Archives- Day 10- The Butcher Laughed at Me

Original Post- 3-14-2011

Have you ever noticed that beef tenderloins are impossible to find? I mean, I know you probably don’t go straight to the meat section every time you step foot into a grocery store and then lurk up and down the case looking for it like a crazy person, but I did this for over a week trying to figure out why I couldn’t find the stupid things. I was too embarrassed to find a butcher and ask one (because my meat stalking looked stupid enough) so I just lived in quiet frustration.

At some point last week, I had to go into Piggly Wiggly. I was in a foul mood because it was coming a monsoon outside and I had successfully waited until it was raining to get what I needed for dinner. Once I got inside, I went straight to the meat area and walked up and down the case two or three times. I see the butcher at the end restocking and, being in the non-caring mood I was in, decided I wanted roast beef and I was going to find a beef tenderloin no matter how stupid I sounded! I flagged him down through a window, as he had already went back into the little butcher room or whatever in the world it is, and he came out and talked to me. Here is the conversation:

Butcher Guy: Can I help you?
Me: See this? (I hold up my recipe card.) I’m not domestically inclined by any means and this thing says I need a 2.5 lb tenderloin. Now either I’m blind or there isn’t one in that case thingy over there. Can you please help?
Butcher Guy: (laughs and then looks at me like he feels sorry for my husband) How much do you need?
Me: 2 1/2 lbs. (Again I wave the recipe card at him…Andrea is thoroughly amused at this for some reason.)
Butcher Guy: Um, ma’am, do you realize that it is $10.99 a pound?
Me: (I literally had to tell myself to shut my mouth.) Are you serious?!? Um, okay I guess a pound and a half will work. Oh yeah, and where do I find the cooking twine in this store?
Butcher Guy: I will just give you some that we have in the back. (I think he felt sorry for me because I have no idea what in the world I’m doing.)

While he was cutting and packaging the tenderloin for me, I finished up the last few things I had to get.

I went to the produce and after fussing for at least five minutes with Andrea about how we were not going to get any apples or grapes because we already had some at home, I realized that there weren’t any fresh chives. So I went to the dried spice section to look there too. Let me just make the point here that, when I am in a bad mood or dealing with my kids in public, I’m not thinking clearly at all. Andrea was giving me a play by play of EVERYTHING on the shelf and then harassing Jake (who was kicking her in the back because she was sitting in front of him and it got a response out of her). I finally realize at some point that I have green onions at home which, essentially, is chives. At this point, I’m beyond flustered. I get my $16 beef tenderloin back and finally leave the store. On the way out Andrea decided to jump in this monstrosity of a puddle and then whine the whole way home about being cold because her clothes were wet…. Jesus help me.

So we get home, and after dealing with Andrea’s clothes, trying to keep the kids entertained and busy, waiting on Russ to get home, and figuring out how to fashion another makeshift pan out of the ones I have because every stupid recipe calls for a unique pan, I started up the tenderloin a little later than I had planned, but it still should have been done by 7:30. An hour later than I like, but it’s still food.

I start cooking the tenderloin and the recipe said 30 minutes for medium-rare. I’m not a fan of anything medium-rare so I decided to cook it a little longer. At 9:00 PM the tenderloin was still cooking. I checked it at 30 minutes and it was not even near the temperature for medium-rare so I cooked it for another 20 minutes, and then another, and so on until 9 PM rolled around. At this point, Jake wasn’t the only one gnawing on his hand so I sent Russ out to pick up some fast food. We had Wendy’s, but the next day we had some really great roast beef sandwiches (albeit a little on the peppery side).

This was a “Family Approved Lunch” and I hope to cook it again so that we can actually eat it for dinner. I’ll just start around 9 AM next time!

Best-Ever Roast Beef- By: Healthy Meals in Minutes
Serves 8
1- 2 1/2 lb beef tenderloin, trimmed
2 1/2 tsp. coarsely cracked black pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 T chopped fresh chives
1 tsp. dried tarragon

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Rub the cracked pepper evenly over surface of beef, pressing gently to help pepper adhere.
2. In a small bowl, combine parsley, chives, and tarragon. Mix well. Spread herb mixture evenly on a plate or a sheet of waxed paper.
3. Place beef on top of the herbs. Roll beef in herbs to coat completely, pressing gently to help herbs adhere. Loosely tie beef at 2-inch intervals with kitchen twine along it’s length.
4. Place the beef on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Roast beef until an instant-read theremometer inserted in center registers 145 degrees for medium-rare, about 30 minutes, or until desired doneness.
5. Transfer beef to a carving board and let stand for 15 minutes, allowing the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Remove string and carve into thin slices. Serve immediately.