Serious Eats: Recipes
Sous-Vide: Beef Tenderloin with Lemon-Parsley Butter
This recipe is part of our ongoing series on sous-vide cooking. Follow the link for more details on the process
You see, tenderloin steaks, A.K.A. filet mignon, is cut from the two small muscles that run on along the back half of the inside edge of the cow's spine. They are, as the name implies, extremely tender. They are also the most expensive cut of beef in the supermarket. You don't want to mess these guys up.
The difficulty in cooking them lies in the fact that they contain very little intramuscular fat. As a result, they are relatively flavorless. Less fat also means less insulation from heat penetration, and thus a much higher chance of overcooking.
Sous-vide solves all these problems. By cooking the steak in a vacuum-sealed bag in a water bath, you can absolutely guarantee even cooking from edge to edge, and added flavorings keep the meat tasty. I like the simple combination of black pepper and thyme, but feel free to experiment with more elaborate combinations to suit your own whimsy.
FYI: these are fantastic with Perfect Thin and Crispy French Fries.