Learn how to trim a beef tenderloin like a pro with our step-by-step guide. Discover the equipment you need and how to prepare and cook the tenderloin.
If you’re looking to cook a delicious, tender beef tenderloin, then you need to know how to properly trim it. Trimming a beef tenderloin is an essential step in the process of preparing it for cooking. If you don’t trim it correctly, you could end up with a tough, chewy piece of meat that’s difficult to eat.
In this article, we’ll show you how to trim a beef tenderloin step-by-step. We’ll cover everything from the equipment you’ll need to the different parts of the tenderloin that you’ll need to trim. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to trim a beef tenderloin like a pro and cook it to perfection.
Equipment Needed to Trim a Beef Tenderloin
Before you start trimming your beef tenderloin, you’ll need to make sure you have the right equipment. Here’s a list of the equipment you’ll need:
You’ll need a large cutting board that’s big enough to hold the entire beef tenderloin. You should choose a cutting board that’s made of wood or plastic, as these materials are easier to clean and won’t dull your knife as quickly as other materials.
You’ll need a sharp chef’s knife to trim your beef tenderloin. A chef’s knife is a versatile kitchen tool that can be used for a variety of tasks. When choosing a chef’s knife, look for one that’s comfortable to hold and has a sharp blade.
A meat thermometer is a crucial tool when cooking beef tenderloin. It allows you to monitor the internal temperature of the meat and ensure that it’s cooked to your desired level of doneness.
You’ll need butcher twine to tie your beef tenderloin. Tying the tenderloin helps it cook evenly and keeps it from falling apart during cooking. Butcher twine is a strong, food-safe string that’s perfect for tying beef tenderloin.
Preparing the Beef Tenderloin for Trimming
Before you start trimming your beef tenderloin, you’ll need to prepare it by removing the silver skin, trimming the fat cap, and tying the tenderloin.
Removing the Silver Skin
The silver skin is a thin layer of connective tissue that covers one side of the beef tenderloin. It’s tough and chewy and can make the meat difficult to eat. To remove the silver skin, use the tip of your knife to loosen one end of the skin, then grip it with your fingers and pull it away from the meat in a smooth, even motion.
Trimming the Fat Cap
The fat cap is a layer of fat that covers the other side of the beef tenderloin. While some fat is necessary to keep the meat moist and flavorful, too much fat can make it greasy and unappetizing. To trim the fat cap, use your knife to remove any large pieces of fat, leaving a thin layer of fat that’s evenly distributed across the meat.
Tying the Tenderloin
Tying the tenderloin helps it cook evenly and keeps it from falling apart during cooking. To tie the tenderloin, cut a length of butcher twine that’s long enough to wrap around the tenderloin several times. Place the twine under the tenderloin, then tie it in a knot at the top. Wrap the twine around the tenderloin several times, then tie it in a knot at the bottom. Cut off any excess twine.
Trimming the Beef Tenderloin
Now that you’ve prepared the beef tenderloin, it’s time to start trimming it. Trimming the beef tenderloin involves cutting away any unwanted parts, such as the chain, tail, and head.
Cutting the Chain
The chain is a small, thin piece of meat that runs along one side of the beef tenderloin. It’s tough and chewy and should be removed before cooking. To remove the chain, use your knife to cut along the natural seam that separates it from the rest of the tenderloin.
Removing the Tail
The tail is a small, tapered end of the beef tenderloin. It’s thin and cooks more quickly than the rest of the meat, so it should be removed before cooking. To remove the tail, use your knife to cut it away from the rest of the tenderloin at a slight angle.
Trimming the Head
The head is the thicker end of the beef tenderloin. It’s usually more tender and flavorful than the tail, but it can be unevenly shaped and may need to be trimmed. To trim the head, use your knife to remove any excess fat or connective tissue, making sure to leave a relatively even thickness of meat.
Cooking the Beef Tenderloin
Once you’ve trimmed your beef tenderloin, it’s time to cook it. Here’s how to cook a beef tenderloin:
Seasoning the Tenderloin
Before cooking your beef tenderloin, season it with salt and pepper. You can also add other seasonings, such as garlic or herbs, to add flavor. Rub the seasoning into the meat, making sure it’s evenly distributed.
Cooking the Tenderloin
There are several ways to cook a beef tenderloin, including grilling, roasting, and pan-searing. Whichever method you choose, it’s important to cook the tenderloin until it reaches an internal temperature of 135°F for medium-rare or 145°F for medium.
If you’re grilling your tenderloin, preheat your grill to high heat and sear the meat on all sides for 2-3 minutes. Then, move the tenderloin to indirect heat and continue cooking until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
If you’re roasting your tenderloin, preheat your oven to 425°F and place the tenderloin on a roasting pan. Roast the meat for 15-20 minutes per pound, or until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
If you’re pan-searing your tenderloin, heat a large skillet over high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Sear the meat on all sides for 2-3 minutes, then transfer it to a preheated oven and roast it until it reaches your desired level of doneness.
Resting the Tenderloin
After cooking your beef tenderloin, it’s important to let it rest for 10-15 minutes before carving. This allows the meat to reabsorb its juices and ensures that it will be juicy and tender when you serve it.
Serving the Beef Tenderloin
Now that your beef tenderloin is cooked and rested, it’s time to serve it. Here’s how to do it:
Carving the Tenderloin
To carve your beef tenderloin, use a sharp carving knife to slice it into thin pieces. Cut the meat against the grain to ensure that it’s tender and easy to eat. If you’re not comfortable carving the tenderloin yourself, you can ask your butcher to do it for you.
There are many ways to serve beef tenderloin. You can serve it with roasted vegetables, mashed potatoes, or a side salad. You can also make a sauce to serve with the meat, such as a red wine sauce or a mushroom sauce.
If you have any leftover beef tenderloin, you can use it to make sandwiches, salads, or stir-fry dishes. The meat is also great for topping pizzas or adding to omelets. Just make sure to store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.