A beef tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef you can buy. It is full of flavor, very tender, and is very juicy. It is a preferred cut of beef for many people.
Before we talk about how to cook a beef tenderloin, let's talk about how you buy one.
How to buy a beef tenderloin
You can buy a beef tenderloin in several different ways. The first consideration you will decide is what grade of beef you will purchase. Chances are you will encounter beef that is graded prime or choice. Less than 2% of all beef is graded as prime beef. It is the most marbled with fat and has the most flavor. It is also the most expensive. Typically specialty butcher shops, higher end grocery stores, and some warehouse stores carry prime beef. Most grocery stores carry choice beef; it is the second most marbled beef, and it is very flavorful as well. Choice beef is less expensive. I typically make my choice on by what is on sale. Sometimes prime beef may only cost a little more than choice, and if that is the case, I will go with the prime.
You can buy a tenderloin in the cryo-vac, you will need to break down the tenderloin yourself. It isn't difficult you need a sharp knife. There will be some waste when you break down a tenderloin. You can also buy them trimmed, and ready to go. In the cryo-vac you will be purchasing the whole tenderloin, and if you buy one that is already trimmed you will purchase only what you need. For this recipe, I purchased only a roast-sized portion. You can easily adjust your cooking time as needed when you make the roast.
When you buy your already trimmed tenderloin, make sure that it has the silverskin that covers the meat removed. Sometimes the butcher may leave a bit of it still on the roast. If you don't remove it, the roast will be tough where that silver skin remains.
How to cook a beef tenderloin
I like to use a two-step cooking method when I prepare a tenderloin roast. The primary cooking is done in the oven. The final stage of the cooking is simply searing the meat before allowing it to rest before cutting. I like to sear after it cooks in the oven. Often, we like to sear then bake. We are going to reverse that in this recipe. Why? If we do it before, the crust isn't on the outside isn't crisp, and browned. If we do it after we bake, it looks naturally beautiful and has a nice crisp outside.
It is critical that you use a meat thermometer with this recipe while cooking a roast is pretty straight forward, and you can use this chart to cook with it. Oven temperatures can vary. So I like to check the temperature once when we have hit about 75% of the cooking time. This roast is going to be cooked at 300 degrees. If you want your roast rare, it will take between 20 to 25 minutes per pound, medium rare it should take between 30 to 35 minutes per pound.
Temperatures for Beef Tenderloin
A lot of people are pretty finicky about what temperature to cook meat. I personally always like to cook beef more on the rare side. This way if I need to cook it later to reheat it, I feel I don't end up with something that is close to shoe leather. This is a very personal choice. Unlike pork, you can eat beef safely when it is rare.
How to long to cook beef at 300 degrees
Rare 140 degrees Fahrenheit about 20 to 25 minutes a pound
Medium Rare 150 degrees Fahrenheit about 30 to 35 minutes a pound
Well 170 degrees Fahrenheit about 35 to 40 minutes a pound
Beef tenderloin add-ons
When you finish your beef tenderloin, you may want to serve it with some flavored butter, or even a little horseradish sauce.