Christmas or New Year's Eve Beef Tenderloin Dinner
If you are reading this holiday post on how to cook beef tenderloin, it just may be near the New Year, so I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday full of great joy and wonderful meals.
I'm looking forward to the New Year and all the new cooking techniques and recipes I will learn and be able to share with you. 2011 should be a fun year with significant changes to the Reluctant Gourmet website and cooking blog.
This year I spent New Year's Eve in Park City with my family at my good friend Alice's home, where she prepared delicious roasted beef tenderloin, Caesar salad, and boiled potatoes and my oldest daughter prepared her special glazed carrots.
On the way back from a great visit from our friend's cabin in the Uintas, Alice asked me how long she should cook the tenderloin. Of course, I gave her my standard answer, "As long as it takes to get the internal temperature you want."
How long does it take to cook a beef tenderloin?
The cooking time for beef tenderloin will depend on a few factors, including the size and thickness of the tenderloin, the cooking method you're using, and the desired level of doneness. However, here are some general guidelines for cooking beef tenderloin:
- Roasting: Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit (220 degrees Celsius). Place the tenderloin in a roasting pan and roast for about 25-30 minutes for medium-rare or 35-40 minutes for medium. Remember to use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the beef has reached at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius) for medium-rare and 160 degrees Fahrenheit (71 degrees Celsius) for medium.
- Grilling: Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Place the tenderloin on the grill and cook for about 8-10 minutes per side for medium-rare or 12-15 minutes for medium. As with roasting, use a meat thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature has reached the desired level of doneness.
- Sous-vide: To cook beef tenderloin using a sous-vide method, seal it in a vacuum-sealed bag and place it in a water bath set to the desired temperature. The water temperature should be set to 131-140 degrees Fahrenheit (55-60 degrees Celsius) for medium-rare. The water temperature should be set to 140-149 degrees Fahrenheit (60-65 degrees Celsius) for medium. Cook the tenderloin in the water bath for about 2-4 hours, depending on the size and thickness of the meat.
Regardless of your cooking method, it's essential to let the beef tenderloin rest for at least 10-15 minutes before slicing and serving. This will allow the juices to redistribute and the meat to finish cooking, resulting in a more tender and flavorful final product.
This also allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. (See my Meat Doneness Chart)
What type of thermometer?
There are several types of thermometers that you can use to check the internal temperature of beef tenderloin. Here are a few options:
- Instant-read thermometer: This is a type of thermometer that you can insert into the beef tenderloin to get a quick reading of the internal temperature. It's a good choice if you want to check the temperature of the beef while it's cooking. However, could you be sure to keep the thermometer clean to avoid cross-contamination?
- Oven-safe thermometer: This type of thermometer can be placed in the beef tenderloin before cooking and will remain in the meat in the oven. It's a good choice if you don't want to keep opening the oven door to check the temperature.
- Probe thermometer: A probe thermometer is a digital thermometer with a long, thin probe that you can insert into the beef tenderloin. The probe is connected to a digital display, which shows the temperature of the meat. This is a good choice if you want to monitor the beef's temperature while it's cooking without having to open the oven or grill.
Regardless of the type of thermometer you choose, it's essential to use it properly to ensure an accurate reading. Please insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the beef tenderloin and avoid bones or fat.
Also, allow the thermometer to reach its full temperature before reading it. This will help to ensure that you get an accurate reading of the internal temperature of the beef tenderloin.
Where Does the Beef Tenderloin Come From?
Beef tenderloin is a meat cut from the beef hindquarter, specifically from the area around the loin. The beef hindquarter is divided into several cuts, including the sirloin, round, and chuck.
The tenderloin is located beneath the ribs, near the spine. It is a long, narrow muscle that does not get much exercise and is very tender.
The beef tenderloin is one of the most expensive cuts due to its tenderness and versatility. It can be grilled, roasted, or even cut into medallions and pan-fried. It is often served as a special occasion or holiday meal and is a popular choice for steakhouses and fine dining establishments.
In the United States, beef tenderloin is typically sold in whole and trimmed forms. Whole beef tenderloin is the entire muscle, with a thin layer of fat on the outside.
Trimmed beef tenderloin has had the fat and silver skin removed, leaving a leaner cut of meat. Both types of beef tenderloin can be cooked using various methods, including roasting, grilling, and sous-vide.
Roasting the Tenderloin
We cooked the beef tenderloin at 350°F for about 60 min. Until the temperature at the thickest part of the roast reached 135°F. After removing it from the oven and covering it with tinfoil, we let it rest for approximately 15 minutes.
When I carved a slice from the middle of the roast, it was cooked perfectly to medium doneness. Usually, I would cook it to a medium rare doneness, which equates to about 130°F, but that is a little too rare for the girls.
I know that most of you are used to cooking meats and poultry using a time and temperature technique and that most recipes in cookbooks and cooking magazines give you time and temperature. Still, I would like you to use them as approximations only and try getting used to using a thermometer to achieve better results.
You may even want to keep track of internal temperatures for everything you cook and after a while, you will be able to determine when a piece of meat is cooked to perfection by your other senses, including touch, sight, and even what you hear.