You’ve probably read my other posts about beef tenderloin or filet mignon cuts, and as I’ve explained before, this is something that we would buy only on special occasions because of its higher price. But not only are full tenderloins cheaper per pound than it’s trimmed and cut filet mignon brothers, but there are sales (try $5.88/lb or even $4.88/lb) on a semi-regular basis at our local food mart. Regular enough in fact, that just about the time our tenderloin stockpile is depleted another sale comes along and we start the cycle over again.
This time we were low on bacon so instead of doing medallions, we decided to cook the cut whole. Now there are a variety of ways that this can be done, broiled, braised, lightly seasoned or maybe coated with a mustard sauce, but being summer with the herb pots busting out with tasty fresh additives I was inclined to give it a nice, crusty herb jacket. Mind you it is still summer here, so we are shooting for a windbreaker as opposed to a parka – nice and light.
This dish was so successful that Shaina’s dad tried to smuggle the leftovers home for himself. Thankfully, Kiwi caught him at the door and restored the remainder back to its rightful place in the fridge, where it patiently waited to be turned into sandwiches the next Saturday.
This one is best with fresh herbs but dried will work as well. To get started assemble the following ingredients:
1 beef tenderloin (3-5 lbs trimmed)
1 ½ to 2 tbsp fresh black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt
½ to 1 tbsp each of the following (minced)
Plus anything else you might like – add some garlic if you want, I didn’t this time
Mix everything together and coat the tenderloin with the herb mixture.
You will want your grill nice and hot to start this one. If you have multiple burners, set one side to high and one to med/low. When the grill is ready lay the loin on the hot side and close the lid. Cooking time will vary but here is what I did for a four pound cut.
Let the first side cook for eight minutes and flip keeping it on the hot side for another eight minutes. After that, flip it over to the med/low side and turn the hot side down. Close the lid and let it go for ten minutes and check the temperature with a meat thermometer.
You want the center to reach 130 degrees. If you hit it, then you’re done. Remove the tenderloin to aluminum foil, wrap it and let it sit while you finish things at the table, 10-15 minutes is good.
This might not look the prettiest on the outside, but trust me, the beauty here is on the inside. Slice portions to suit your company and serve.
The nice thing about the shape of these is that the thin end gets much more done, and I prefer to give Kidney Bean and Kumquat meat that has been cooked through. The rest however, is red and rare and bursting with juices.
A friend of mine who entertains frequently has found that his guests can’t get enough of the herb crust so he applies this to rib eye steaks which significantly boosts the meat to crust ratio. I see this technique being utilized in my near future.