beef tenderloin questions
Is it advisable to marinate a beef tenderloin?
Can I skip the searing? I will have guests in my kitchen and it really gets smoky.
Can you suggest an easy sauce that can be prepared in advance?
IMO, it is inadvisable to marinate a tenderloin. But you may prefer to add flavor via marinating, since tenderloin tends to lack good beefy flavor. Searing is essential, but perhaps you could do in a pan preheated to very hot in very hot oven if you'd rather not get the kitchen smoky. If you don't sear it, how do you plan to cook it?
Bernaise can be made ahead and kept warm in a thermos. If you don't want that much trouble, a nice horseradish cream is good - softly whipped cream, bottled horseradish, and some dijon mustard. A bordelaise (or a cheater's bordelaise) can be made in advance, and rewarmed, but perhaps not so easy. Or you could make a compound butter, with seasonings like shallots, garlic, mustard, herbs, all to your taste, roll up in a cylinder in plastic wrap, then cut disks to place on top of tenderloin slices. (Compound butter is best served on hot meat so it melts; I would find it unappetizing on top of a cold slab of beef.) Or just reduce some heavy cream by about half, season with pepper and perhaps a bit of salt, then stir in gorgonzola or blue cheese of your choice until melted.
Just coat with olive oil, salt, pepper and a few spices. I have made it with starting in a hot oven (like 500 degrees) and turning the oven down to about 325 to finish cooking. Do you happen to have an outside grill that you could sear it on?
For sauce choices, blue cheese/Gorgonzola sauce or a horseradish sauce, or one of each.
First time I ever cooked a big hunk of tenderloin... was in college and home... probably for holidays. Dad was a SERIOUS beef guy and saw Wellington done on cooking show... back when only ones were on PBS. He had Frugal Gourmet's cookbook with recipe and I was totally comfortable in kitchen. Made a pasty crust, wrapped the BIG $$ hunka beef... even made little leaves to decorate from crust scraps. Was seriously patting myself on the back... it looked really pretty going into oven and GORGEOUS coming out!
We all sat down to Sunday dinner and discovered the crust was NOT cuttable?!? Picture 15 yo brother LITERALLY ROFLAO & Grandfather saying "it's fine"!?! We almost had to CHISEL crust off, but LUCKILY beef was PERFECT inside... nice and pink, tender and delicious. Don't remember any kinda sauce... not Dad's thing, but meal was yummy even though crust was inedible!!
Sear it ahead of time, let it sit at room temp uncovered until it rests and then finish it in the oven.
From the pan that you seared ahead of time, add some shallots, deglaze with wine and add stock and reduce. Finish with some cold butter. Willliam Senoma used to have a nice demi glaze -worth the price and lasts a long time spoonful to spoonful.