Ah, the beef tenderloin!
A lean, flavorful, melt in your mouth, morsel of beef. It’s like butter in beef form!
It also can be expensive if you don’t know where to shop.
Single steaks sold by themselves go for over $20 per pound in most places.
The trick is to invest your money better and buy it whole, use every portion, and save some serious dough (click here to read more about buying whole cuts of meat).
You can usually find a local grocery store selling whole beef tenderloin for cheaper prices around Christmas time. I like to cut to my tenderloin into steaks for filet mignon and a nice chunk to roast. For the roast, I use Alton Brown’s method – the topic of today’s post.
Below you will find my notes from his recipe. For the full recipe, visit Food Network’s website.
1. I choose my Lodge Cast Iron grill pan to grill the outside of the meat. Well technically it’s more searing than grillings since not using an actual grill – it’s all about getting those beautiful grill marks. Alton uses a cast iron grill pan with a removable handle which looked pretty sweet. It took me about 8 minutes to get grill marks all around.
2. The seasoning for this roast is pretty basic with salt and pepper and a little unexpected with cumin. The cumin is a nice, unexpected addition. I use whole cumin that I grind in a coffee/spice grinder. You can also use a mortar & pestle. Flavor is always going to be better with whole spices.
3. After grilling the roast makes it’s trip into the oven. Alton says 15-20 minutes to get to an internal temperature of 135 degrees which is medium rare. We like ours somewhere between medium rare and medium, so we cooked ours closer to the 140 degree mark.
I wouldn’t recommend cooking it past medium. Tenderloin doesn’t have a lot of fat in it, so it can easily dry out if you overcook it. What a waste that would be.
4. When I first made it I served it up with some peas and Anne Burrell’s Garlic Yukon Gold Mashed Potatoes.
This roast isn’t a lot of fuss, but it is full of a lot of flavor. The sear on the outside makes for a delicious crust. Don’t be shy with the freshly cracked black pepper. It’s sooooo good on beef tenderloin.
My best advice is to make buy a whole tenderloin and save the center cut of the tenderloin to make a delicious roast to serve at your next holiday function.
Recipe Grade: A-