Beef Tenderloin on a Salt Block

by Lael and Giuliano Hazan on March 14, 2012

Cooking on salt blocks is very fashionable.  You can purchase salt bricks from around the world, from the Himalayas to Hawaii.  They can be beautiful and cooking on them perfectly seasons whatever food product you wish to put on them.

Recently we received some salt blocks from Cervia, Italy.  Known as the “sweet salt of the popes” this salt is harvested from salt flats in existence since Etruscan times and at one time, one of the salt flats was reserved exclusively for the Papal table. I must admit to looking at my husband, Giuliano Hazan, a bit askance, what were we going to do with a big box of salt blocks?  He then got a gleam in his eye that always means something delicious is cooking.

Giuliano decided that for lunch we should have beef tenderloin on a salt brick.  He superheated the brick and brought it out to the top of our counter.  After only a few minutes we had the most delectable, mouth watering, perfectly seasoned meat.  He finished it with a drizzle of olive oil and pepper.  It smelled and looked so good that I did not even wait until he put it on the table before tasting it.  It was an easy masterpiece.

Cleaning the salt brick was easy.  We just let it cool and scraped the surface with a dinner knife.  I’m looking forward to more fun as we try scallops, eggs, and vegetables on it. I figure when the salt block wears down to an unusable level, I can always put it in the bath to sooth my aches.





by Giuliano Hazan

Serves 2 people


10 to 12 ounces beef tenderloin steaks, about 1” thick

Extra virgin olive oil

Freshly ground black pepper

2 salt blocks or bricks



1. Heat oven to at least 500° F.  Place salt blocks on a baking sheet and heat in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.


2. Remove the salt blocks (be careful they’re very hot) from the oven and place the tenderloin steaks on them.  Cook for about 2 minutes then turn the steaks over. Cook another 2 minutes then transfer to a cutting board. Slice the steaks on a bias and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle some olive oil over them, sprinkle with pepper and serve at once.  The result will be perfectly salted and flavorful tenderloin.  This dish is great even for those who don’t usually enjoy tenderloin steak.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Elarien April 23, 2012 at 12:48 am

My husband loves every kind of meat, and tenderloin is my favorite. I just have to find the salt blocks to try your wonderful recipe.
I love your delicious blog. Thanks.

Maureen @ Orgasmic Chef March 26, 2012 at 2:34 am

What a brilliant idea!! I can’t wait to try this myself. Just have to sort some of the Pope’s salt. :)

Lael Hazan April 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm

Let us know if you try it. The pope’s salt is worth it :)

Meeta March 16, 2012 at 4:25 pm

I have a block of Himalayan Salt and am never too sure how to use it. I wonder if I can use it this way too. The meat looks succulent and perfect!

Giuliano Hazan March 16, 2012 at 4:53 pm


Krista March 16, 2012 at 1:15 am

What a fascinating idea! I’ve never tried cooking on salt blocks, but your experience sounds so delicious and easy that I’d love to give it a whirl. :-)

Jill Mant~a SaucyCook March 16, 2012 at 12:27 am

I find this so intriguing. I have never heard of salt blocks but I feel as if I must find one. Will you please let us know how to cook fish on one? How long do they last? Thanks!

Giuliano Hazan March 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm

We are still experimenting and the next time we’re planning on cooking scallops on the salt blocks. I would think fish should be fine as long as it is not too thick and cooks quickly. Tuna or swordfish should work perfectly. We will definitely be cooking meats and seafood on separate blocks.

Kit March 14, 2012 at 8:50 am

I’d never heard of cooking on a salt block before – obviously not moving in fashionable circles! It sounds like a great and simple way of cooking – not sure our oven gets hot enough though, sadly. I wonder if they used to heat them in a fire somehow, before the days of electric ovens – like cooking on hot stones but with added flavour.

Giuliano Hazan March 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm

If your oven gets to 500°F you should be fine. Just leave it longer, maybe 15-20 minutes.

Maria March 14, 2012 at 8:41 am

So the steaks cook outside the oven? The salt blocks hold the heat for the 4 minutes to cook the steak? Sounds delicious – and too easy!

Rosa March 14, 2012 at 8:05 am

A very interesting way of cooking beef tenderloin! The meat is cooked to perfection.



Previous post:

Next post: