Tenderloin: What is it? And how do you cook it best?

From frying to grilling

It’s known as one of the most tender cuts of beef. But what is the best way to cook a tenderloin? In this article we explain it all.

What is tenderloin?

The tenderloin comes from the hindquarter, on the inside of the vertebrae, and is one of the most tender cuts of beef. This is because the muscle does little work during the life of the cow.

Only when the cow is in danger and starts kicking backwards with its hind legs, does the tenderloin move. Although the steak is super tender, the meat does not have a pronounced taste.

The tenderloin runs from thin to thick. Different types of steaks can be cut from this, such as:

  • Tenderloin tips – these are cut from the thinnest part of the meat and are suitable for stir-frying.
  • Filet Mignon – a soft piece of meat from the thick part
  • Chateaubriand – the thick end of the tenderloin

Other names:
United States: Beef tenderloin
Germany: Rind Filet
France: Boeuf Filet pur
Dutch: Ossenhaas

How to cook tenderloin?

The tenderloin can be cooked in different ways, such as in the pan, in the oven or on the barbecue.

The cooking method between a thin or thick part of the tenderloin differs. The chateaubriand needs a slightly longer cooking time in the pan than a filet mignon.


  1. Take the tenderloin out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking.
  2. Briefly fry the steak in a hot pan with a little oil. You cook a Chateaubriand a little longer.
  3. Add a knob of butter and finely chopped shallot and garlic.


  1. To cook a tenderloin in the oven, follow the same steps as for frying it in a pan. After frying it, put the meat in the oven at 100 °C.
  2. For a medium-rare steak, maintain a core temperature of 50-52 °C. The core temperature will rise slightly while resting.
  3. Let the steak rest for five minutes, covered in aluminum oil. This distributes the juices throughout the meat.


A tenderloin can be cooked in thick parts or as a whole chateaubriand on the barbecue. Because the meat has a fine structure and little connective tissue, it will cook quickly.

  1. Briefly fry the slices of tenderloin on both sides on a hot zone. Make sure that the distance between the meat and the fire is a maximum of 7 cm. Then let it cook on a less hot zone.
  2. Let the slices rest for a few minutes after cooking. This distributes the juices throughout the meat.

Core Temperature & Cuisson

The table below shows the correct core temperature for the tenderloin per cooking stage. To achieve the right cuisson you can use the table below. Keep in mind that the core temperature of the meat will rise slightly while resting.

Bright redRoséLight rosé – brownishGreyGrey-brown
45 – 50℃51 – 57℃59 – 63℃65 – 67℃>70℃

Recipe: Beef Wellington

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Beef Wellington with tenderloin

A deliciousBeef Wellington with a tender tenderloin wrapped in puff pastry. Rubbed withmustard, mushrooms, prosciutto and pâté.
Prep time2 hours 30 minutes
Cooking time40 minutes
Rusttijd10 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Author: Cultiviz


  • 1 kg tenderloin
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 400 gr mixed mushrooms such as white and chestnut
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 shallots finely chopped
  • 2 tsp thyme finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 80 ml cognac
  • a dash of cooking cream
  • 10 slices prosciutto
  • 70 gr pate
  • 375 gr puff pastry
  • 2 egg yolks
  • sea salt
  • olive oil


  • Let the tenderloin reach room temperature an hour in advance.
  • Heat a dash of olive oil in a (cast iron) frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the tenderloin with salt and pepper. Bake the meat for 6-8 minutes until it is nicely browned all over. Stir regularly.
  • Place the tenderloin on a plate and pat it dry with kitchen paper. Smear it with the dijon mustard and then put it in the fridge.
  • Meanwhile, place the mushrooms in a food processor and grind everything finely. Make sure they retain some texture.
  • Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat until it foams. Then add the mushrooms and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Fry the mushrooms for 2-3 minutes, while stirring, until they begin to lose their moisture. Then bake them for another 4-5 minutes until the moisture starts to evaporate and they start to brown.
  • Then add the shallots, thyme and garlic and cook this mixture for 2-3 minutes until everything starts to soften.
  • Then add the cognac and scrape the bottom of the pan with a spatula. Put a dash of cooking cream in the pan and let it simmer until the mixture starts to dry out.
  • Put the mixture in a bowl and let it cool in the fridge.
  • Place a piece of baking paper on the work surface. Arrange the prosciutto slices in a rectangle. Let the slices overlap. Make a rectangle the length of the tenderloin and large enough to completely enclose the tenderloin. Spread the mushroom mixture over the prosciutto rectangle.
  • Remove the tenderloin from the refrigerator and coat it with the pâté.
  • Place the tenderloin on top of the rectangle. Then roll it until it’s completely covered. You can use parchment paper for this. Make sure that the meat is completely enclosed.
  • Then remove the baking paper and wrap the whole thing with plastic or aluminum foil. Then put it in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
  • Roll out the puff pastry and make a square of about 30x40cm. Most fresh rolls of puff pastry are 40x24cm and that’s fine too. Mix the egg yolk with a spoonful of water in a bowl.
  • Place the wrapped tenderloin on the long side of the puff pastry. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg yolk. Then roll the thing into a cylinder shape and place the roll on the seam side on the baking paper. Pinch the ends of the dough together and cut off the excess dough.
  • Coat the roll completely with the egg yolk. Then you can work different patterns into the dough with a small sharp knife. Then put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 210 °C. Sprinkle the dough with some sea salt and bake it for 20 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium-rare. The puff pastry should turn golden brown.
  • Then let it rest for 10 minutes. Cut it into slices and enjoy.

All recipes

Looking for more inspiration? Below you will find an overview of our tenderloin recipes. Or check our beef recipes for even more inspiration.

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