This beginning of this is going to sound a little redundant from my last post I did on bison tenderloin in which I marinated the roast in coffee stout and garlic. I used the first part of that post to show how I trimmed out the tenderloin.
For the first recipe, I was going for simplistic, where the marinade subtly augmented the amazing flavor of the bison. For this recipe, I kicked up the “marinade” as it were. I put the word marinade in quotes, because this is more of a paste I slathered the on the meat with an intense flavor that will make any garlic lover jump for joy…
Recently I became the very proud owner of a whole bison/buffalo tenderloin. I have to say, I’ve never been so excited about, or intimidated by, a piece of meat in my life. First, bison isn’t cheap, second, it’s very hard to find, and third, it’s a little tricky to cook as it has so little fat that it could easily dry out, tenderloin in particular. This will be the second and last installment on this piece of meat as I made two roasts and some steaks out of the massive tenderloin. I grilled the small steaks with nothing more than salt and black pepper to get a true appreciation for the flavor of bison.
A little background. The tenderloin was given to me by Chris Avolio from Hotshots Bar and Grill, which is also the banner sponsor of this site. That’s right, given to me. Talk about generous. I was floored when he offered it up after more than a few beers at the Fenton Hotshots. I was more amazed when he delivered it to my house the next day with some awesome jalepeno/cheese deer jerky.
What does a whole bison tenderloin look like?
The celly is in there for reference to see the size. I think that cutting board is 18″x12″. Before I took this picture I thawed it and rinsed the blood off.
This cut could be cooked whole, but I wasn’t planning on throwing a party to have enough people over to eat all that meat, and I wanted to get a couple cracks at this so I decided to carve it up into sections, but not until I cleaned it up a bit. I rolled it over and you can see some silver skin that can be very tough and needed to be trimmed off:
When doing this, make sure you have a very sharp knife in order to remove as little of the precious red meat below the skin. Once you get the skin away from the meat, you can sometimes just pull it with your fingers and a little pressure from the blade of the knife to remove it in neat strips:
Once I got done with the silver skin, I found some pockets of hard fat on the top that I trimmed away between the tenderloin and a skinny tendril of meat that I will probably fold over, tie off, and sear quickly like a steak.
Here we have the main tenderloin, the hard fat and silver skin I trimmed away, and that skinny piece of tenderloin:
I cut the tenderloin into two roasts and three steaks. Here’s where it changes from the last bison recipe. The roast on the upper right is what I will be preparing for this recipe:
3-4lb bison (or beef) tenderloin
7 whole ears of garlic
2 tbsp peppercorns
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
salt and black pepper
a little olive oil
Slice the ears of garlic in half in order to expose the fattest part of each clove of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and hit with coarse salt and black pepper:
Cover the top of the garlic with foil and place in a 400 degree oven for one hour:
With the tip of a knife, remove the cloves from the papery casing:
In that picture above you see the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. Grind them up until each peppercorn is about a quarter of its original size. A coffee grinder would work pretty well too. Once they are ground up, add them to the soft garlic cloves:
Then use the back of a fork and mash the cloves and peppercorns into a paste:
Place the tenderloin roast into a bag, slather with the garlic peppercorn paste and then drizzle in the Worcestershire:
Put that in the fridge for a few hours up to 24 hours. Here’s what it looked it out when I pulled it out a day later:
Prepare the grill for two zone cooking with coals on one side and nothing on the other.
Scrape off that paste as it will make it difficult to sear the outside of the roast and then put it right over the very hot coals:
Rotate the roast to get a nice char all the way around:
Don’t be afraid of a little blackness. That’s flavor town.
Once it was seared around all sides, I put it on the side with no coals, stuck it with a probe thermometer and closed the lid to let it back to the correct doneness. I normally wouldn’t use the probe, but I wasn’t going to risk over cooking it while myself, my uncle, cousin and dad were inside enjoying some wine. Our goal here was medium rare:
My goal was to pull this when the internal temp hit 120 so that while it rested, and continued to cook, it would be beautifully medium rare on the outside and rare in the middle. At 120, I squeezed the roast with my tongs and found it incredibly spongy. Here’s an example where you can’t always trust your instruments. My gut told me to let it go. I let it go five more degrees, and another five more, but it was still really spongy. I let it go another five degrees and pulled it as it neared 135:
Sounds like blasphemy, I know. But bear with me. I pulled it and put it on a platter and tented it under some foil:
In case you were wondering, I made this two weeks before Valentine’s day and my wife decided she wanted to decorate for guy night. I wasn’t real happy about the timing, but decided that wasn’t a battle I wanted to fight. Speaking of guy night, how about the appetizers? We did a couple deer steaks marinated in mustard, jalepeno and cilantro (We will post that in the next few weeks) as well as the small bison steaks coated in salt and black pepper to get a real taste for the bison (Tom on the left and Dad on the right):
That’s right. Only the Grillin Fools have two steak appetizers before eating bison tenderloin!!
While it rested, I roasted some asparagus we coated with a little olive oil, salt and black pepper and put in a grill pan and put right over the hot coals:
What else do you need along with all that red meat? Well other than the Meiomi Pinot Noir for the apps and a Seghesio Old Vine Zin for the meal. Here’s that latter bottle being decanted (again, Tom on the left and Dad on the right):
After 10 minutes, I sliced the tenderloin:
How does that look?
And plated with some of the asparagus and a roll:
I think I nailed it, how bout you?
If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below or shoot me an email.
If you are interested in other game or exotic meat recipes, click here.
- 7 whole ears of garlic
- 2 tbsp peppercorns
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- salt and black pepper
- a little olive oil
- 3-4lb bison (or beef) tenderloin
- Place the hears of garlic on a sheet of aluminum foil
- Slice the ears of garlic in half in order to expose the fattest part of each clove, drizzle with olive oil and hit with coarse salt and black pepper
- Cover the top of the garlic with foil and place in a 400 degree oven for one hour
- With the tip of a knife, remove the cloves from the papery casing and place in a mixing bowl
- Grind the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until they are in coarse chunks
- Add the peppercorns to the bowl of the garlic
- Use the back of a fork and mash the cloves and peppercorns into a paste
- Place the tenderloin roast into a resealable plastic bag, slather with the garlic peppercorn paste and then drizzle in the Worcestershire
- Put that in the fridge for 2-12 hours
- Prepare the grill for two zone/indirect cooking with coals on one side and nothing on the other
- Scrape off that garlic paste as it will make it difficult to sear the outside of the roast and then put it right over the very hot coals
- Sear all the way around and move to the side with no coals and close the lid
- Bake until internal temperature of the meat reaches 135 and remove from the grill
- Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes to let the juices, in an excited state from the heat, calm down and redistribute throughout the roast
- Slice and serve