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Garlicky beef tenderloin tips are an easy but impressive appetizer

When cocktail hour starts in the Philippines, these garlicky beef tenderloin tips, known locally as beef salpicao (no relation to the Portuguese sausage), are the most ordered dish.

It is a very simple recipe to make, with minimal ingredients too. You will need just a couple of hours’ (more is better) marinating time, with the basic ingredients of salt, pepper and extra-virgin olive oil. The beef is then sautéed with two commonly used sauces — Worcestershire and seasoning (check, you should already have them in the cupboard) — and then add loads of toasted garlic. The more you put in, the tastier these beef tenderloin tips are, but do mind the garlic breath you will be walking around with. If you don’t mind it, then go ahead and enjoy this really simple, delicious dish. Personally, I cannot stop eating this when it is in front of me. Wash it down with ice-cold beer or a full-bodied red wine, and you will be in cocktail-hour heaven.

Garlicky beef tenderloin tips

Garlicky beef tenderloin tips (beef salpicao) recipe

Known as beef salpicao in the Philippines, these garlicky tenderloin tips are very popular tapas-style appetizers while having drinks. For some, they are also enjoyed as a main course with steamed white rice.

Serves 2

Prep time: 5 minutes | Inactive time: 2 hours | Cook time: 20 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 25 minutes


  • 1 pound beef tenderloin, cubed (about 1 inch)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper plus a dash more for the sauce
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons seasoning sauce (Knorr or Maggi)
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 cup red wine


  1. Rub the beef cubes with the salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper, then coat them with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cover, and leave for 2 hours (or more) in the refrigerator.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the Worcestershire sauce, seasoning sauce and a dash of pepper.
  3. In a small saucepan over low-medium heat with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, toast 1/2 the garlic. When golden brown, place the garlic on a small plate lined with paper towel to absorb the oil. Set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, sauté the remaining garlic.
  5. When the garlic colors, add the beef, and cook for 5 minutes.
  6. Pour in the sauce, cook for another 5 minutes, and then pour in the red wine. Cook for another 5 minutes or until the sauce is almost completely reduced and the beef is starting to toast.
  7. Sprinkle with the toasted garlic, and then serve immediately.
  8. This can be eaten as an appetizer or as a main course with steamed white rice.

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