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Tenderloin cuts

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

Three different tenderloin dishes

a medium rare beef tenderloin is sublime

Beef tenderloin

Regular readers of my blog will know that I enjoy cooking sous vide and that one of my favorite cooking implements is the Anova circulator. For me, a tenderloin cut of any sort is a perfect candidate for sous vide cooking as a first step to a great meal. But as far as I am concerned, a lean cut of beef tenderloin gets ‘best-in-show’ accolades!

the beef tenderloin is vacuum sealed with fresh herbs and butter for sous vide cooking

Sous vide cooking is a game changer

The great thing about cooking a tenderloin using the sous vide method is that it is impossible to over cook. We prefer our beef medium rare, which is a finished temperature of 130 to 135 degrees. Setting the circulator at a constant temperature of 135 degrees guarantees that the steak will cook to that temperature regardless of whether it is cooking for 1 hour or 3 hours (we prefer 1 to 2 hours). Based on my experience, a shorter cooking time produces a juicier and more tender product.

We generally finish the tenderloin in another of my favorite cooking implements, a non-stick frying pan from Calphalon. But it is important to let the steak rest for about five minutes and then pat it dry before searing it in the pan for 2 to 3 minutes a side. Usually I prepare a quick and easy horseradish cream sauce to serve with the beef tenderloin.

venison with root vegetables

Venison tenderloin

The Christmas holidays are not complete without at least one meal involving venison. I have a few friends that help feed my freezer each year with venison meat, including a few tenderloins, and we tend to save this latter cut for holiday meals. After cooking sous vide at 130 degrees, I tend to finish off this steak on the ceramic cooker (Big Green Egg, or BGE). Some great accompaniments include roasted root vegetables, caramelized brussels sprouts or fresh cranberry sauce.

pork tenderloin with peanut and ginger sauce

Pork tenderloin

Pork tenderloin completes the trio of tenderloin dishes. We also sous vide the pork, but prefer cooking this cut at a higher temperature, say 140 to 150 degrees, to reduce the risks associated with undercooked pork. Like the venison, I prefer to finish the pork tenderloin on the BGE as pork seems to caramelize much better over charcoal. A peanut and ginger sauce or lime aioli from scratch are great toppings for the pork tenderloin.

Bon appétit.

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