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Feb 22

There is no recipe!

This page contains “recipes” for cooking The Meat featured at the Stars without LIMS and A Job, A Place, A Puppy parties thrown by Ann Rea. As the post title suggests, there really isn’t a recipe per se; the process for cooking the tenderloin is very straightforward and there’s nothing so tricky going on that a little practice can’t fix it. The most important thing, whether your using variant #1 or variant #2, is to be mindful of your heat.

Feel free to use the Contact page if you have any questions 🙂

Now, without further ado, I give you:

 

The Meat

 
 
Ingredients


  1. 1 Costco brand rate CHOICE beef tenderloin (7-9 lbs)
  2. McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Rub
  3. Enough olive oil to coat the ternderloin evenly

 
 
Preparation


01] Wash and dry the tenderloin.

02] Trim off all of the fat and pull off the silver skin (the film of sinew covering the tenderloin) with your fingers. Working at the small end of the tenderloin, slide a knife under the silver skin, lift and grab the silver skin and pull it off in strips. For a better grip use a paper towel to grasp the silver skin. As you slide the knife under, pull the silver skin toward the large end of tenderloin (the head). Removing the silver skin will prevent the tenderloin from curling and will eliminate a portion of meat that will be a bit tough.

03] Cover the meat with the rub. Don’t be dainty about it: use your hands and be generous; it’s called a “rub” for a reason.

04] Place in the refrigerator and let the meat sit with the rub for a minimum of 2 hours and up to 5 hours.

05] Remove the meat from the refrigerator one hour before you are ready to cook it and let it come to room temperature.

 
 
Cooking The Meat Variant 1 – On the Stove


The steps below were used to cook The Meat for the “Stars without LIMS” party.

06] Meat is best cooked on a grill or in cast iron, so the closest indoor equivalent you have should be used: a cast iron stove-top griddle or cast iron skillet are best, but any large, heavy-bottomed skillet or saute pan will work.

07] Cut the tenderloin so that you are working with pieces of meat that are vaguely rectangular; if you look at the piece, it should be roughly the same thickness from one end to the other. It’s okay if you end up with many pieces; it’s more important that each piece be roughly the same thickness so it will cook evenly than having a specific number of pieces. For example: image
Notice that while the various pieces are not the same thickness relative to each other, individually, each piece is roughly the same thickness when viewed left-to-right and top-to-bottom.

08] Separate the cut pieces into batches that are appropriate for the griddle/skillet/pan you are using. A single batch should be small enough to fit in the pan with 1-2 inches of free space around each piece of meat.

09] If your stove has a fan/vent-hood, turn it on; if it doesn’t, open a few windows as close to the kitchen as you can manage.

10] Place your griddle/skillet/pan on the stove over high heat and let the pan heat until you can flick some water on the cooking surface with your fingers and the water sizzles and dances slightly. If the water just sits there, the pan isn’t ready yet. If the water skitters and rolls around like beads, your pan is too hot. Once the pan is heated through, reduce the heat to maintain the temperature: if you are working with a cast iron cooking surface turn the heat down to medium and for stainless steel pans, turn it to medium high. Everything from the size of your stove, the material of your pan, and whether your stove is gas or electric will affect how quickly the pan heats up, how well it retains its heat, and how quickly it recovers its heat while it’s in use so you may need to adjust the heat (either up or down) as you go. It will take a little practice to find the right combination of temperature and pan that is specific to your stove, but generally speaking, you should never need to turn the heat any lower than medium or any higher than medium high once you begin cooking. This is why cast iron is the first choice for cooking The Meat; it retains and radiates heat the most evenly, which means less fiddling with the temperature on the stove.

11] Working in batches, coat the meat with olive oil and place it on the cooking surface; again, don’t be dainty, use your hands – they’re the best kitchen tool you’ve got. The meat should sizzle when you place it in the pan; if it doesn’t, your pan is too cold and you will need to turn up the heat to bring the pan to temperature.

12] Turn the meat every 5 minutes. A little smoke is expected, but if the pan begins to smoke significantly, your heat is probably too high and you should turn it down. You want to hear a moderate sizzle while the meat is cooking, not an aggressive hissing.

13] Depending on the size of your pieces and the heating power of your stove, the meat will be done in 15 to 30 minutes. The best way to know if it is done is to use a meat thermometer. The meat is medium rare when the internal temperature reads around 145 degrees and medium at around 160. Remember that meat will continue to cook for a bit after you pull it from the heat, so remove the meat from the pan approximately 5 degrees *before* it reaches the final temperature you’re looking for.

14] Place the meat on a cutting board and allow it to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Note #1
The most important thing you can do while you’re cooking the meat is keep an eye on your heat: if the cooking surface is too cold, the meat won’t develop a nice crust, and if it’s too hot the outside will burn (especially the spices in the rub) long before the inside is cooked properly. With each batch, the temperature of the cooking surface will dip when you first add the meat. If you suspect your pan is too cold, turn the heat up and wait between batches for the pan to come up to temperature then turn the heat down slightly when you add the next batch. If you suspect your pan is too hot (or you’re seeing a lot of smoke), turn the heat down to medium and let the meat cook for 8 to 10 minutes per side before turning instead of turning it every 5 minutes.

Note #2
If you are working with many small batches, the olive oil and rub from the meat can collect on the pan and burn. Every 2-3 batches, scrape up any loose debris in the pan and either scoop it out with a spoon or, if it’s a small pan, scrape it out into the sink. Excess rub/oil in the pan will burn and smoke and make it seem like your pan is too hot when, really, it’s the gunk in the pan that’s smoldering, not the meat.

 
 
Cooking The Meat Varient 2 – On the Grill


The steps below were used to cook The Meat for the “A Job, A Place, A Puppy” party and come courtesy of Bobby Chavis.

06] I used a Charbroil Bar-B-Cue Grill which is large enough to accommodate both tenderloins. A Weber grill will work just fine for single tenderloin. Light enough charcoal to cover the bottom of the grill in a single layer if using a Weber grill (22 inch diameter). If using a larger grill such as the Charbroil Bar-B-cue light 100 briquettes and spread over the bottom of the grill (if you light enough charcoal to cover the bottom there will be too much heat and it will require constant turning of the meat to avoid overcooking).

07] Coat the meat with olive oil.

08] Remove the tapered ends so that the tenderloin is a uniform size.

09] Place the tenderloin on the grill. Turn the tenderloin every 5 minutes so that all four sides are exposed to the heat evenly.

10] Using a probe thermometer check the temperature of the large end of the taper section of meat. Remove the meat when the internal temperature reached 143 degrees (medium rare). The small tapered piece will be cooked in about 30 minutes. The larger pieces will take a longer to cook (25 to 30 minutes). Don’t guess; use a probe thermometer to insure that the meat is cooked to your desired tastes. You may have to add a few charcoal briquettes to maintain the heat.

11] Remove the meat from the grill and allow it to rest for 10 minutes minimum before carving.