Sunday, July 1, 2012

Grilled Beef Tenderloin

The biggest dilemma in my life right now is deciding which recipe from vacation to post first.  Rough life, I know.

This recipe won, and the pictures make it clear why.  What can I say.  I come from a family that loves meat.

Yes, we like it rare.  Why do you ask?

If you like it cooked more than this, grill yourself a hamburger.  (Smiley face.)

Last year at the beach, we roasted our beef tenderloin.  It was delicious.  But this year my dad wanted to try grilling it.  Let me just say that it was out of this world.

So here's how we did it.

Take it out of the fridge about 45 minutes before you want to start cooking it.  You want it to come nearly room temperature before you put it on the grill - this will ensure that it cooks evenly.

Take a knife and trim off the "silverskin" - if you think you don't know what this is, you will know it when you see it.  It is the thin silvery layer down the tenderloin, and it's super easy to cut off with your paring knife.

Now that the silverskin is gone, rub it down with salt.

Now you need to tie it up with kitchen twine.  I used to disregard this step.  I thought it was unimportant.  Learn from my experience: it is important and you must do it to ensure even cooking time.  My dad is a knot expert so he did the tying up for me.

Right before we were ready to throw it on the grill, we rubbed a thin layer of olive oil over the whole thing, and then we sprinkled on coarsely cracked peppercorns.

Okay, for the grilling part.  We heated half of the grill on medium-high heat (about 375 degrees).  We left the other half of the grill off.  On the hot half of the grill, we seared the tenderloin for two minutes per side (total of 8 minutes).

When the meat was seared on all sides, we transferred it to the other side of the grill (where the burners were turned off).  The indirect heat from the other side of the grill will continue to cook the meat slowly, without overcooking it.

Our meat took about 30-35 minutes to reach 115 degrees (120 degrees is rare, but you want to take it off a little before it reaches that temp because it will continue to cook as it rests off the grill.

Ten minutes later, we sliced it.  And this is what we had.  Like butter, y'all.  So tender, so flavorful, so absolutely perfect.

I think we'll be grilling it from now on.  It was very easy and came out wonderfully.  Very special.  Make some cow soon!

Grilled Beef Tenderloin

4-5 lb. beef tenderloin, silverskin trimmed off
1 T kosher salt
1 T coarsely ground pepper
2 T extra-virgin olive oil

About 45 minutes before you start cooking the beef, remove it from the refrigerator and rub it with salt.  Use kitchen twine to tie up the beef, tucking the tail under to make it a uniform thickness.

Preheat the grill: turn on the burners on half of the grill while leaving the other half turned off.  You want the grill to be at about 375 degrees (medium to medium-high heat).

Right before you are ready to put the meat on the grill, rub the whole tenderloin with the olive oil and sprinkle on the cracked pepper.  Place the meat on the hot half of the grill and sear it two minutes per side on all four sides (8 minutes total).  Move the meat to the other side of the grill (where the burners are off) and close the grill.  Cook it for about 30-35 minutes, depending on the thickness, until it reaches 115 degrees internally (use a meat thermometer).  Remove the meat to a platter and let it rest at room temperature for about 10 minutes.

Cut off the kitchen twine and slice into thick slices.

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