5 Tips For Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Properly prepared, beef tenderloin makes for an exceptional holiday meal.
Properly prepared, beef tenderloin makes for an exceptional holiday meal.

Roasted beef tenderloin is a beloved holiday tradition for many families. As Better Homes and Gardens pointed out, t’s also an expensive cut of meat that requires careful preparation. Here are five tips to help you make a fantastic entree for your feast while avoiding some of the common pitfalls:

1. Choose the right cut
Serious Eats recommended picking up a whole tenderloin only If you are expecting eight to 12 guests for your holiday dinner. However, for a smaller gathering, choose a center-cut tenderloin. This smooth section of meat, cut from the middle of the tenderloin, will save you some money and cook more easily.

Though you can ask a butcher to do it , you may also choose to cut off the layer of tough connective tissue, called the silverskin, on the tenderloin’s surface. Remove this silvery-white tissue with a thin, flexible blade, such as a boning knife.

2. Truss it up
Tenderloin can cook unevenly, leaving thicker sections overcooked and thinner sections too rare. That is why it is important to tie up the meat with pieces of kitchen twine. For a whole tenderloin, begin by folding the thin, tapered tail under the end and tying it down so the meat will have an even thickness throughout.

However, even a center cut tenderloin can sag and take on an unappealing shape during the roasting process. Therefore, regardless of the cut you are using, it is a good idea to truss it at one or two-inch intervals.

3. Add plenty of seasoning
Tenderloin gets the tenderness of its name because of its low fat content, and that also means you need additional seasoning to give it a bold, powerful flavor. Avoid blandness by coating the meat with plenty of salt and, if you like, other seasonings as well.

You can try various combinations and ratios of seasoning to your taste, such as pepper, dried herbs and crushed garlic. Alton Brown recommended rolling a center cut tenderloin in 1.5 teaspoons of kosher salt, 1.5 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper and 1 teaspoon of freshly ground cumin.

You’ll also want to brush olive oil onto the meat. This will keep the spices on and avoid the splattering that can occur if you place the oil in your pan instead.

4. Roast to medium rare
Be careful not to overcook your tenderloin, as that will result in meat that is dry, tough and unappetizing. Begin by giving the meat a nice sear on the outside in a roasting pan or a large cast-iron skillet set on the stovetop at high heat.

After the tenderloin is browned on all sides, you will then roast it at a low heat. Place the roasting pan or skillet in an oven preheated to 225-250 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the tenderloin to an internal temperature of around 135 degrees Fahrenheit. As The Kitchn warned, you shouldn’t let the temperature get above 140 degrees or you’ll risk losing much of the flavor. A center cut tenderloin will be ready after 15- 20 minutes, while a whole tenderloin will take closer to an hour.

5. Let the cooked meat rest
Give your freshly roasted  tenderloin plenty of time to rest before cutting it up to serve. If you cut into it soon, you’ll sacrifice much of the meat’s delicious juiciness. Allow at least 15 minutes for the tenderloin to reabsorb its delicious liquids.

Wrap the meat in foil in the meantime if you want to stop it from getting cold while you wait. You might also consider adding further seasoning before serving, such as sea salt or chives. Either way, you now have a tasty main course ready for your holiday guests.

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