Whether you are cooking for the holidays, planning a hot date for two at home, or just looking to treat yourself on a Tuesday night, beef tenderloin — also known as a filet or filet mignon — can be a juicy and delicious main course. But what's the best way to cook beef tenderloin at home?
To make beef tenderloin at home, try soaking the meat in a simple marinade and then cooking it on the stove using a cast-iron skillet. Make sure the meat is cooked to at least an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cooking Tenderloin Steak
There are many ways to prepare a tenderloin steak from the grill, to the stove, to the sous vide. But for the culinary novice, the stovetop may be your best bet. In fact, cooking tenderloin steak on the stove is quite simple, especially once you understand the basics.
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Do you have a cast-iron skillet? Chefs agree that a cast-iron skillet is the best way to cook beef tenderloin on the stove. Not only do cast-iron skillets come in larger sizes to accommodate multiple slabs of meat, they also have a high volumetric heat capacity which allows the skillet to stay hot and distribute heat evenly.
Internal temperature is also key in the process, whether you are looking for a medium-rare or a well-done tenderloin. According to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service, a tenderloin steak should have an internal temperature of at least 145 F before removing it from the heat source to serve. It's also recommended that you let the meat cool for at least three minutes before carving and serving.
Read more: 4 Health Benefits of Eating Red Meat
Tenderloin Steak Recipe
There are so many different ways to spice and cook beef tenderloin without a recipe, but the following one is simple and always a crowd pleaser.
- Combine the following four ingredients in a small bowl: 1 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind and two garlic cloves minced.
- Marinate the raw tenderloin steaks in this mixture for one hour at room temperature.
- Heat your cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for five minutes.
- Take the steaks out of the marinade (discarding the rest of the liquid) and place the steaks in the pan.
- Let them cook for two minutes and then flip to the other side for two minutes.
- Continue flipping every two minutes until desired doneness, remembering to ensure an internal temperature of at least 145 F using a meat thermometer.
- Once done, remove the tenderloin from the skillet and let it rest for three minutes before serving.
If you are planning in advance for a party, you can cook your steak a day early for a delicious appetizer platter. And if you have leftovers, don't worry — they are perfect for a paleo steak salad!
Nutritional Value of Tenderloin Steak
Tenderloin steak is cut from the loin of beef and is actually quite lean naturally. According to the USDA, a 3-ounce portion of beef tenderloin contains about 168 calories and 26 grams of protein. It is also a good source of zinc and iron, too. Indulging in it every day, however, is probably not the best idea because it is also high in cholesterol.
The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a diet that incorporates poultry and limits red meat, which can improve your cholesterol by reducing excess saturated fat and trans fat. Try alternating your red meat protein days with protein derived from chicken, fish, nuts and legumes. While tenderloin is delicious, moderation is key.
Read more: Red Meat Protein vs. Dairy Protein