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Oct 28, 2011 12:54 PM

Plating Beef Tenderloin

I am making beef tenderloin for a group of 20. It's part of a buffet and will be plated already sliced so people can help themselves. There will also be a Port sauce and some horseradish mustard. I have a very large rectangular platter and am wondering what I could do to plate it in an elegant way, keeping in mind that rare and merium rare meat tend to leave a pool of blood in the plater, which is not very appetizing! Maybe a bed of curly lettuce and some cherry-tomatoes? Some fresh rosemary branches? Perhaps go around the platter in several layers and put some small potatoes in the center?

Any suggestions?

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  1. You could also line the plate with pieces of baguette or other bread toasted. They will certainly be considered a treat by some of your diners.

    1. Slice the tenderloin well in advance of the party and let the blood drain on paper toweling. After most of the blood is out, arrange the sliced meat on a bed of bread of some kind, and surround the meat with the garnishes that you mentioned.

      1. Rest the meat fully. Don't put it on the serving platter yet. Then cut it, using as sharp a knife as possible (preferably a longer knife, using long strokes). Then move the cut pieces to the serving platter. Should minimize the juices on the serving platter.

        If you want some visual ideas, look up 'buffet beef tenderloin' under googleimages. Plenty of ideas there, more if you keep trying related searches.

        Is there any theme to the buffet or party? That might help guide you in how you should set up the platter visually.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cowboyardee

          There is no theme. It's a Christmas company party and will be somewhat casual. I am also tempted to slice the tenderloin "filet mignon" size. It's funny how people don't realize it's the same cut used in restaurants for filet mignon. Yet, they end up having way more than just a filet mignon serving if it's in a buffet if it's already sliced for them (they'll grab five slices no problem!)! I'm finding it difficult to figure out how much of it to make too!
          Would plating it in rows and pouring some of the sauce over it be a no-no?

          1. re: Justwayne

            It's actually my experience that many people eat less if it's served sliced - especially if there are plenty of sides. If people are walking around with their plates, I wouldn't do tenderloin steaks, definitely slice it - are you serving it cold or warm? I would use potatoes and maybe another side (rice or cous cous or something, around the meat and maybe even make some extra of the side dish, fill up the whole platter and put the meat on top - it will soak up any juices and make the side dish taste good and once the meat is gone, there will still be something on the plate.

            1. re: harryharry

              Great ideas...I'll have to remember them.

        2. If you rest the meat before slicing....blood or meat juices should not be a problem. I would suggest you roast at a moderate temperature to medium rare temperature and use the Classic Chateaubriand Presentation

          * meat sliced on the bias and fanned out around the serving plate
          * Spring Carrots
          * Duchess or Chateau Potatoes
          * Seasonal Green Vegetables....Haricot Vert. Broccoli. Asparagus, Brussels Sprout
          * Gravy Boats/Servers with small ladle

          4 Replies
          1. re: fourunder

            That sounds very nice, except this time of year I don't think asparagus are a "seasonal" vegetable.

              1. re: fourunder

                My trick as a long time caterer, if you are worried about people taking more than you planned of an expensive entree item like your beef tenderloin;
                place other items that are accompanyment's on the buffet BEFORE the beef, so that plates are mostly full before they get to it. That is why you always find the chef-slicing station at the END of the buffet.
                People can always come back for seconds...(if there is any to come back for!).
                Another trick is to supplement the expensive entree with another less pricey one. Say Chicken thighs (dark meat is ALWAYS better for holding - breast get dry fast)) in an elegant mushroom creme sauce, or serve a spiral ham.
                People do appreciate second entree's, and they never figure out that you were trying to make the expensive one go farther - they just think you gave more generous choices!

              2. re: escondido123

                Although spring is the season for asparagus, amazingly, I'm still getting good asparagus... and I love it with filet. If you can find good asparagus, I say go for it as a side.

            1. my mom plates hers on a bed of arugula. the bit of spice really complements the dish nicely, and i love eating the leftover pieces that have caught all the juice and sauce!