May 07, 2015

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beef ›   chef knives ›   recipe ›   tenderloin ›  


How-to Guide: Roast Beef Tenderloin

You probably already use your chef’s knife for most jobs in the kitchen, but did you know that they were originally designed to deal with large cuts of beef? There’s a reason why the blades are bigger than paring knives and heavier than fillet knives. Today we’re going to talk about how to best deal with those large cuts of beef, and we’re going to look at a delicious, Versed Chef-approved recipe for beef tenderloin.

Selecting your tools is the first step. While we recommend a chef’s knife, it’s not a must, and it depends on whether your cut of meat has bones in it. For boneless cuts, some chefs prefer a longer, thinner blade, because they find it makes for easier slicing and cleaner cuts. For something that’s bone-in, a lot of chefs will get out their heavier chef’s knives. As long as your preferred tool is sharp and solid and made of high-quality steel, we think you’ll do just fine.

So what is a beef tenderloin, exactly? Well, the tenderloin, or the filet, comes from the short loin of the steer. And it’s extremely tender – hence ‘tender-loin,’ fancy that. The muscle sits near the kidneys, and doesn’t get much of a workout. Because it’s so tender, it’s great for dishes where you want that buttery texture.

Tenderloin is expensive (the filet mignon comes from the tenderloin, after all), so it probably isn’t an everyday meal, but if you want to impress that special someone with your culinary skill, here’s a basic recipe to try.

Beef Tenderloin

Removing the skin.

The first piece of business is to set up your beef. Unless the butcher has already prepared it for you, the cut will have a skin of tissue on it. You’re going to want to remove this – it’s tough and doesn’t add much to the dish. Using the knife you’ve chosen, carefully cut it off. Just look for anything that isn’t “meaty.”

Tie it up.

Once that’s done, you’re going to want to tie the roast. If it’s the entire tenderloin, it’s going to be thinner at one end, and this change in thickness can lead to uneven cooking. Tucking the thinner or tail end and tying it every 3-4 inches will help prevent that. Once done, it should have a consistent thickness along the entire length of the tenderloin.

Sprinkle surface with salt.

Now it’s time to season. There’s some debate about how much salting in advance you want to do. Some chefs say it adds valuable flavour, but others will tell you it’s going to dry out your meat. The problem is that a tenderloin isn’t hugely flavourful on its own.

You can add herbs or garlic, too, if you want. Let it sit in your refrigerator uncovered for a while – how long is up to you, depending on your taste preferences and the amount of time you’ve got available.

Time to Roast.

At this point, we’re going to talk about roasting, but we should mention that a lot of people like some kind of sauce on their tenderloin. This isn’t that kind of recipe so we’re not going to tell you which one to choose – it’s up to you, and most sauces can be made a day ahead of time.

You’ve already salted it. Sprinkle it with oil and put it in your roasting pan at about 400°F (200°C) until you reach an internal temperature of around 130° to 140°F (55° to 60°C) for a medium-rare. It’s a lean and tender cut, so make sure you don’t overcook it.

Waiting around.

I know, you’re probably hungry and you’re going to want to tear into this thing, but wait. Let it stand there a while. It’s important to make sure you don’t cut into it for 10 minutes, because otherwise the juices will run out, along with your flavour.

But once you’ve waited, cut the strings, and carve. You’ll need that sharp knife again to prepare slices about half an inch thick.

Dig in.

That’s it! Enjoy – alone, or with whatever sauce you’ve chosen. Let us know how it turned out.

April 30, 2015

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chef knives ›   recipe ›   sushi ›  


Tips for Making Sushi Like a Pro

Preparing your own sushi is easier than you might think, and you don't need special training or ingredients to make it. The following recipe uses seasoned sushi rice, nori (dried seaweed), wasabi, and a delicious salmon, bell pepper and cucumber filling.

Have you ever watched a Japanese chef slice fish for making sushi? You might think it's easy to cut the fish this way but end up disappointed when your own efforts do not result in such beautiful slices. So what is the secret to cutting the fish so perfectly?



The key is a good quality Japanese knife and it has to be very sharp. Japanese knives were originally derived from sword craftsmanship and they are versatile in the kitchen. The right blade means you will be able to slice through the fish quickly and easily, and get not only the right thickness but also that professional-looking smooth edge.

Slice across the grain of the fish for an attractive crosscut pattern and tender texture. Lay the knife on the fish using the back end of the blade and cut across it with a 45 degree angle. Draw your blade across the fish in one smooth stroke to make the slice. If this does not finish the slice, remove the blade and repeat the motion in the same direction. The more you practice, the better you'll become, we promise.

Make sure you don't press too hard or you might damage the knife, and never use a seesawing motion. This will give you amateur-looking, ragged strips of fish. And one final tip: try to keep the hand that's holding the fish behind the knife blade - you're working with a very sharp knife, and a lopped-off fingertip won't improve the flavour of your food! A good quality Japanese knife is a must-have if you are a keen home cook.

Sensational Salmon Sushi Recipe


What You Need:

  • 5 1/2 oz sushi rice
  • 8 fl oz water
  • 2 fl oz rice wine vinegar
  • 1 oz white sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 4 sheets dried nori
  • 2 oz wasabi paste
  • 7 oz sushi-grade salmon filet
  • 1/2 seeded red bell pepper
  • 1/2 peeled, seeded cucumber
  • Soy sauce, pickled ginger and wasabi, to serve

 

How to Make It:

Rinse and drain the sushi rice. Put it in a pan with the water and bring it to a boil. Put the lid on and simmer for 5 minutes, then take it off the heat and let it cool down, still covered. When it is cool, season it with the rice wine vinegar, sugar and salt, and mix well.

Spread some wasabi paste over each sheet of nori then arrange some rice, about an inch wide, near the bottom edge. Remove the skin from the salmon and cut it into 1/4-inch strips using a sharp Japanese knife.

Divide the salmon between the nori sheets. Cut the red bell pepper and cucumber into thin batons and add these too. Roll the nori sheets up tightly and chill in the refrigerator for half an hour. Cut them into 2 inch pieces. Serve the sushi rolls with soy sauce and pickled ginger, and perhaps some extra wasabi on the side, and get ready for all the compliments you are sure to receive!

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