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Salt-Roasted Beef Tenderloin: The Easiest, Simplest Method - Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn

Salt-Roasted Beef Tenderloin: The Easiest, Simplest Method - Cooking Lessons from The Kitchn
From The Kitchn - December 5, 2017

Every Christmas day, my small family of four shares a special holiday roast: a salt-crusted beef tenderloin. The night before, we exchange gifts with my husband's familya gaggle of nieces, nephews, aunts, and unclesand eat a smorgasbord of appetizers. But Christmas day dinner is an intimate affair that my husband and I created as newlyweds. A beef tenderloin was a huge expense that first Christmas and I did not want to mess it up, so I leaned on a technique I'd learned as an intern on Good Eats: the salt crust.

Whether you know this technique as a salt dome or a salt crust, covering a tender cut of meat or fish with a paste of egg whites and kosher salt does two things. Its primary function is to perfectly season the meat, and the second is to guarantee your successa hefty promise for two humble ingredients. Seven Christmas dinners later, this is my tried-and-true technique for cooking a juicy, flavorful beef tenderloin in a salt crust.

The Simplest, Easiest Salt-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

The ingredient list below is seven ingredients long, but at its core, this recipe requires only three: a beef tenderloin, kosher salt, and egg whites. I have only ever added ingredients or steps to this simple recipe when they improved the final roast. A beef tenderloin is one of the more expensive cuts of beef, primarily because it's prized for its tenderness, and cooking a tenderloin with a salt crust simply ensures it remains delicious.

For a Better Salt Crust, Use Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt

Not all kosher salts have the same shape and size crystals. Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt has a larger, more rigid structure that makes it ideal for salt crusts. I have certainly made this with other kosher salts such as Morton's, and while it will works well enough, expect more cracking in the crust as it bakes. Be sure to use kosher salt and not a fine or flaky sea salt for making the salt crust; fine or flaky salt wo not hold up in the oven and can leave the roast salty.

Read more: Where Kosher Salt Comes from & Why It's Called Kosher

Buying a Beef Tenderloin

How to Salt Roast a Beef Tenderloin, the Step-by-Step Guide

Serving a Salt Roasted Beef Tenderloin

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