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Beef tenderloin is arguably one of the richest cuts of meat in terms of taste and texture. As the name implies, this cut of beef is extremely tender. It’s situated right under the ribs just below the backbone, and it is part of the renowned T-bone steak.
Given its position, this meaty, soft cut does not undergo any rigorous movements, hence it tends to stay tender throughout the life of the animal. For this reason, it’s more expensive compared to other cuts and you have to dig deeper into your pockets to buy this loin of beef.
Nevertheless, tenderloin is worth every dime, given its tenderness, juiciness, succulence and incomparable mild flavor. Besides, it has a rich taste that can transform any dull occasion into a true festival - every bite will leave a lasting impression long after the occasion is over.
So what is the best way to cook beef tenderloin?
Well, cooking beef tenderloin is not as intimidating as it might seem. You can grill it, sear it or even bake it in the oven. Below we explore some of the best ways to cook beef tenderloin.
How to Grill Beef Tenderloin?
Grilling is one of the easiest ways to cook your beef tenderloin. Moreover, it does not require any special equipment or skills other than a normal charcoal or gas grill. Besides, cooking on the grill will leave your beef tenderloin just as tender as the roasted type, and it will give it a more delicious, smoky flavor.
What is even more appetizing is that you can season your meat using traditional herbs or dip it in marinade (just before cooking) to achieve a more flavorful outcome. Some people prefer a direct method to tenderize the meat by flattening the steak and add breadcrumbs before grilling, giving it a tasty, crispy texture.
Whatever your preferences, you’ll never go wrong if you decide to grill your beef tenderloin as long as you follow these instructions.
1. Let the beef stand at room temperature for up to 30 minutes (depending on the size of the meat)
2. Set up your grill for indirect cooking by creating two zones. Heat up the direct cooking zone to 400° Fahrenheit and leave the indirect zone to remain cool and flameless
3. Rub your beef tenderloin with extra-virgin olive oil
4. Season the meat using salt and pepper
5. Place your prepared tenderloin on a drip pan and sear over the direct side until all sides turn brown.
6. Transfer the seared meat to the indirect side of the grill with the fatty, meaty side up
7. Cover the meat and grill until the internal temperature reaches 135° Fahrenheit. Grilling depends on the thickness of the meat. A 3-pound roast will take about 45 minutes to reach 135° Fahrenheit
8. Remove the meat from the grill and brush with mint-chive butter
9. Wrap in a foil and let the meat stand for 15 minutes before slicing and serving
1. Flatten the meat slightly using a meat mallet
2. Season with your favorite seasonings, including salt and pepper
3. Dip the season meat in melted butter. Rub the melted butter on all sides of the meat
4. Coat the seasoned meat with fresh breadcrumbs
5. Moisten the breadcrumbs by adding melted butter
6. Grill the meat in low heat until the internal temperature reaches 125 to 135° Fahrenheit
7. Serve with your favorite sauce and side dish
How to Sauté Beef Tenderloin?
Sautéing is another quick and easy way of cooking your beef tenderloin. This method entails cooking your cut of beef over high heat in a shallow pan (sauté pan) while using a very small amount of oil or fat until the meat turns brown on all sides.
One major benefit of sautéing is that it doesn’t tamper with the essential nutrients of the beef tenderloin. In addition, this cooking technique ensures your beef remains juicy and it keeps the flavors vivid.
Since it does not use much oil, many chefs consider sautéing as a healthier way of cooking beef tenderloin. The only blemish is that it might leave out essential fats that the body might require to function optimally.
Here are the steps on how to sauté beef tenderloin:
1. Cut your beef tenderloin into thin strips
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil on a large skillet or fry pan over medium to high heat
3. Season your beef tenderloin with pepper and salt
4. Add the seasoned beef to the skillet and stir fry until the meat is caramelized
5. Remove the browned tenderloin from the skillet and set it aside
6. Now, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in the same skillet and add sliced onion
7. Stir the sliced onion until they turn crisp and tender
8. Add garlic and yellow hot pepper paste, and stir for about 2 minutes
9. Add drained, diced tomatoes, soy sauce and teriyaki stir fry sauce-marinade
10. Return the beef tenderloin to the skillet and stir until hot
11. Serve immediately with your favorite side
1. Flatten your beef tenderloin using a food mallet
2. Season the flattened beef tenderloin with pepper and salt
3. Melt butter in a large skillet
4. Add the seasoned beef and sauté over medium to high heat
5. Brown both sides of the meat
6. Remove from the pan and serve
How to Cook Beef Tenderloin in the Oven?
