Compared to other cuts of beef, the tenderloin is tiny (a chuck can weigh 100 pounds; a whole tenderloin maxes out at around 7 pounds), yet it accounts for a lion’s share of the potential value of the beef. This is because we will pay anything for tenderness, and a tenderloin is the tenderest of all cuts. At times it goes on sale, but beware. The sale price is usually for tenderloin that has not been trimmed, and the cut can lose 30 percent or more of its weight in unusable trimmings. This recipe makes the most of your investment, coating the beef in a fragrant, spicy rub and serving it with an orange-scented butter sauce. It is equally good served hot or at room temperature if you want to make it ahead.
Direct heat, medium-high (400° to 450°F)
Clean, oiled grate
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch charcoal bed (about 3 dozen coals)
Clean, oiled grate on lowest setting
Direct heat, light ash
12-by-12-inch bed, 3 to 4 inches deep
Clean, oiled grate set 2 inches above the fire.
Prep: 20 minutes
Grill: About 20 minutes.
BBQ TOOLS AND EQUIPMENT
– Long-handled tongs.
INGREDIENTS (MAKES 8 SERVINGS)
For the beef:
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon ground dried orange peel
½ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 beef tenderloin, about 3 pounds, trimmed and tied
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped fresh herbs (flat-leaf parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, chervil, and/or tarragon)
Oil for coating grill grate
For the sauce:
4 tablespoons (½ stick) butter, salted or unsalted
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
1 cup fresh orange juice.
– If you want to cook the tenderloin more than medium-rare, move the meat out of direct heat. Cook for 10 minutes more and check the internal temperature (130°F for medium, 140°F or higher for well-done).
– Dried orange peel is readily available in the spice aisles of most grocery stores.
1. Mix the salt, orange peel, and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside ¼ teaspoon for the sauce. Rub the remaining seasoning all over the tenderloin. Coat the tenderloin with the olive oil, and press the herbs into the surface. Wrap in plastic wrap and set aside for at least 10 minutes.
2. Heat the grill as directed.
3. Brush the grill grate and coat it with oil. Put the tenderloin on the grill, cover, and cook until browned on all 4 sides, about 5 minutes per side. Check the temperature with an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thicker end; it should register 120°F for mediumrare. If your grill has a temperature gauge, it should stay at around 400°F. Transfer the tenderloin to a cutting board and let rest for about 5 minutes.
4. To make the sauce, heat 1 tablespoon of the butter and the garlic in a small skillet until you smell the garlic aroma, about 1 minute. Add the rosemary and orange juice and boil until reduced by half. Cut the remaining 3 tablespoons butter into pieces and swirl them into the sauce; keep warm.
5. Slice the tenderloin into ½-inch-thick slices, pour the orange sauce over the top, and serve.