacon just did not go all the way around the tenderloin. So, I had to improvise with several tooth picks and ended up with a few places of beef exposed rather than the bacon covering most of the beef like in A Spicy Perspective’s example. Needless to say, my recipe did not look exactly like the recipe on A Spicy Perspective’s recipe. Mine was a little messy and not quite as pretty. Just short of a “nailed it.” But it was delicious regardless of the looks. Sometimes it’s best not to judge a book by its cover or a recipe by its appearance.
Flogger Tip: I had a huge oversight. The recipe instructed me to place a meat thermometer in the meat while it was cooking in the slow cooker. Easy enough. However, my oversight was that the thermometer was touching the side of the slow cooker and gave me an erroneous temperature reading. So, I had to resort to the old fashion way of cutting into the meat and checking to see how done it was. This dish was in my slow cooker, on low, for about 2 ½ hours. It was done to perfection (cooked to medium).
Flogger Success: My entire family loved this dish. As I am writing this my husband is still talking about how delicious this meal was and how this meal is “the best thing I’ve ever made.” The gravy, garlic and fennel were an added benefit for my husband. Because he loves the gravy, garlic and fennel mix this dish created. For breakfast this morning, he had his favorite gravy with breakfast. For dinner, his favorite gravy combo again. He will seriously eat this straight out of the bowl with nothing but bread to coat it.
I would call this recipe a huge success and definitely I will make it again, it wasn’t too burdensome as long as you get pre-peeled garlic. Kuddos to http://www.aspicyperspective.com