Tenderloin is small part cut from the muscle which is below the rib cage. The most common way to cook beef tenderloin is roasting or grilling. It is generally prepared only for special occasions, like anniversaries, birthdays, or special parties, as it is quite expensive. However, this delicious meal can be prepared at home for any special occasion.
In the Oven
Before starting the actual cooking process, it is first important to buy good and fresh beef, which is firm and has lots of marbling. The tenderloin which is firm and has more marbling is tender and juicy. Once you get beef tenderloin home, put it aside and preheat the oven to 400 ºF.
Now, take a shallow baking pan and line its bottom with aluminum foil, so that later you don't have to deal with a messy pan which is hard to clean. If you do not have aluminum foil at hand, you can simply oil the pan lightly. See if the meat has come to room temperature, if yes, first cut the excess fat, if any. Now, brush it with olive oil and season it with black pepper and garlic. Do not rub salt now, as salt will draw out the juices. Then, put in a meat thermometer in the tenderloin where the beef is the thickest. Place it in a baking pan which is shallow. Do not add any water, just put the pan in the middle rack of the oven. Cook for about 60 minutes, uncovered.
Before removing it from the oven, check the thermometer to make sure that the beef is cooked as per as your desire. Wrap the beef in aluminum foil after removing it from the oven. Make sure you do not cover the tenderloin completely, just cover it from the top, leaving it open from the front, like a tent. The meat continues cooking even after it is removed from the oven, so let rest at least for 10-15 minutes before serving.
If you like your tenderloin medium rare, cook it until the thermometer reaches 145 ºF, and if you like it well done, cook until the thermometer reaches 165 ºF.
On a Grill
You can cook beef tenderloin on a grill as well. Like the above method, buy the best that you can get. Getting good quality meat does almost half the work! For grilling it, first wrap it with a strip of bacon, and use only around 6 oz. of tenderloin. Making sure that the ends of the meat overlap about ½-inch. You can use a toothpick to keep the ends in place. Once this is done, season the beef tenderloin with freshly ground pepper, and salt. We can use salt now, because we have tied the meat with bacon, which will prevent the meat from drying.
Now, place the it on the grill, 3-4 inches away from the source of heat. If you are wondering how long to let it cook, then the answer will depend on how you like your beef; rare, medium rare, or well-cooked.
If you like rare, sear for only 2 minutes, on each side. If you like medium rare, sear for about 4 minutes total, on each side. And for well done, sear for about 9-10 minutes per side. Keep a check on the meat so that it does not get over-cooked. Once grilled, set it in a plate and season it with chopped scallion, carrot curls, and asparagus, at the side. You can also add a little au jus.
Now, that you have both the ways to cook this delicious meat, do try both, so you can decide which is the best way to cook beef tenderloin yourself. With the help of these recipes, start practicing to cook beef tenderloin so that you can have this exotic dish for any occasion.