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Beef tenderloin

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Help! I need to make beef tenderloin for 20 +/- this weekend. I have never made it...and there is A LOT of conflicting advice out there. I will be using an oven, not a grill, and cooking it whole (probably 10 lbs.). Your professional opinions are respectfully appreciated!!
post #2 of 12
I assume your talking a home kitchen? therefore get your largest fry pan or roast pan
Take the tenderloin out of fridge at least 1 hour ahead of cooking.
Mix some salt,pepper together sprinkle on tenderloin (you can also add garlic and onion powder if you like)Put some olive oil in pan and let get hot, now sear the loin, turnig so as to get all sides'
When browned all around put in preheated oven at 400 middle rack for about 20-25 minutes
Take out now check with thermometer, internal temp should be about 120-125 for rare
Let sit at least 20 minutes then cut. I give 2 slices approx a little bit less then the thickness of your pinky finger.

P/s You can sear it earlier and then finish it in oven before service if you like. Good Luck:D

Based on how much you paid. it should cost you about $1.20 to $1.60 an ounce after butchering.
post #3 of 12
Nice peace of meat.

Ed's method is"sear and blast." It's really good, and you can feel very comfortable about it -- and following Ed's advice in general. If I were only doing a single tenderloin, and finishing in the oven -- sear and blast is how I'd go.

Nevertheless, I'm going to give you a few alternatives because you might find one of them better for your situation and also to establish that there are a lot of right ways to do things.

Before getting into the actual cooking techniques, let's talk a little about a couple preliminaries: Serving size and seasoning.

A less than 8 oz per person of uncooked well-trimmed tenderloin is not generous portioning -- it's barely adequate. In essence, you're talking about the sort of portion (palm size, about 3/4" thick) a woman likes to order on a date. If your group is composed of big eaters, you'll either need more meat or a lot of distractions. Similarly if you're being meat which is not trimmed right down to the red, you're going to want more.

A beef roast is a wonderful excuse to get way out of hand. Dry seasonings don't get much penetration, diner's only get a bit of the seasoned outside, so you can feel free to use strong "rub." The highly seasoned outside crust mixes with the rich center in the diner's mouth and the sensation is delightful.

I find that marinating meat in a solution of red wine and worcestershire sauce before seasoning gives the crust a nice background taste. You can marinate for as long as overnight or as little as a half hour before the dry rub. And you don't need much -- for a single roast, about 1/4 cup each. You want to wet the roast, not take it for a swim. You'll find that after the roast does about 15 minutes in the marinade, the marinade will thicken into a syrup. A very good thing. Just turn the roast and smile.

Make your rub by mixing:
1 cup kosher salt
5 tbs freshly cracked black pepper
3 tbs sweet paprika
2 tbs smoked paprika
2 tbs granulated garlic
1 tbs granulated onion
1 tbs dry mustard
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp rubbed sage
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary

Apply it generously. How much? Well it's about half kosher salt. How much kosher salt would you use if you were being extra-generous? Use double that. After you've sprinkled it on, rub it into the surface of the meat.

Here are some other cooking methods, as promised.

Sear and slow: Begin by searing the meat on all sides in a very hot pan with a little oil. When the meat is seared, put it, pan and all, in a 325F oven. Cook for about 45 minutes, until the meat reads 125 on a meat thermometer. Allow the meat to rest, lightly covered in foil, on the carving board. Prepare a cognac/cream pan reduction with the fond in the pan.

Hot and cold. Preheat the oven to 450F. Place the seasoned meat on a rack, and into the hot oven. After 5 or 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 275F. Again, cook to a 125F internal. I forget how to time this -- I think it's also around 45 minutes for a full tenderloin. Serve with a horse-radish cream.

Old Fashioned: Preheat the oven to 350F. Cook the meat on a rack to 125F internal.

Old Fashioned, barded: You can bard this with bacon, if you like; then carve and serve with the bacon still on.

Low and sear: Cook on a rack in a 250F oven until around 120F internal. (I can't tell you how long that would take -- 2 hours maybe, maybe more). Remove from the oven and sear. Serve with a mustard/green-peppercorn sauce.

If one of these seems to make a lot of sense to you and you want to know more, or if you have any other questions... ask.

Good luck,

ON EDIT: The rub recipe I gave you is enough for about 2 cups. You'd probably use about 1/4 cup for a tenderloin. Not to worry, it's a nice general purpose beef seasoning you'll use almost every time you cook beef.
post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 
I have heard of a method that does not involve searing but does require it to be cooked at 500 degrees for 25 minutes (medium) or 20 minutes (rare) and then taking it out of the oven and covering with foil and letting it rest for 15 minutes. Has anyone tried this and doesit sound like it would work?
post #5 of 12
BDL is correct in all of his methods. \
He is more, excuse the word Gormayish then I am.
I do most of my cooking volume upscale and get it out.
He makes a point about portion size that I neglected a 10 Lb Filet as is, before fabrication will not feed 20 hungry guest.
I trim and clean them about 3 days a week in my part time position.
You loose about 30 % minimum , the chain, the fat, the tail ,the silver membrane off etc. As he states you need about 8 ounce raw weight per person cleaned and trimmed; :lips:

If you want to save on meat, give 1 good size slice topped with 2 21/25 shrimp and a Bernaise sauce infused with dill.
post #6 of 12
I've read recipes using that method. Even with the rest, your results will shade more towards "black and blue," than an even pink. If I were going for black and blue, I'd go all hot like your method, but mix some direct heat in there somewhere. Maybe with a pan sear, more likely in a broiler with some space between the meat and the element, and preferably on an open face grill over a live fire -- "Santa Maria" style. In fact, Santa Maria or Weber Kettle style would be my two preferred methods.

