Monday, March 14, 2011

A Fun Beef Tenderloin Presentation

My friend Phil Southard called me for cooking information. I was flattered. He is one of those friends I really enjoy hanging out with, because we 'seriously' talk writing, music, and food. He enjoys cooking. Phil does a great job at it too.

He called to tell me a couple of beef tenderloins were purchased for a New Year's Ski weekend meal, and wanted to double check his knowledge on preparing them. "Should I leave them whole or cut into steaks", he asked. Telling me the group would want various temps on the cuts of meat, I suggested he cut steaks and pan sear. Only if there was no access to a grill. Then he could cook them off in the oven if someone wanted a 'well-done' version, goodness forbids!

It does happen you know. I also reminded him the meat continues to cook as it rests. We have to remember not to judge by cutting into the meat and risk the wonderful juices to escape. But do not over cook it either. If you are unsure on the timing, then use a meat thermometer (piercing it will let juices escape). I have always cooked 1 1/2 to 2 inch thick steaks on the hot side of the pan or grill to 7 minutes (medium rare) on first side, flip 4 minutes on the other side, and find it comes out perfect every time.

Please remember everyone's ideal cooking time for a steak depends on thickness of meat and actual cooking method and temperature. The thinner the steak the shorter the cooking time. Electric and Gas stove tops vary, as do Gas Grill or Charcoal cooking (direct heat/fire cooking). These times were based on 2 inches of Beef Tenderloin (Filet Mignon) steak cooked in a non-stick pan over electric burners on an old stove, so a longer cooking time for done'ness.

PS- I also realize there was no instruction on adding heavy cream to final sauce recipe, so please forgive the video. Add it in right after the cognac and setting juices are added and cook on high heat a few more minutes, but do not burn.

Music by Julio Aguirre y Castro of Madrid, Spain.

Photos by Todd Turpin