Dining In

A Taste for Tenderloin
By Nancy Finch, Food Columnist

Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
Beef Tenderloin

I was assigned to cook the beef tenderloin for the party. No big deal, ordinarily, but this wasn’t ordinarily. I was to cook two large tenderloins that we hoped would serve possibly 200 people.

The roasts, even on special, came to $56 each. With tax, I was about to cook $120 worth of meat. THAT was unnerving. I am not that accustomed to cooking beef tenderloin and never before in that amount!

Thus, I was not about to just throw these roasts in the oven and hope for the best, as I am sometimes hurriedly wont to do. The tenderloins were the mainstay of the buffet.

This required research. I called a friend whose family eats much higher on the cow than do we. She cooks beef tenderloins often. I ended up using her advice for the party. Later I tried my Time/Life “Beef and Veal” cookbook’s method. Both turned  out nicely, but 120 degrees is very rare, so be prepared.

Beef tenderloins are expensive but there is little, if any, waste. They are delicious and perfect for a party buffet. Tender (no knife needed) and easy for a finger-food, tenderloin slices are most often served with a horseradish/mayonnaise/sour cream sauce.

Allow the meat to “rest” before you slice it  to obtain neat slices.

The 200 guests gobbled up the roast. We had plenty, and it was all eaten.

Be brave. You, too, can trade your car for beef tenderloins and create the hit of a big party!

The Kay Method

Directions: Rub beef tenderloin (usually 7 to 8 pounds) with halved garlic cloves. Then mash garlic and insert pieces of garlic in crevices of roast. Rub roast with olive oil. Generously sprinkle top of roast with fresh or dried rosemary. Then sprinkle whole peppercorns on top. Bake at 450 degrees for about 40 minutes. (Kay cooks hers on a grill.)

The Mary Lou Method

Directions: Allow roast to come to room temperature. Sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning (available at Costco). Do not salt. Place in 450˚ oven for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees for 20 minutes.

The “Mary Lou” is a never-fail method, according to Mary Jane Dorr who has used her friend’s recipe for years.

The Time/Life Method

Directions: Rub with garlic and olive oil as in the “Kay” method above. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Season as desired. (Italian dressing drizzled over the roast is good. Allow roast to marinate in dressing.) Bake at 500 degrees for 7 minutes per pound. For rare roast, temperature should be 120 degrees; 135 for medium. Do not cook a tenderloin well done.


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