Hands-on Time
18 Mins
Total Time
28 Mins
Serves 4 (serving size: 1 steak and 2 tablespoons smoky chimichurri)

You're about to pick up some cool butchering skills. Not only will you feel a sense of satisfaction from learning how to peel a beef tenderloin, this technique is transferable to pork and lamb as well. It's easier, albeit more expensive, to learn on a beef tenderloin. You'll see the garlic paste method outlined below used various times throughout the book, and you can use it in your own improvisational cooking. The real win in this lesson, though, is learning how to masterfully "temp" (measure the doneness of) an individual cut of meat, so you can cook "to order" for your family and friends.

How to Make It

Step 1

Preheat your grill, hibachi, grill pan, or wood-fired device to medium-high heat. To test this, hover your hand, palm side down, about 4 inches above the grate and count how long you can hold it there comfortably. Three to four seconds is the sign it's reached medium-high heat (350° to 400°).

Step 2

If you're trimming and cutting the tenderloin medallions yourself, follow the instructions below. If you're not adept at this process yet, you might want to do this before preheating your grill.

Step 3

Peel the garlic cloves. Snip the woody tips off the cloves.

Step 4

Place the garlic cloves on a cutting board (preferably wooden) and pour the sugar and salt over the cloves. Roughly chop the garlic/sugar/salt mixture until pieces are about the size of grains of rice. Then, using the side of your knife, pull the blade across the chopped mixture to mash it to a paste. Repeat the process until there is a uniform paste.

Step 5

Rub the paste evenly on the cut sides of the tenderloin filets.

Step 6

Grill on a grill rack coated with cooking spray for about 2 1/2 minutes on each side for medium-rare, 4 minutes on each side (no more than 8 minutes total) for medium. Cooking any further really does detract from the quality of this cut, all snobbery aside.

Step 7

Place the finished tenderloin medallions on a plate and allow them to rest for 10 minutes before "flashing" on the grill or grill pan.

Step 8

Serve with Smoky Chimichurri.

Step 9

Peeling a Beef Tenderloin 1) Unwrap and pat dry. 2) ID Sections: chain, head, tenderloin. 3) Isolate chain. 4) Remove membrane. 5) Cut off the chain. 6) Detach the head. 7) With a knife, thread out the silverskin, angling the knife up and away. 8) Trim excess fat, membrane, and silverskin. 9) Flip and trim off rib fat. 10) Cut into tips, medallions, or center-cut filets. 11) Trim the head and cut as a roast or as two filet portions.

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