A simple and easy recipe for roasted beef tenderloin, with helpful tips for purchasing, preparing and cooking.
As a home chef, the idea of roasting beef tenderloin was an intimidating one. It wasn’t necessarily the fact that it was a large piece of meat that had me ducking and diving for so long. No, it was really more the idea of screwing up such a high dollar cut of protein.
Overcooking one beef tenderloin would potentially be the equivalent of demolishing about eight filet mignons. In fact, it is the equivalent of multiple filets — cause that’s what beef tenderloin is after all, and it is precisely the location from where those prestigious little steaks hail from.
However, with a digital thermometer by my side and a little know-how when it comes to roasting and cooking temperatures, I felt confident I could get the job done, and I could get the job done right.
HOW DO YOU COOK A WHOLE BEEF TENDERLOIN IN THE OVEN
Roasting is the best way to cook a beef tenderloin. This means that the tenderloin will go into the oven at a high temperature, and air will circulate around the tenderloin for even cooking. For this, you will need a roasting pan and rack.
The best temperature to cook beef tenderloin at is 425°. This temperature will cook the tenderloin through in a timely manner and ultimately yield a perfect crust.
ASK THE BUTCHER FOR…
When you go to purchase your beef tenderloin, ask the butcher for the middle of the center cut of the tenderloin. If however, you end up with a tenderloin with a “tail,” have butchers twine on hand and truss the tenderloin so that it is of uniform thickness before going into the oven.
HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO COOK WHOLE BEEF TENDERLOIN IN THE OVEN
I have experimented with beef tenderloin multiple times over. Each time I have roasted a tenderloin ranging from 3 pounds to 3.7 pounds. The 3.7 pound tenderloin took only 40 minutes to reach a perfect medium-rare. The 3 pound tenderloin took 50 minutes to reach medium-rare. That is a vast difference in cook time when you consider there was under a one pound difference, and the larger tenderloin actually cooked faster than the smaller one. Therefore, weight is not the only thing one should take into consideration when determining cook time.
A thicker tenderloin will take longer to cook than a skinny one. This is common sense, but not something we always keep in mind when roasting meat. What is the solution? I recommend you begin gauging the temperature of your beef tenderloin after 35-40 minutes in the oven, using a digital thermometer inserted directly in the center of the tenderloin. After that (depending on how far along temperature-wise), check it every 6-10 minutes thereafter.
Another element to consider is large cuts of meat continue to cook even after they have left the heat source. For beef tenderloin, it is safe to assume the temperature will go up anywhere from 5°-10° after it comes out of the oven. Therefore, I always pull the tenderloin at 130° for a perfect medium-rare. For more degrees of doneness click here.
HOW TO SEASON BEEF TENDERLOIN
Beef tenderloin is a heavenly cut of meat and does not require too much fuss when it comes to seasoning. However, I will say that pepper and beef go hand-in-hand, complimenting one another beautifully. If ever there were a time to pull out the peppermill, it’s now.
A mix of freshly ground pepper and Kosher salt is all you need to season beef tenderloin. For my recipe, I use 3 parts freshly ground, coarse pepper, 1 part Kosher salt.
Now you know how to cook it, but what to serve alongside it?
WHAT SIDE DISHES TO MAKE WITH BEEF TENDERLOIN
Beef and potatoes are a classic pairing. Salads and green vegetables like spinach and asparagus also pair wonderfully with beef tenderloin.
ANTHONY KITCHEN SIDE DISHES TO SERVE WITH ROASTED TENDERLOIN
Oh, and also, this…
This is a cut of meat that is absolutely perfect on its own, but if I’m going to add anything to it at all, it will most certainly be this horseradish sauce, the perfect accessory to any steak.
Roasted beef tenderloin is an extraordinary entree, perfectly tender and overflowing with elegance. A special cut of meat, ideal for commemorating special occasions, celebrating throughout the holiday season, or just making your guests feel like full-on royalty. Please, enjoy.
A recipe for roasted beef tenderloin made with a thick peppered crust, and roasted to perfection.
- 3 tablespoons fresh, coarse ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 3-4 pound beef tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
Set out the tenderloin out at room temperature 1-2 hours prior to roasting.
Preheat the oven to 425° and have ready a roasting pan fitted with a rack.
Add freshly ground pepper to a small bowl, add the salt and stir to mix. Set aside until ready to use.
Pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel. If you were unable to obtain the middle of the center cut of the tenderloin from your butcher, truss the tenderloin so that it is of even thickness.
Drizzle with canola oil and rub evenly across the tenderloin. Sprinkle with pepper and salt, and rub across the tenderloin once more. Place tenderloin on the roasting rack and roast for 40 minutes.
At this point, begin checking the internal temperature using an instant-read thermometer. Insert the thermometer into the center-most part of the tenderloin.
For a perfect medium-rare, pull the tenderloin once the thermometer reads 130°.
If your tenderloin has yet to reach the desired temperature, return it to the oven and check it every 6-10 minutes thereafter.
Once the tenderloin has the reached desired internal temperature, transfer to a carving board, tent with aluminum foil, and allow to rest 15-20 minutes. Slice, serve, and enjoy.