A 15 minute rest is right no matter how you cook. However, you can hold for a significantly longer period if you know how. An extended hold -- up to an hour -- can even be beneficial. The meat must be wrapped in aluminum foil or (commercial) cling wrap and held in an insulated cooler packed with crumpled paper.

Some people really like black and blue, some don't. But since you're only bordering on the effect you can probably get away with it. Not the most conservative technique, though.

I don't know the timing on the tenderloin. 20 minutes at 500 sounds okay -- but I'd defintely use a probe during the cook. Those temperatures will not cut you any slack at all. That's the weakness in the method. Get called away from the kitchen for the wrong two minutes and you've got a bunch of overcooked meat.

I'd also allow an extra 2* or 3* carryover temperature increase in addition to the standard 5*, because of the cooking method and would cook to a target temperature of 122F, rather than 125F.

When you start throwing a lot of heat at food, you're entering an area in which professional cooks are comfortable and experienced -- but are also aware that a lot can go wrong in a hurry. If I were catering a party, would do something very much like it -- but for my own party, no. I'd choose something that left more room for error.

Ed is every bit as big a gooermay (sp?) as anyone else, and is just hosing you about me. What he also is, is extremely disciplined and geared toward techniques which turn out very consistent product and protect against all sorts of errors and glitches. You could do worse than pay very close attention to what he has to say. That includes his kvetching about your portion planning.

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thank you both for all of your input! I should have mentioned before that I will be offering a chicken entree as well because I know some of the 20 guests can't/don't eat beef. If you have any recommendations as to what a nice chicken accompaniment might be, I would welcome your ideas (keeping in mind, no bacon or ham in the chicken dish). Given the alternative entree, I'mnot too worried about the portion of beef.
Forgive my naivete, but what does "black and blue" mean? I googled it and came up with a hip hop cd.
Of al lthe methods mentioned, what is the most idiot-proof?
post #8 of 12
Myself and my staff are not allowed to set our ovens over 400. 25 years ago I did, but age is wisdom and I learned.


Since there are 100s of chick recipes, pick the one u do best. Pick one that you can do 75% of it ahead ao at the dinner you can be a guest and not have to run around.
post #9 of 12
Tenderloin in the oven? I hope its not a prime or choice tenderloin, it would be a pitty...
post #10 of 12
Ask your husband, but for the last century this is standard practice in every COMMERCIAL place. If we are talking indy filet mignon, no it normally is not done in oven.
post #11 of 12
Depends what you mean by "idiot-proof."

The "old-fashioned" method, 325 degrees until done, is certainly minimal effort, but with a very lean cut like this there is some danger of its being dry. Barding I would not call idiot-proof.

I agree with BDL that the very high heat method is emphatically not idiot-proof: it works very well, but you have to be pretty much spot-on or you can amazingly quickly have overdone meat.

I like the "hot and cold" method, 425 or so for about 5 minutes, then down to 275 until the probe gives the right reading. I believe many of Julia Child's cookbooks propose a method like this, and you can always rely on her.

If you're not used to the 15 minute rest under foil, don't second-guess it. I've seen a lovely demonstration of resting. 3 roasts were cooked precisely the same way, to the same internal temperature. One was cut immediately, one rested 5 minutes and got cut, and one rested the full 15. Not only did the first run blood all over the place, but you could see the difference in the slices: the first was raw in the inside and gray on the outside; the second was better but still pretty uneven; the third was evenly pink, juicy without running blood, precisely what you want. And don't panic -- resting 20 minutes won't hurt anything.
post #12 of 12
The most "idiot proof" is combining a digital probe which can be left in during the cookint process + hot start + medium or cool finish + long rest (30 minutes or more, wrapped in foil or cling wrap, in a cooler).

The digital probe will make sure you hit your temps. The extended rest in a cooler gives you a lot of flexibity in terms of planning your cooking flow and timing, and takes away all the anxiety at the end when everything starts piling up.

As to the chicken, I'd choose sometihng that can be prepared in advance, then reheated for service; and which compliments rather than competes with the tenderloin for those who double up on entrees -- and also goes well with the same veg and starch. I've given it a couple of days, and for some reason, chickens Marengo and Marsala won't leave my brain. Either would be fine, if a little cliched. Depending on your group, you might also consider a very mild curry.

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