Here’s an easy dinner I threw together this evening with a beef tenderloin and an Instant Pot. It was the ‘chain’ section off a larger tenderloin I previously cut into filets (just like this). Feel free to sub a different type of meat in place of beef.

I enjoyed the shredded beef over a bed of rice, with a rough chop of cucumber and red pepper, doused in olive oil, lemon, and salt. You can skip the rice and salad, and go a completely different route altogether. This is really a recipe about the beef, specifically.

Tacos perhaps?

It looks so much better once it’s cooked, I swear…

Ingredients

  • Beef Tenderloin – feel free to substitute for pork shoulder, chicken, etc. To be honest, I have no idea what size my tenderloin actually was. It was part of a larger cut. Probably around 3 lbs or so (~1.4 kg), and yielded roughly four solid servings.
  • Taco Seasoning – I had one of those taco packets in the cupboard, but you can just as easily get creative with individual spices: cayenne, garlic powder, onion powder, etc.
  • Stock – I only had chicken broth on hand, but recommend beef bone broth if given the choice. About 1/2 a cup of stock will be needed for the beef in the Instant Pot.
  • Salt

Directions

  1. Place the beef in the Instant Pot along with the stock and taco seasoning.
  2. Cover the pot and set the lid’s valve to ‘Sealing’.
  3. Set the Instant Pot to ‘Beef/Stew’ for 25 minutes (or simply ‘High’ for 25 minutes).
  4. Once cooking complete, allow the Instant Pot to naturally release for at least 10 minutes (i.e. do NOT set to ‘Venting’ for that time). If the Instant Pot is not depressurized after 10 minutes, at that point, go ahead and set the valve to ‘Venting’.
  5. Optional: Remove some of the excess liquid, if required. You can use a ladle to remove a few scoops, or alternatively, set the Instant Pot to ‘saute’ with the lid open, and allow some of the excess liquid to evaporate and reduce.
  6. Shred the beef with two forks.
  7. Salt generously to taste.
  8. Enjoy with rice, salad, or straight up carnivore style, on its own.
Now we’re talking.

One Last Note

I left out the recipe for rice… Since it’s not much of a recipe. And everyone seems to have a preferred method for making rice, anyway. So what’s the point?

That said, if you do opt to make rice, I highly recommend that you use bone broth to cook it (in place of water), and finish the rice with a healthy dollop of butter. It’ll make your rice taste delicious, and most importantly, you’re giving yourself a nice added serving of protein.

Who doesn’t want protein rice? Nobody. That’s who. Absolutely nobody doesn’t want protein rice.

Is it even worth photographing without a lemon wedge?

Yesterday while grocery shopping, we noticed large beef tenderloin cuts were on sale again (roughly 40% off regular price). In the past we’ve generally avoided these massive, intimidating cuts of beef that can approach $100. This time around, however, we decided to finally give in and purchase this more economical cut (at least when compared to buying individual filet mignons, for example).

Giant cut of beef purchased. Now what?

After a quick YouTube video tutorial, I went to work trimming the fat from the cut, and proceeded to portion out the beef into a couple of small tenderloins, the chain (the side of the tenderloin removed in the trimming process, suitable for stewing), and most importantly, 14 fillet mignons.

Trimming the fat and silverskin from the beef tenderloin.
The resulting small tenderloins and chain.

The entire 3 kg (6.6 lb) cut cost just under $73 CAD before tax (about $55 USD)

Four filets will be kept refrigerated, to be grilled later this evening. Everything else was wrapped in parchment paper, sealed in Ziploc bags, and stored in our freezer. The entire process took me roughly thirty minutes, but I could likely shorten that time as I get more practice.

The pièce de résistance. Glorious filet mignon.

All-in-all, a relatively straightforward process that yielded a delicious looking bounty of meat. I’ll certainly try this again the future when I see a similar deal. For now, time to enjoy the fruits meats of my labour.

It’s now day two sans-vacation. My first full day back to reality. My wife is at soccer (or is it hockey?) tonight, so I’m on my own. I knew if I didn’t take this opportunity to jump right back into the routine that existed before our vacation, I would run the risk of falling off completely.

That’s where my go-to evening checklist comes in. It’s simple, effective, and enjoyable.

  • Strength Train: Usually takes me between 25 and 45 minutes. This evening, for example, was on the lower end, with just a 25 minute squat session. I load up my favourite tracks (typically some hip hop), and get to work.
  • Sauna: The hip hop is turned off, and I toss on a podcast (Mind Pump being one of my go-to podcasts currently). I aim to enjoy endure around 15 minutes in the hot box.
  • Swim: Nothing is more refreshing than the relief of a cold pool after a serious sweat. I’m not interested in doing any laps (though probably a good idea). No, I’m just looking to lounge for a few minutes and cool down.
  • Steak: Or in my case this evening, just some giant grilled ground beef patties from Costco, covered generously with Montreal Steak Spice and Pink Himalayan Salt (appropriate after all that sweating). The meal is dead simple. And yes, that’s all I’m eating for dinner this evening. If my wife was joining, perhaps we’d have a spinach salad included as well. Again, it would be simple. Typically dressed with olive oil, lemon, and salt.

There you have it. My go-to evening routine. It checks all the right boxes for me from a fitness and nutrition perspective. And as previously mentioned, it’s easy – so I’m more likely to do it. It’s enjoyable. I get to listen to good hip hop, great podcasts, get stronger, eat delicious salty meat, and feel refreshed. And importantly, it’s effective. Not many exercise send as a strong a signal to your body to adapt than a few heavy sets of barbell squats or deadlifts. And if you believe recent studies, regular sauna may be linked to significant reductions in all cause mortality rates. Plus it feels good…. At least afterwards.

An easy, repeatable routine like the one above has proven indispensable in my arsenal of tools to improve my health. I’m curious to learn if others have had success with something similar.

Costco “meat discs” starting to cook…