Tenderloin tips, often nestled in the shadow of the renowned filet mignon, embody a culinary delight that's both versatile and delectably tender. These small yet flavorful pieces, expertly trimmed from the beef tenderloin, provide a softer texture and a more delicate taste compared to other beef cuts. Their adaptability in the kitchen makes them a favorite for an array of tasty meals, from hearty comfort foods like beef stroganoff to lighter fare such as a vibrant steak salad.

The journey of tenderloin tips from the farm to the plate is a fascinating process, deeply rooted in the art of butchery and the anatomy of the cow. Understanding the origin, location in the cow's body, and the butchering process of tenderloin tips provides a deeper appreciation for this prized cut of meat.


The tenderloin is a muscle that runs along the spine of the cow, nestled beneath the ribs, next to the backbone. This muscle is part of the short loin and sirloin sections of the cow. Since it is a muscle that is not heavily exercised, the tenderloin is the most tender part of the cow. This tenderness is due to the low amount of connective tissue in the muscle, making it a sought-after cut for its softness and ease of eating.

Extraction of the Tenderloin

The butchering process involves carefully removing the entire tenderloin from the cow. This requires skill to ensure the muscle is intact and free from damage, as the tenderloin is a delicate cut. After the larger, center-cut portions of the tenderloin are trimmed to create steaks like filet mignon, the smaller ends, which are not uniform in size, are cut off. These end pieces are what we refer to as tenderloin tips.

These tips, while not suitable for traditional steak cuts due to their varying sizes and shapes, are perfect for dishes that require smaller pieces of high-quality.

Comparing Tenderloin Tips to Their Wagyu Counterpart

When exploring the world of tenderloin tips, it's fascinating to draw comparisons with their Wagyu counterparts. Known for their tenderness and lean texture, traditional tenderloin tips, including those from filet mignon, offer a buttery and soft eating experience. 

Tenderloin vs. Wagyu Sirloin Steak Tips: The beef tenderloin is a prime cut from the loin, known for its tenderness and lean texture. This contrasts with sirloin steak tips, which are derived from a slightly tougher part of the beef, the sirloin. 

Wagyu Filet Mignon and Tenderloin Tips: Renowned for its luxurious texture and exquisite flavor, Wagyu filet mignon is the jewel of the tenderloin. After Wagyu filet mignon steaks are cut, the remaining portions are the Wagyu tenderloin tips. These tips retain the same tenderness and flavor profile as the filet mignon, making them an excellent choice for dishes that require tender beef without the steep price tag of filet mignon steaks.

Known for their tenderness and lean texture, traditional tenderloin tips, including those from filet mignon, offer a buttery and soft eating experience. They're less marbled compared to other cuts but are prized for their delicate texture. While delicious, traditional tenderloin tips can be somewhat milder in flavor compared to fattier cuts. They often require marinades or seasonings like garlic, Worcestershire sauce, or soy sauce to enhance their taste.

Now this understanding can help us to better select the quality of meat which plays a significant role in how the final taste is going to shape up.

Preparing Tenderloin Tips for Marinating and Seasoning

When it comes to cooking with tenderloin tips, the success of your dish starts with selecting the right cut and properly preparing it for marinade or seasoning. Here’s a detailed guide to help you choose and prepare these delectable pieces of beef.

Selecting the Right Tenderloin Tips

Look for tenderloin tips that have a rich, red color. Fresh beef should not look dull or grayish. The meat should feel firm to the touch and not overly soft or mushy. Although tenderloin is a lean cut, good quality tips will have a small amount of marbling (fat running through the meat). This marbling is crucial as it adds flavor and juiciness during cooking.

  • Size and Uniformity: Choose tips that are relatively uniform in size to ensure even cooking. If you’re planning to make a dish like kebabs, look for larger pieces that can be easily skewered.
  • Freshness: Always check the sell-by date on the package or ask your butcher about the freshness of the meat.

