Trim as much fat as you can from a 1 1/2- to 1 3/4-pound center-cut beef tenderloin. With cotton string, tie beef crosswise at 1- to 1 1/2-inch intervals to make a compact roll (it should be about 3 in. thick).
In a deep 2 1/2- to 3-quart pan over high heat, bring 5 cups fat-skimmed beef broth to a boil. Add beef to the pan and cover, simmer, turning meat over frequently, until it feels bouncy-firm when pressed and is 100º on a thermometer or pale red in center of thickest part (cut to test), 20 to 25 mnutes.
Lift beef from broth; reserve broth for other uses. Cover and chill beef at least 1 hour or up to 2 days. Slice thin and remove string.