I probably shouldn’t do this, but I am going to share a secret method of beef tenderloin cooking with you that will wow everyone you feed it to. Consider this a “Thank You” gift from me for visiting this, my new website, my labor of love.
I took a wonderful seminar from a chef named Jeff Blank. He owns Hudson On The Bend Restaurant in Austin, Texas. He described a technique called “Hang Over Cooking”. The process he explained got my attention, so I went home and tried it the next day. WOW! I want to share it with you. This technique will make your tenderloin the talk of the party!
First you need to trim your loin.
1. Locate the chain, the long piece of muscle that runs the length of the tenderloin. (The fatter, shorter, smooth muscle on the other side is part of the loin-leave that on.) Using your fingers, gently separate the chain from the tenderloin as much as possible.
2. With a boning knife, start at the narrow end of the chain and cut along the seam, making several long, shallow cuts rather than one or two deep ones. This way, you have more control over the path your knife takes and less chance of cutting too far in. You don’t have to trim every bit of the chain from the wider end; it’s fine to leave a narrow strip attached to the loin.
3. Starting about 1 inch from one end of the silverskin, push the tip of your knife under a strip of silverskin about 1/2 inch wide. Using your free hand to hold the silverskin taut, angle the knife slightly up toward the silverskin as you slide the knife down the tenderloin, freeing the silverskin.
4. Turn the knife around and cut off the end of the silverskin that’s still attached. Repeat until all the silverskin is gone.
Bonus: You can save the chain for cooking another night (think stir-fry). It’s perfectly tasty beef, just not as tender as the rest of the tenderloin.
Next, you need to cook your loin. You can slow grill it, roast it in the oven, smoke it in the stovetop smoker, or smoke it in your favorite smoker, whichever is your preferred beef tenderloin cooking method. Always season the outside of your meat very liberally with your favorite salt-based rub.
Do not cook your meat past rare, or 125 degrees internally. This may be difficult, because we are so programmed to really cook meat. But resist the urge!
While your meat is smoking or cooking, warm two quarts of oil, or enough oil to fill your ice chest 1/3 way full. The oil temperature should be 140-145 degrees. Use your meat thermometer to ensure this.
As your meat is reaching its finished 125 degrees, pour your 140 degree oil into the ice chest. Place the meat in the oil and close the lid securely to avoid any heat loss. The meat will hold for three to four hours at a perfect medium rare (130 to 135 degrees internal temperature).
As the meat lies in waiting, a couple of other things are occurring. The oil has a heavier viscosity than the juice in the meat. This ensures that none of the juice from the meat will escape. Therefore, you will serve a juicier piece of meat.
None of the oil will penetrate the meat, so it is not important to use expensive olive oil. You can use a common, inexpensive vegetable oil. There is also an enzyme reaction occurring when meat protein is held at 130 degrees. This reaction works to tenderize the meat! You will have a juicier, more tender piece of meat three hours later, and the meat will stay at 130-135 degrees, or medium rare.
You will need several layers of paper towels to absorb the oil from the meat prior to slicing.
What is so great about this beef tenderloin cooking method is that you can cook your meat way ahead of time and put it into the ice chest with oil, then hold it until it is time to serve. It will still be medium rare!
If you go to a picnic, you can put the cooked meat in the ice-chest with oil before leaving! I think this is so cool! When you are having guests over, this is one less thing you have to worry about!
When it comes to beef tenderloin cooking, you simply cannot find a better method than this. If you think you know a better way, please contact me and tell me about it. If it proves to be better, I’ll send you a little gift.