Beef tenderloin is one of the choicest cuts of beef and perfect for a special occasion whether it’s Christmas, a birthday or a dinner party. It is also simple to prepare and does not require any fancy ingredients to turn it into something spectacular since it is already quite flavorful and juicy and has a mouthwatering texture. Since it is already moist, you can serve it alone without any sauce but a wide array of sauces and methods of cooking lend well to this versatile meat.
Cut from the loin of beef, tenderloin is found beneath the ribs, next to the backbone and is oblong in shape. One of the best ways to enjoy beef tenderloin is searing it simply in a hot pan, browning both sides and enjoying it medium rare to medium well so that the inside remains super tender. Roasting and grilling are also ideal when it comes to cooking beef tenderloin, as long as you cook it fast on high heat. It is quick cooking meat is easy to carve you can cut it with a butter knife.
In the U.S., beef is inspected and graded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). There are three grades of beef found in butcher shops and grocery stores, marked with the USDA’s shield logo: USDA Prime, Choice, and Select, the Prime being the best quality in terms of fat marbling, age of the animal, tenderness of the meat, and other valued characteristics of premium grade beef. The lowest grade is Select, which is very lean meat but not tender.
Prime beef is the best kind of meat and is the most flavorful, tender, juicy, and has the best level of fat marbling. The quality of Choice grade is between Prime and Select and has the best value. Prime beef can be difficult to find in butcher shops and groceries because they are sold to fine dining restaurants.
When selecting a beef tenderloin, always look to get triple A or higher quality beef. Local butcher shops will usually have better quality meat than large chain grocery stores. You can choose certified Black Angus, US Prime, or Albertan Sterling Silver Beef.
To clean the beef tenderloin, remove from the package, shake off excess blood and place on clean, sanitized cutting board. Start by pulling off excess fat and trim what can be easily removed by hand.
Using a sharp boning knife, trim off all the excess silver skin, being sure not to remove too much quality meat. Remove the chain of meat, running from the side of the tenderloin, from head to tail. Trim off excess fat. At the head of the tenderloin there are two flaps of beef that have silver skin running to the center of the head of the tenderloin. Start by using your fingers to pull the flaps away and remove silver skin delicately.
Once tenderloin is fully cleaned your options are to remove the head piece and roast whole, commonly known as Château Briand. Cut centre piece into medallions, use the tail for various recipes, including tenderloin tips, beef stroganoff, ginger beef and more!