Preparing Tenderloin Tips for Marinade or Seasoning:

  • Trimming: If there is excess fat or silver skin (the shiny, silvery membrane) on the tenderloin tips, trim it off. While a bit of fat adds flavor, too much can make the meat greasy, and the silver skin can be tough and chewy.
  • Cutting to Size: If the tenderloin tips are large, you might want to cut them into smaller, bite-sized pieces, especially for dishes like stir-fries or stews. Ensure the pieces are uniformly sized for even cooking.
  • Drying the Meat: Pat the tenderloin tips dry with paper towels. Removing excess moisture helps the meat brown better when cooking and allows the marinade or seasoning to adhere properly.

an image depicting a beautifully plated dish of tenderloin tips, artistically garnished with fresh herbs such as oregano, parsley.

The foundation of seasoning tenderloin tips lies in the classic combination of salt and pepper. This duo works wonders in accentuating the meat’s inherent flavors. To add a bit more complexity, a sprinkle of garlic powder can introduce a subtle, aromatic warmth.

  • Herb Infusions: Incorporating herbs such as oregano, parsley, or dill adds a fresh and vibrant dimension to the tenderloin tips. These herbs, whether fresh or dried, complement the meat's flavor without overshadowing its natural taste. They are particularly suitable for dishes like tenderloin tip kabobs or steak salads, where the freshness of herbs can shine through.
  • Exotic Spices: For those looking to add an exotic twist to their tenderloin tips, spices like cumin, coriander, or a hint of curry powder offer an exciting flavor profile. These spices lend themselves well to fusion recipes, infusing the tenderloin tips with international flair, perfect for adventurous palates.
  • Application Tips: To ensure the steak tips or beef kabobs retain their juiciness and tenderness, season them just before cooking. This practice prevents moisture loss and helps to form a delicious crust on the meat during cooking.

Culinary Uses of Tenderloin Tips: Mastering Versatility in the Kitchen

The culinary realm of tenderloin tips is one of incredible versatility, offering a range of possibilities from classic comfort dishes to quick, flavorful meals. These tips, known for their tenderness and rich flavor, can adapt beautifully to a variety of cooking styles and recipes.

In the realm of comfort food, a beef tips recipe stands out as a classic. The process of slow-cooking tenderloin tips in a savory beef broth or a rich, hearty gravy transforms these already tender pieces into succulently soft bites. This method allows the meat to absorb all the deep flavors of the broth or gravy, creating a dish that is rich in taste and velvety in texture. 

Transitioning to a different style, tenderloin tips are equally at home in high-heat cooking methods. When quickly cooked on a grill or tossed in a hot stir-fry, they showcase their ability to absorb and enhance flavors. Marinating the tips in a blend of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce prior to cooking infuses them with a Savory umami depth. 

Marination is the Key

The secret to maximizing the flavor of tenderloin tips lies in the marinade. A simple yet effective blend can include herbs such as rosemary, thyme, or parsley to the marinade which bring a fresh, herbal note that complements the beef without overwhelming it. Sometimes, simplicity is key. A blend of salt and freshly ground black pepper can be enough to elevate the natural flavors of the tenderloin tips.

A well-crafted marinade for tenderloin tips can transform this already tender cut into a culinary delight. Begin with a base of high-quality olive oil for moisture and richness. Add garlic for its aromatic warmth, and incorporate a variety of herbs like rosemary, thyme, or parsley for a fresh herbal note.

Include mild acids such as lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to subtly tenderize the meat further and add brightness. For a Savory touch, Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce can be added. These ingredients infuse the tips with a complex umami flavor, perfect for robust dishes like beef stroganoff or hearty stir-fries.

If you're aiming for a more exotic flair, experiment with cumin, coriander, or a touch of curry powder. These spices offer a world of flavor, suitable for fusion recipes or adding an unexpected twist to a classic steak salad. If you're in the mood for something with a bit of spice, a dash of chili powder or a sprinkle of paprika can add a warm, smoky dimension, ideal for steak bites or kabobs.

