Whole Beef Tenderloin

December 28, 2009  •  Meat & Poultry, Technique

Whew, the last week was a whirlwind! When my young adult children return for the holidays, they tend to blow in and blow out so quickly I can barely catch my breath in between the hugs hello and the kisses goodbye. Hope you’re holiday was filled with laughs and love like ours was!When the kids are around, it seems I’m cooking alot, but almost always forgetting to snap photos of what I’m doing. I managed to get a few of the pre-cooked tenderloin, although the family was starving my Christmas dinner so I missed the final cooked shots. Still, I figured this was a good time to share my technique with you. First of all, I always buy the whole, untrimmed tenderloin because I know how to trim it and can make use of the extra beef tips I remove in the process. If you don’t want to mess with trimming it, skip the next steps and head straight for my roasting recipe below.If you buy a whole tenderloin, you’ll notice a large slice of fat that runs from one end to the other. As you beging to pull this apart with a knife, you’ll see that this piece separates off, so work your way through it and cut of this piece. I then cut out the meat, discarding the fat, and reserve those beef tips for another time. I also work my knife under any silver skin on the meat as this shrinks when you cook the roast, causing it to curl up.When you’ve finished you’ll have a nice whole trimmed tenderloin (tuck the tail end under for more even cooking) and about a pound of tips. Use them in Beef Stroganoff or Chinese Steak. As for the tenderloin, many of my friends fret about cooking a roast, but with a standard instant read thermometer, you really can’t go wrong. I like to marinate the meat for a day or two, then use a dry rub on the outside before roasting. Here’s my favorite combination of the two.

Roasted Tenderloin of Beef
Serves 8

2 pounds tenderloin, beef, whole, trimmed and tied
4 cups red wine
1/2 cup cognac
1/2 cup soy sauce
8 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
salt and pepper or a dry rub, for seasoning roast

The day before, combine red wine, garlic, ginger and peppercorns in a large stockpot with a lid. Submerge the beef in the marinade, cover and refrigerate for 24 hours.

About 30 minutes prior to cooking, remove the beef and pat dry with clean paper towels. Discard marinade. Heat oven to 450°. Line a roasting pan or baking sheet with aluminum foil and lay a wire rack on top of it. Generously salt and pepper all sides of the beef (or use my porcini dry rub) and set on the baking rack. Roast the meat for 30 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350° and continue roasting until the internal temperature reaches 125 to 130 degrees. Remove from oven and wrap beef well in foil and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes to redistribute juices before slicing. Serve with Bearnaise sauce.

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