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- 6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 2 1/4-pound beef tenderloin (preferably from thick end)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground mixed peppercorns
- 1/4 cup Sherry wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon coarse Dijon mustard
Preheat oven to 500°F. Rub 1 tablespoon olive oil into beef, then rub in kosher salt and ground mixed peppercorns. Place beef on small rimmed baking sheet. Roast 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 450°F and roast until thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 125°F for medium-rare, about 15 minutes longer. Let meat stand 5 minutes (internal temperature of meat will increase 5 to 10 degrees).
Meanwhile, whisk remaining 5 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, and mustard in small bowl to blend. Stir in shallots and season vinaigrette to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange watercress on small platter. Cut meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices; arrange overlapping slices atop watercress. Drizzle any accumulated juices over meat. Spoon half of vinaigrette down center of meat and over watercress. Serve, passing remaining vinaigrette separately.
The tail end of the fillet, which is often less expensive, can also be used. Tuck the tail under for a roast of even thickness.