Apply the seasoning just before cooking to prevent the salt from drawing out moisture, ensuring that your steak tips remain juicy and tender. Keeping the tenderloin marinated for a good 40 minutes prior to cooking does the job or for a richer flavor you can go overnight.

Incorporating these seasoning and preparation techniques will ensure your tenderloin tips are not just tender but also brimming with flavor. Whether you’re creating a hearty beef stroganoff, a light steak salad, or tender kabobs. We will now move to explore the most popular cooking methods and how you can master them all.

Cooking Methods for Tenderloin Tips: Techniques, Temperature Guide and Pro Tips

After marinating and seasoning your tenderloin tips, selecting the right cooking method and understanding the ideal temperatures are crucial for achieving perfect results. Here's a comprehensive guide along with professional tips to ensure your tenderloin tips are cooked to perfection.

High-Heat Searing:

  • Technique: Preheat a cast-iron pan over high heat. Add a small amount of olive oil, and once hot, place the tenderloin tips in the pan. Let them sear for a few minutes until a brown crust forms, then flip to cook the other side.
  • Temperature Guide: For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F (54-57°C). Remove from the heat when the temperature is about 5°F below your target, as the meat will continue to cook while resting.
  • Pro Tips: Ensure the pan is hot enough before adding the meat. Don't overcrowd the pan; cook in batches if necessary to allow each piece to sear properly.

Grilling for Smoky Flavor:

  • Technique: Preheat your grill to high. Place the seasoned or marinated tips on the grill, cooking each side for a few minutes.
  • Temperature Guide: For a medium-rare doneness on the grill, aim for an internal temperature of 130-135°F (54-57°C). Use a meat thermometer to check for doneness without cutting into the meat.
  • Pro Tips: Let the meat come to room temperature before grilling. This ensures even cooking. Also, let the tips rest for a few minutes after grilling to allow the juices to redistribute.

an image depicting a lively kitchen scene with a cast-iron skillet on a stove over high heat. The skillet contains a small amount of olive oil, and tenderloin tips are being placed in it

Broiling for Convenience:

  • Technique: Preheat your oven's broiler. Place the tenderloin tips on a broiler pan and broil for a few minutes on each side.
  • Temperature Guide: Broil to an internal temperature of 130-135°F (54-57°C) for medium-rare.
  • Pro Tips: Keep a close eye on the meat as broilers can cook very quickly. Use a broiler pan to catch drippings and prevent flare-ups.

Stir-Frying for Quick Meals:

  • Technique: Heat a wok or skillet over high heat, add oil, and then the tenderloin tips. Stir-fry quickly, then add vegetables and sauce.
  • Temperature Guide: For stir-frying, cook until the meat is just browned all over but still tender. The meat will continue to cook slightly after being removed from the heat.
  • Pro Tips: Cut the tenderloin tips into uniform pieces for even cooking. Cook the meat first, remove it, and then cook the vegetables, adding the meat back in with the sauce at the end.

Resting the Meat:

  • Regardless of the cooking method, let the tenderloin tips rest for a few minutes after cooking. This allows the juices to settle, ensuring that your steak bites or beef kabobs are juicy and flavorful.

By following these methods, temperature guidelines, and professional tips, you'll be able to cook tenderloin tips that are flavorful, tender, and cooked to your desired doneness. Now that we've mastered cooking tenderloin tips, let's explore how to complement them with delicious sauces and gravies, enhancing their flavor and transforming them into a gourmet meal.

Crafting the Perfect Sauce and Gravy for Tenderloin Tips

After mastering the art of cooking tenderloin tips to perfection, the next step in elevating your dish is creating a complementary sauce or gravy. The right sauce not only enhances the flavors of the tenderloin tips but also adds an extra layer of richness and depth to your meal.