If you want to explore other excellent ways of cooking beef tenderloin, consider cooking your meat in the oven. Nonetheless, this method tends to cook tenderloin unevenly. For this reason, you have to trim away any excess fat and silver skin, and tie up the tenderloin beef before cooking.
To avoid any guesswork, we are going to show you how to trim and truss your tenderloin before cooking it in the oven.
Trimming your beef tenderloin
You may ask the butcher to trim the tenderloin for you, but doing it on your own is more fun and gratifying. The essence of trimming your beef tenderloin cut is to ensure the meat cooks evenly and it does not taste rubbery.
Here are the steps for trimming your beef tenderloin:
Tying up your beef tenderloin
To avoid uncooked patches, you are advised to tie your beef tenderloin before cooking it in the oven or roasting it. Here are the steps:
1. Season your beef tenderloin with pepper and salt at least 30 minutes before cooking.
2. Allow your tenderloin cut to rest until it comes to room temperature. This will make it easier to cook and prevent the meat from drying out on the inside
3. Rub and season the meat with herbs and spices, including fresh thyme, chopped garlic, ground pepper
4. Preheat your oven to 425c
5. While preheating the oven, heat a fry pan or cast iron skillet over a medium-high heat
6. Add vegetable oil to the pan and place your sliced tenderloin beef
7. Sear each side of the tenderloin cuts for about four minutes until brown. When properly cooked, the meat should release from the pan easily.
8. Transfer the skillet containing the seared beef tenderloin into the heated oven
9. Cook the seared tenderloin in the oven for about an hour until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 125° Fahrenheit
10. Remove the skillet from the oven and then transfer the roasts to a plate
11. Melt your butter over low heat and add the diced shallots.
12. Stir in deli mustard
13. Thereafter, Increase heat and add Worcester sauce and Swanson beef stock
14. Reduce heat and whist in the cream. Simmer for approximately 2 minutes until the sauce sicks to a spoon
15. Stir in thyme, oregano, chives and parsley
16. Rub your herb sauce over the seared tenderloin
17. Serve immediately
How to Pan-Fry Beef Tenderloin?
Pan-frying is the easiest way to cook your beef tenderloin (it only requires 5 minutes to cook it on a skillet meant for medium-high cooking) However, you have to prepare your meat and allow the cuts to come to room temperature (approximately 1 hour) before cooking. Doing so will ensure that your tenderloin steaks cook evenly without drying out.
Here are the steps of pan-frying beef tenderloin:
1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl or baking dish
2. Add the tenderloin steaks to marinate for about an hour
3. Heat a large skillet over a medium-high heat
4. Place the marinated steaks in the pan and cook for 2 minutes leaving them untouched
5. Turn steaks over and cook for another 2 minutes
6. Remove the steaks from the pan and allow to rest for 5 minutes
7. Serve immediately
Tips on How to Choose Your Beef Tenderloin
As mentioned earlier, beef tenderloin is undeniably the most expensive cut for a number of reasons; it is tender and has a very rich, juicy flavor compared to other types of meat.
With this in mind, knowing how to choose your tenderloin can go a long way to give you a better bang for your buck. Here are a few tips on how to choose your beef tenderloin cut.
- Always consider buying tenderloin in bulk rather than in smaller pieces. Tenderloin is quite costly but some butchers offer discounts when buying in bulk. Moreover, this cut of meat can last for long in the freezer without going stale or losing its taste and freshness
- Store any meat you don’t intend to use in an airtight, freezer-safe bag to maintain its freshness and prevent cross-contamination. When you are ready to thaw the meat, simply place it on the lower shelf of the refrigerator and leave it to defrost overnight
- For best quality and flavor, opt for beef tenderloin labeled “Prime”. Depending on your country of residence, the highest quality beef cut should be “Prime” or “Choice”
- Some types of beef tenderloin cuts come already peeled while others come unpeeled. Peeled cuts do not require much preparation. On the other hand, unpeeled tenderloin will require you to trim any extra fat and skin before cooking. Considering this, choosing your steak cuts depends on how much time you intend to spend in preparing your meat before cooking
The best way to cook beef tenderloin all depends on how you want the meat to turn out. If you want the inside to remain juicy while the outside is brown and crispy, then you should sear it on a hot skillet.
Alternatively, you can grill whole beef tenderloin over indirect heat or roast it in the oven for a well-cooked, flavorful dish. You just need to try all of these methods and decide what’s best for you.