Grilled beef tenderloin gets a smoky side of kimchi

Smoky, sweet and spicy persimmons with kimchi taste great with beef.
(Evan Sung / For The Times)

A beef tenderloin remains the ultimate holiday party centerpiece. To complement its mild flavor and buttery texture, a punchy condiment of grilled persimmons and kimchi adds a fruity heat. And to achieve the ideal juicy medium-rare, the meat starts on the cool side of the grill to come up to temperature, then gets seared on the hot side. Brushing the lean tenderloin with a garlicky ancho chile oil throughout the process enriches the meat while helping it brown beautifully.

Beef tenderloin is expensive, but less so at Costco and much less so if you buy it unpeeled and trim it yourself. The “peeled extreme” option is nearly $10 more per pound, but requires no prep beyond tying. If you buy the “whole” tenderloin, you need to cut off the chain meat and excess fat and gristle and slice off the silver skin. It takes time and results in bits you can’t eat, but also gives you a tasty strip of meat that’s good for stir-frying.

Fresh ingredients from Costco make for an easy and elegant from-scratch party menu that you can prepare in just a few hours.


Grilled Whole Beef Tenderloin with Smoky Persimmon Kimchi

1 hour. Serves 12.


  • 1 peeled and trimmed beef tenderloin (5 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ancho chile powder
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup plus 2 teaspoons grape seed or other neutral oil
  • 6 Fuyu persimmons, stemmed, peeled and halved
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups kimchi with juices, room temperature


  1. Take the beef out of the fridge, rinse and pat very dry, then let stand at room temperature while you prepare the grill
  2. Prepare a charcoal or gas grill for indirect heat grilling. If using a charcoal grill, heat the coals until hot and ashed over, then bank to one side. If using a gas grill, heat all the burners to high. (You’ll heat the whole gas grill first, then turn off burners before cooking for indirect grilling.)
  3. While the grill heats, tie the beef at 1-inch intervals with butcher’s twine. Sprinkle very generously with salt. Combine the ancho, garlic and ½ cup oil in a small bowl, then brush a coating of the mix all over the beef. Toss the persimmons with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in another bowl, then sprinkle lightly with salt.
  4. If using a gas grill, turn off all but one burner. Put the beef on the cool side of the grill and the persimmons on the hot side; reserve their bowl. If using a charcoal grill, put the persimmons over the coals and the beef on the other side. Cover and adjust the knobs or vents to maintain a grill temperature of 300 to 325 degrees.
  5. Grill the persimmons, turning once, until charred and softened, 10 to 12 minutes. Grill the beef, turning 3 to 4 times and brushing lightly with the oil mixture, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the beef registers 108 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes.
  6. Return the persimmons to the reserved bowl and toss with the butter to evenly coat. Add the kimchi with its juices and fold to mix well.
  7. Transfer the beef to the hot part of the grill. Grill, turning to evenly char and basting with the oil mixture every 5 to 6 minutes, until browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 120 degrees, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes. Cut the beef into slices and serve with the persimmon kimchi.