Red Wine Reduction: A Gourmet Touch

  • Ingredients: Start with a quality red wine, which will be the base of your reduction. Add in some beef broth for depth, a dash of Worcestershire sauce for complexity, and herbs like thyme or rosemary for aroma.
  • Preparation: After cooking your tenderloin tips, use the same pan to make the reduction. Pour in the wine and broth, scraping up the flavorful bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer until the sauce reduces and thickens to your desired consistency.
  • Serving Suggestion: A red wine reduction is perfect for drizzling over seared or grilled tenderloin tips, especially when served alongside a side of creamy mashed potatoes or over a bed of buttery egg noodles.

Creamy Mushroom Gravy: Comfort in a Sauce

  • Ingredients: For this gravy, you’ll need fresh mushrooms, garlic, butter, and a bit of flour to thicken. Beef broth and a splash of cream add richness and smoothness to the sauce.
  • Preparation: Sauté the mushrooms and garlic in butter, then sprinkle with flour to create a roux. Gradually add in the beef broth, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Finish with a splash of cream for a luxurious texture.
  • Serving Suggestion: Mushroom gravy is a classic pairing with tenderloin tips, especially for a comforting dish like beef stroganoff. It also works well for a hearty beef tips and gravy meal served over rice or egg noodles.

Soy Sauce Glaze: An Asian Twist

  • Ingredients: Combine soy sauce, a hint of brown sugar or honey for sweetness, and garlic for a simple yet flavorful glaze.
  • Preparation: In a small saucepan, mix the ingredients and simmer until the sauce thickens. For added complexity, a dash of ginger or a sprinkle of sesame seeds can be included.
  • Serving Suggestion: This glaze is ideal for stir-fried tenderloin tips or as a finishing touch for beef kabobs, adding a Savory-sweet flavor that compliments the meat.

Pro Tips:

  • Deglazing: Use the pan in which you cooked the tenderloin tips to make the sauce. The leftover bits in the pan contribute immense flavor to the sauce or gravy.
  • Thickening: For thicker gravies or reductions, a cornstarch slurry (cornstarch mixed with a little water) can be added to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Flavor Balance: Taste your sauce or gravy as you cook and adjust the seasonings as needed. Balancing the flavors is key to a sauce that complements the tenderloin tips without overpowering them.

A well-crafted sauce or gravy can transform your tenderloin tips from a simple dish to an extraordinary culinary experience. Whether you choose a classic red wine reduction, a comforting mushroom gravy, or an innovative soy sauce glaze, these sauces add both flavor and elegance to your tenderloin tips.

Now it is time to complete your meal with complementary flavors and textures, creating a dining experience that is both satisfying and memorable.

Selecting the Ideal Side Dishes and Wine Pairings for Tenderloin Tips

Once you've mastered the cooking of tenderloin tips and paired them with a delectable sauce or gravy, the final step in crafting an exquisite meal is choosing the right side dishes and wine pairings. The perfect accompaniments can enhance the flavors of the tenderloin tips and round out your meal beautifully.

Side Dishes: Complementing the Tenderloin Tips

  • Mashed Potatoes: A classic choice, creamy mashed potatoes are the perfect comfort food to serve with tenderloin tips, especially when they're draped in a rich gravy or red wine reduction.
  • Steamed Vegetables: For a healthier option, steamed vegetables like green beans, carrots, or asparagus add color and nutrition to your plate. They provide a light and crisp contrast to the rich flavors of the meat.
  • Rice or Egg Noodles: Both rice and egg noodles are versatile sides that work well with various sauces, making them ideal for dishes like beef stroganoff or Asian-inspired tenderloin tip recipes.
  • Salad: A fresh salad with a light vinaigrette dressing can balance the richness of the tenderloin tips. A steak salad, combining the meat with fresh greens, is a lighter yet satisfying option.

