Pan Seared Tenderloin of Beef (Tournedos)

Posted by johngl

Every once in a while, I get really lazy and just want something simple for dinner.  Since I picked up a whole beef tenderloin last Wednesday, it seemed like a tenderloin tournedo was the answer.  Paired with a baked potato, it is hard to beat.

beef tournedo with a baked potato, butter, crème fraîche, and chives
Pan Seared Beef Tournedo with Baked Potato, Crème Fraîche, Butter, and Fresh Chives

I have done more than my fair share of demonstrations on how to butcher out a whole tenderloin and if you want to know how to do it, visit my A man and his meat: a love story post.  Once that is out of the way, the rest is easy.

To get started, find a couple of nice medium-sized Russet potatoes, wash them them up, and give them a rub down with some olive oil.  Pop them into a 375° toaster oven for 40 minutes.  I like medium-sized potatoes better because I think they have more flavor.

Now, cut a couple of tenderloin steaks off the whole loin.  They should be about 1.25 – 1.5 inches thick.  If a five to six ounce cut of meat isn’t enough for your manly appetite, have two.

a couple of tenderloin slices

Sprinkle these with some salt and pepper and forget about them until the potatoes are done.  You might notice that these are girdled with some cotton twine.  That is so they keep their shape whilst cooking.  The steaks will actually plump up a bit and push out around the twine.

You know they are ready to hit a smoking hot cast iron skillet when the internal temp is about here:

ready to cook

When the skillet just starts to smoke, it is time to sear off the tournedos.

searing and topped with butter

I topped the tournedos with a pat of butter as soon as I placed them in the skillet.  These are really lean pieces of meat and a little butter never hurt anyone.

After exactly four minutes, give them a flip.

Nice crust

The searing puts a great crust on the cut and the melted butter browns the underside quite nicely.  After two minutes, turn off the heat under the skillet.  There is plenty of heat left to finish out the cooking.  After another two minutes, pull them and allow them to rest whilst you finish out the potatoes.

a little crème fraîche, a pat of butter, some fresh chives and a touch of kosher salt

Fluff the innards of the potatoes with a fork, add some crème fraîche, a pat of butter, and some kosher salt.  Fluff them again.  Sprinkle on some fresh-cut chives and you are good to go.

When the potatoes are dressed, clip the string that surrounds the steak and enjoy!

nicely cooked

This is about as easy as a home-cooked meal can get.

Done properly, these will be melt-in-your mouth tender.  They’re a big winner every time.  I should get lazy more often.

This entry was posted in Land, Meat, Recipes: Eats, Roots, Techniques, Veggies and tagged , by johngl. Bookmark the permalink.

About johngl

A bit of a wildman, John hails from the Midwest: A land of corn, cows, pigs, and a host of other healthfully meaty pursuits. Born on a dark and stormy night in late Fall, John grew up as the son of a meat cutter. There was always plenty of meat at hand. While not wealthy by any stretch of the imagination, his family certainly ate well. According to his father, that was the whole point.

10 thoughts on “Pan Seared Tenderloin of Beef (Tournedos)

  1. I used this pan-searing method for a venison tenderloin– cut it into thinner medallions and did about three minutes per side. With a pan sauce made of caramelized onions, a bit of broth and the browned bits from the bottom, it was absolutely delicious.

  2. Pingback: Baked beef seared steak

  3. this meat is cooked rare from the look of the picture and it has been cut with the grain. meat should never be cut with the grain it should always be cut against it to break up the fibers and make the meat more tender and palatable

  4. Holy Lord!! Do these ever look delicious! My husband would kill for a meal like this.. May have to mimic you and do this for him.. Looks fantastic!

  5. Wow, this beef looks PERFECTLY cooked! I love it when it’s just slightly pink inside and nicely browned on the outside. You call it a “simple dish”, I think it’s total gourmet!

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