Friday, June 4, 2010

Marinated Beef Tenderloin

A few weeks ago, I decided that I was going to learn how to garden... well, sorta. I was going to learn how to grow herbs in pots. We all need to start somewhere and I figured that this would be a good place for, not to mention slightly more economical than buying packets of herbs at $3 and $4 every time a recipe demands.

I took an herb gardening course with my friend, Caitlin, which was decidedly unhelpful. The best part of that morning was the herb growing reference wheel (the take-away from the class) and the afternoon of coffee and rummage sale shopping (I snagged a beautiful old wooden chair for $5!) that followed.

Despite that, I was not deterred and purchased ten herb plants, two big bags of dirt and a pair of gardening gloves. I am now "not killing" golden sage, English thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil, apple mint, tarragon, and English, French and fringed lavender. And, as of last Saturday morning, I added another fragrant (regular) mint plant to my brood.

All I seem to do is dream up ways of using these herbs that I am becoming exceedingly proud of. After catching a flash of Laura Calder making a marinated beef tenderloin, I couldn't help but think of doing the same.
adapted from a flash of Laura Calder... and her show, French Food at Home
Beef tenderloin (I purchased a AAA Angus beef tenderloin that was featured at my butcher's counter.)
2 lemons for their juice and zest
1/2 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper
3-4 tablespoons of whatever herbs you choose

I pulled some old techniques out of my repetoire for this one and actually tied my tenderloin to make it entirely even. Even though tenderloins are pretty consistent in their shape and thickness from end to end, I wanted to be doubly sure that the cooking (the little bit that I did cook this meat) was even. Here's an epicurious tutorial on tying meat, if you aren't familiar.

Season your meat well with salt and pepper. Using a hot pan, sear the meat on all sides (even the ends), about 1 1/2 - 2 minutes per side. That's it! Set the meat aside and let it rest. If you cut it now, you'll end up with sad, dry meat.

Now mix up your marinade... I like a really nice, fruity olive oil here. To that, add the zest of your lemons and the juice thereof. Salt and pepper and your herbs. I used thyme and basil.

Remove the string from your meat, then thinly thinly slice it. Put the slices in a bowl and pour your marinade over top. Flip and toss to ensure that each piece of meat is covered. Now, refrigerate the meat until you're ready to eat.

Eat with boiled potatoes (topped with a drizzle of the marinade) and leafy greens... some crusty bread and some fruit. 

8 thought(s):

Dean said...

Somewhere, probably in downtown Vancouver, a vegetarian is weeping.

The Cilantropist said...

HAHA, what a funny comment by Dean, and what a lovely tenderloin. :) Great work!

Cookin' Canuck said...

Isn't it so fun to grow your own herbs and veggies? I love being able to wander in my garden and have dinner fall into place just by staring at my crop. Beautiful beef tenderloin!


Beautiful dish! I have graduated this year from herb pots to communal garden. I'll let you know how it goes! Baby steps...

Anna said...

That looks lovely, the pictures are awesome. I also planted loads of herbs, in planters and it was wonderful 'til some bugs decided to munch on my herbs. *sigh* :-)

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I love beef so much, is that bad?

wannafoodie said...

I had this tenderloin again and just love it. I think it will be a mainstay on my summer menus.

I'm loving the herb gardening. I can't believe what a difference it is making in my cooking, having so many herb options right at my fingertips. I just bought another pot today because I don't think I have enough herbs! haha.

And I love beef too, Damaris! :)

Lisa | Authentic Suburban Gourmet said...

So simple - but I am sure so tasty! Thank you for sharing!

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