A grilled tenderloin of beef makes an exceptional presentation at any special event. Tenderloin is the cut that is reduced to chateaubriand and filet mignon. It's the kind of thing that we save up for - then enjoy every last bite!
We like to dry-age this cut in a small, plastic storage box with a sturdy lid that we have drilled large air holes into. See the sidebar for more information...
A beef tenderloin is a very large cut, and can usually be purchased from the butcher case in halves or wholes. When you get it home, remove the silverskin, and then rinse and dry it very well. Dry-age the roast for 3-5 days, then remove it from the fridge and let stand for about an hour - so that it is near room temperature.
We don't believe that you will need to add much to flavor this roast - the key is in the roasting, and the accompaniments. So rub it down with a sprinkle of good-quality olive oil, then hit it with Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.
Tenderloin roasts hot and fast, so fire up the grill and use a full-charcoal chimney of charcoal. A mixture that's heavy on the hardwood charcoal will start fast, and burn hot. Use about 1/3 of the mix in regular charcoal briquettes, which take up when the hardwood charcoal burns up. When the outside of the briquettes turns white and you have to fight a little bit to keep the fire from flaring up, the grill is hot, and the meat is ready to go on.
Place the roast so that the thick end is over the high heat, and the skinny end is toward the cooler side of the grill - leave it for about 2 mins - check it, but don't move it - until you get good grill marks. Then rotate the roast until you have grill marks all the way around - turning about every two minutes, and spritzing the fire if necessary, to keep the flames down.
When you have grill marks all the way around, pull the roast to the cooler side of the grill, tuck the skinny end under, and close the grill lid, leaving the vents open. Check every few minutes for flare-ups, until you are sure you have the fire contained. Then, rotate the roast, continually turning the skinny end under, every 5-8 mins for the remaining cooking time of about 35 mins (the interior temperature at the thick end, is about 130 degrees).
Take the roast off the grill, cover it with a foil tent, and let it rest for 10 mins. Slice it into 1/2 inch slices, and serve with mushrooms and horseradish sauce.
Iceberg Wedge with Maytag Bleu Cheese Dressing and Shaved Red Onions
Roasted Garlic Smashed Potatoes
Sauteed Spinach with Shallots
Chocolate Pudding Cakes
Dry-aging beef has long been the forte of famous steak houses - but you don't have to forgo the great taste and tenderness that dry-aging produces:
Take a small, clear plastic storage container with a tight-fitting lid, and invert it onto the lid. With an electric drill outfitted with a large drill bit, drill holes in the clear plastic (NOT the lid!) about 3 inches apart. Cover the container with air holes, including what is now the top.
To age beef, rinse and dry the meat and set it on the lid - then snap the clear container onto the lid.
IMPORTANT: check the temperature of your fridge, and lower it, if necessary, to 37-38 degrees F. The point is to dry the outside of the roast - not promote the growth of mold.
Put the whole contraption on the BOTTOM SHELF of your fridge, and let it sit for 3-5 days. Then, take the roast out, trim off any dried, crusty parts, and let it come to room temperature (about an hour) before roasting.
Maytag Blue Cheese Salad Dressing
4-6 oz. of high quality blue cheese such as Maytag or Point Reyes
1 cup Hellman's mayonaise
2 Tbs. onion, chopped fine
1-2 cloves of garlic, pressed
1 Tbs. Worschestershire Sauce
1 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp white pepper, ground
Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until relatively smooth. Store in a glass Ball or Mason jar in the refrigerator for up to a month.
For a traditional Wedge Salad, chill a head of Iceberg lettuce, then clean and cut into 6-8 wedges. Top with dressing, shaved red onion, chopped pecans and ground pepper.