Saturday, August 22, 2009

Steven Raichlen Herb Crusted Grilled Beef Tenderloin

Greetings... I have LOTS of recipes to blog about. It has been a terrific weekend on the grill. These will come from my party earlier in the week, for Herme (my neighbor)'s birthday. I have been blogging about my plans for a few days. Here's what I did, and how it turned out. I selected a terrific looking piece of meat, nearly 7 pounds of potential Filet Mignon or as I was going to prepare, Medallions of Beef.

This is the single most expensive piece of meat i have ever bought. The cost alone was making me step out of my comfort zone. But, as the above and below photos show, Steven does an excellent job of walking you through the process. This makes a great display piece, and is very easy. Steven has 5 pages of instructions, with lots of terrific photos. Again, highly detailed, and easy to follow.
The first step was to remove the fat. There is a thick chain of fat running through a tenderloin which was very easy to spot, and equally easy to remove. A few additional snips here and there, and I had a beautiful marbled piece of meat. It is not going to be a frequent thing for me to buy something this big. So, I did a bit of research, and decided to chop this in thirds, and prepare it three different ways. Of course, I wanted to follow a Steven Raichlen recipe, but I also wanted to try a wet rub (mustard sauced), and a Marinade. So, I ended up with three different hunks of meat.
Steven's recipe calls for a lot of herbs and garlic rubbed into the meat and left to marinade for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking...

Let me start with my standard disclaimer...Long time readers of the blog, I am going to start coloring the lettering in the disclaimer, it will be the same for each review, feel free to skip to the standard black colored text...

OK, here's my generic talk about Steven Raichlen and his book...and me... As long time readers know, I am doing my own tribute (rip-off) off the Julie/Juli project, cooking my way through Steven's amazing grill guide, HOW TO GRILL. Unlike Julie, I won't be finishing this in a year, but I will be making an item at least once a week.

A word about reprinting recipes... I asked for some advice a few posts back. I understand that it is done, lots of people do it, and there would be no consequences. But, I decided not to reprint any of Steven's recipes from this book. I have several reasons, first and probably most important to readers, I just think that this is a book that should be in every one's library. Buy the book. It is very detailed, comes highly recommended by someone who cooks on the grill often (me), lots of photos, lots of instruction... Darn near idiot proof. But, most important to me, I want to respect the copyright. In another life, I owned a book store. I have met and socialized with authors, and I have a great deal of respect for the effort it takes to produce a work like this. It may take a couple years, but eventually, I intend to make every single recipe in the book. Starting to reproduce the recipes, intending to do them all would certainly offend me as a book seller, and probably Steven as the copyright holder. Buy the book, Amazon has used copies available for under $7. Worth every penny.

OK, back to the review. Everything went very well, the recipe was very easy to follow. Since I sliced into thirds, this third fit nicely into a plastic bag while it marinaded. Very easy, and clean up was a snap.

OK, I let this sit for about 2 hours prior to heading to the grill. 4 sides, about 6 minutes per side, total of 25-30 minutes. Use a meat thermometer and be sure the thickest part of the meat reaches 135 degrees internally. I was going to wrap this in foil immediately after removing from the grill. This allows the meat to continue cooking for a bit. If you are serving this without foiling, let the internal temperature reach 140 before you remove.

Always let the meat rest for at least 5 minutes before you cut. This allows the juices to rest into the meat and will keep the hunk moist.

Hard to make out in this picture, but it came out exactly medium. Center a little pink, but still hot and VERY tender.

The ONLY disadvantage of cooking an entire tenderloin is that generally, the piece is all cooked the same temperature (there is a narrower end that will be done a little more than the thicker end). So, if someone really prefers well done, save those end pieces. I was lucky, all 6 of my guests are flexible enough to eat as served.

The recipe was VERY easy to follow. The whole experience gave me a lot more confidence on the grill, and I highly recommend this experience. Anyone can grill a fillet Mignon. These are spectacular to serve and really define a special event.

Again, I am not going to pay this much every week, but I will certainly make another full tenderloin again. I can not recommend this book enough to take the doubt out of your mind.

I also found that cutting it into thirds can make the experience more affordable. Cook one now for 4 people and there is plenty of meat for 4. This means you are serving a steak dinner for about $20. VERY affordable if you break it down that way. My wife and I will be enjoying leftover steak for several days. I could easily have feed twice as many people with the 7 pounds.

So, very expensive, but in reality, very affordable ( and steak kabobs look out!).

In all honesty, I really liked the details on how to cook and trim the meat, but of the three different ways I cooked the tenderloin, Stevens Herb Crusted was my least favorite. I will be blogging the other two ways I prepared this in the next couple days, but this was a definite third place. Nothing wrong, just liked the other two better.

So, on my scale of 1-5, this gets a great 5 for the cooking technique outlined, but only a 3 for the actual recipe. So, lets give this a 4. Liked it, but will be altering the directions next time I cook.


  1. Man, how I love tenderloin! As you can imagine I don't eat the beef one too often. This looks delicious!

    I got 1.5kg of organic, local, lean ground beef today at my local overpriced grocery store for $7.50 - is that incredible or what? It was too good to pass up. Burgers, baby, burgers!

  2. Oh, I love tenderloin too! As soon as I saw it sitting there, I got jealous! I have never in my life bought a whole one. Broken down gazillions for other people to eat...but never especially for family and friends. Amazing!

  3. I'm drooling here; I have this book, but I haven't tried the tenderloin yet! You did a great job!

  4. Trimming a tenderloin is a great technique to learn! Great job. When I do buy one (2-3 times a year), I like to check out the per pound price of the fillets at the meat counter. Typically a whole tenderloin costs HALF as much as the fillets per pound. That's a satisfying purchase, knowing what I'm saving by doing a little work myself!

    If you want to try another great tenderloin roast, try the peppered beef tenderloin with portobello marsala sauce. You can find the recipe on Southern Living's website, but that recipe comes out very nice on a grill.

    I know I'm going to have to get this book before long because your posts are making me want it!

  5. I have this book as well. I think its a great guide. I am a little confused about which recipe you were saying that you liked the least compared to the other two. Are all three of these in the book? (Mine is at my beach house right now.)