An image showcasing a luxurious dining table setting. The main dish features tenderloin tips paired with a delectable sauce or gravy. The meal is complemented by side dishes like creamy mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables, and glasses of red wine

Wine Pairings: Elevating the Dining Experience

  • Red Wine: A robust red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot complements the richness of the tenderloin tips. These wines pair well with dishes featuring a red wine reduction or a mushroom gravy.
  • White Wine: If you prefer white wine, a Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio can be a delightful accompaniment, especially with tenderloin tips prepared in a lighter sauce or served in a salad.
  • Rosé or Light Red Wines: For a more versatile pairing, especially in the warmer months, a Rosé or a light red wine like Pinot Noir can offer a refreshing complement to both the meat and a variety of side dishes.

Pro Tips:

  • Temperature of Wine: Serve red wines at room temperature and white wines chilled. This ensures that the flavors of the wines are expressed optimally.
  • Experiment with Pairings: Don't be afraid to experiment with different wine and side dish pairings. Sometimes, unexpected combinations can lead to delightful culinary discoveries.

With the tenderloin tips as the star of your meal, accompanied by a harmonious selection of side dishes and wine, you’re set to enjoy a dining experience that’s both flavorful and satisfying, and don't worry about saving for later. You can always store and heat tenderloin tips as per your need.

Storing and Reheating Tenderloin Tips

  • Storage: Store the cooked tips in beef broth or gravy to keep them moist. Refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for longer storage.
  • Reheating: Gently reheat the tips in a pan over medium heat to retain their tenderness.

Tenderloin tips, with their versatility and rich flavor, offer a wonderful opportunity for culinary exploration and enjoyment, and not just that, they are healthy as well and contain essential nutrients and vitamins.

Nutritional Value of Tenderloin Tips: A Healthy and Flavorful Choice

Tenderloin tips stand out for their rich flavor and versatility. But beyond their culinary appeal, these cuts also offer significant nutritional benefits, making them a favored choice for a balanced and healthy diet.

Rich in High-Quality Protein: Tenderloin tips are an excellent source of high-quality protein, vital for muscle building, repair, and overall health. This makes them a great choice for fitness enthusiasts and anyone looking to up their protein intake.

Low in Saturated Fat: These cuts are relatively low in saturated fat, especially when compared to other beef cuts, making them a healthier option for heart health.

Packed with Essential Nutrients:

  • Iron: Crucial for oxygen transport in the body, helping prevent anaemia.
  • Zinc: Supports immune system function and overall health.
  • B Vitamins: Including B12, essential for brain function and maintaining energy levels.

Source of Healthy Fats: The fats in tenderloin tips are mainly monounsaturated fats, which are beneficial for heart health.

Low-Calorie Option: For those mindful of calorie intake, tenderloin tips are a lower-calorie option compared to other red meat cuts.

Pro Tips for a Balanced Diet:

  • Portion Control: Practice moderation in portion sizes to enjoy tenderloin tips as part of a balanced diet.
  • Balanced Meals: Combine them with fiber-rich vegetables and whole grains for nutritious meals.
  • Healthy Cooking: Opt for grilling or broiling, which require less added fat.

A Culinary Journey with Health Benefits 

Tenderloin tips offer more than just taste; they're a harmonious blend of flavor and nutrition. As a source of high-quality protein and essential nutrients, while being low in saturated fat and calories, they're an excellent choice for health-conscious meat lovers.

For those looking to explore the finest in tenderloin tips, Plum Creek Wagyu offers an exceptional selection. Our Wagyu tenderloin tips not only promise the rich flavor and tenderness characteristic of Wagyu beef but also come with the added benefits of higher levels of monounsaturated fats.

Visit Plum Creek Wagyu to discover our range of premium Wagyu beef products, and elevate your culinary experiences with tenderloin tips that promise both exquisite taste and nutritional value. Embrace the journey of cooking with Plum Creek Wagyu and Savor every delicious, healthful bite!

January 25, 2024