2 questions about beef tenderloin
I just bought a 6 lb beef tenderloin to roast for Xmas. It came packed in cyrovax (sp?). Will it stay fresh in the refrigerator? I hate to freeze it but don't want it to spoil ($$$$). 2nd, any good tried and true ways to prepare it to perfection med/rare? Thank you for any help.
If it's cryovacked you may need to trim it, lots of silver skin all around.
This is not cause for panic, can be done easily enough but you may want to open it up on Monday and check it out. In fact, you should.
Once opened, rinse and pat dry gently, trim as needed and take this extra day to salt and pepper your meat with a little olive oil for lube to rub it evenly into the meat. This will actually yield tastier beef, don't worry.
When trimming, you'll need to discard the silver skin and what looks like perpendicular wide striping along the loin-do not be afraid to cut, just don't cut in! Cut along the length of the filet.
Also, you'll find a "chain" of meat along one side of the filet, you'll know it by it's tell-tale fat, it just sounds different, almost like seperating paper. Wierd I know, but imagine seperating sheets of fatty parchment...anyway, this "chain" of meat is DELICIOUS. Save it for tacos or fajitas or something, just don't toss it.
Maybe you have a trimmed cryovacked fillet??? In that case (do they do that??) disregard my silly instruction!
ALSO, do not freeze it!!! You will be fine for Christmas. You will be a hit, in fact!
I agree w/rabaja. However, I would take it out of the cryovac today and take a look at it. What I purchased was a mess of meat; it was awful shaped - not like a tenderloin - and I would have had to do some serious trimming; plus, it was slimy. I had purchased at a butchery, too. So I returned it and fortunately was able to go to a different butcher and get a "real" tenderloin - not cryovac'd - in time for my party.
You will be fine keeping it in the fridge til Tuesday. To prepare take it out of the freezer an hour to 90 minutes before cooking to get the chill off. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Tie the meat with kitchen string to get even cooking. You may even want to cut it in half and cook each half simultaneously. Either way, tie your meat! Kosher salt and freshy ground black pepper the meat.
Heat olive oil in a pan until you get the first wisp of smoke. Sear the meat on all sides to get it browned. Place in an oven proof dish and cook until the internal temperature is 120- 125 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes, tented with foil. The carry over cooking will increase the internal temp by 5 degrees or so, taking it to a perfect medium-rare.
An instant read thermometer is a must. Even better, use a digital thermometer with a meter you can leave on the counter while the probe is in the meat. Some come with remotes so you can be notified of doneness even if your not standing in front of it.
It's literally that easy. Best of luck!
Joy of Cooking has a diagram showing how a whole tenderloin is classically cut into Chateaubriand, fillet steaks, tournedos, and filet mignons. But it also says that if you want to roast it whole, either tuck the thin end back under to equalize thickness, or cut it off and save to Beef Stroganoff (or the likes). In other words, it roasts most evenly if it is cut or tied into a uniform cylindrical shape.