It’s so easy to roast a juicy beef tenderloin that melts in your mouth with every bite. Even better when served with a rich and rustic, easy to make red wine sauce (or jus).
A gourmet choice, just as good as a Prime Rib with a garlic herb crust! Our beef tenderloin recipe is perfect for Christmas, New Years or to simply spoil yourself with an indulgent weekend dinner! Worth every penny when perfectly roasted to your desired preference.
Whole tenderloins are sold as either:
- Unpeeled — the fat and silverskin remain.
- Peeled — the fat is removed, silverskin is intact.
- Peeled with silverskin removed and side muscle (chain) left on or off.
Unpeeled whole tenderloins are cheaper to buy but require more work to prepare for roasting. The most expensive option of beef tenderloin is the third option. It requires less prep work by you since the fat and trimmings have been removed. Some butchers also tie it for you, ready for roasting straight away.
what is the best way to cook beef tenderloin?
The best way to cook beef tenderloin in two easy steps: sear first, then roast in the oven to finish it off. You get the best, crispy browned exterior without drying it out. It’s easier than you think!
Next, the red wine sauce. It’s completely optional, so easy and absolutely incredible. You will feel like a gourmet chef serving this beef tenderloin to your guests.
how to trim a beef tenderloin?
SILVERSKIN: First, trim the Silverskin of the tenderloin if it has been left on (the thin, silver membrane that remains tough when cooked — see images below). Run a knife just under the membrane and carefully slice it off.
CHAIN: Your tenderloin may still have the chain attached, which looks like a fatty thin piece of meat running down the length of the tenderloin. You will need to remove this also. Reserve the chain and use it in our Slow Cooker Beef Stew.
HALVE: Cut the tenderloin in half to create two small roasts. Easier to roast than a whole tenderloin, giving you the option of roasting each one with different durations. We roast one medium rare and the other well done, leaving it in the oven longer, pleasing everyone in our family.
how to tie a roast
Use kitchen twine to tie your roast firmly with 1-inch intervals, but not too tight that the beef loses its shape and bulges out. This helps keep them compact while roasting, ensuring they cook evenly.
A whole beef tenderloin has a thinner, tapered end. Tuck it under before tying it up so it’s the same thickness.
how do you cook a whole beef tenderloin in the oven?
Pat tenderloins dry and refrigerate them, uncovered for 12 hours or overnight (if time allows). This is optional and helps get the crispy outer edge when searing. If you don’t have the time, don’t worry! You will still get good results.
Season the surface of the tenderloin with a thin layer of coarse salt and pepper. Salt brings out the beef flavor in the tenderloin.
Sear in a hot skillet or pan over medium-high. Cook, undisturbed, until browned, then turn and repeat until browned all over. So all together, you need to sear it on 3 or 4 sides to get a nice colour all over (about 3 minutes per side).
Slather with a garlic, Dijon butter and transfer to the oven to continue roasting. If you don’t have an oven proof pan, transfer the roasts to a shallow baking dish or pan and continue on from there.
what temperature should you cook a beef tenderloin?
Beef tenderloin roasts at 430°F (or 220°C).
how long do you cook beef tenderloin?
Use a probe thermometer to check the internal temperature.
Rare: 115°F – 120°F.
Medium-rare: 120°F – 125°F.
Medium: 130°F – 135°F.
Keep in mind that the temperature will continue to rise about 5-10 degrees while the meat rests. Let it rest at room temperature for 10-15 minutes before slicing to let the juices redistribute and absorb back into the meat, guaranteeing juicy and tender results.
- 5-6 pounds (2.5-3 kg) beef tenderloin, trimmed
- 3 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, divided
- 4 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard (optional)
RED WINE SAUCE:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
- 1 onion (or brown shallots) finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) dry red wine (Merlot or Pinot Noir)
- 2 cups (500 ml) beef stock or broth
- 1 sprig fresh thyme or rosemary
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Slice tenderloin in half crosswise to create 2 smaller roasts. If roast is untied, fold ends up against the centre/thicker part of each roast and tie with kitchen twine spaced about 1-inch apart. Make sure each halve is even in thickness.
- Chill in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 12 hours (if time allows).
- Let beef stand at room temperature for 1-2 hours before roasting.
- Arrange oven rack to the middle of your oven and preheat to 430°F (220°C).
- Season each beef tenderloin roast all over with salt and pepper. Heat the oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat until hot.
- Sear roasts on all four sides for about 3 minutes each side (about 12 minutes total), turning with tongs until well browned.
- Combine butter, garlic and Dijon (if using) together in a small bowl while roasts are searing. Set one half of the butter mixture aside to use later for the sauce.
- Slather remaining garlic butter over each roast (about 2 tablespoons each).
- Transfer skillet into the hot oven. (Alternatively: Transfer roast to a lightly greased roasting pan or baking dish.)
- Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part registers 120-125°F for medium rare (about 20-25 minutes). *Or cook to your liking: 115-120°F for rare130-135°F for medium(Temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees while the meat rests.)
- Transfer the roast to a carving board and let rest for 15 minutes. Keep the juices in the pan to make the sauce (see below).
- Carve the beef tenderloin into 1/2-inch-thick slices and serve the beef tenderloin with the optional red wine sauce.
RED WINE SAUCE
- Skim fat off the remaining juices in the pan (if any).
- Heat oil in the same pan with remaining pan juices over medium-high heat. Sauté onion for about 3 minutes until lightly browned and softened, scraping up any browned bits left from the beef.
- Add thyme/rosemary and season with pepper. Continue cooking for a further minute or so while stirring often.
- Pour in red wine and cook until reduced by half.
- Add in beef stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by half. Remove the sprig of thyme or rosemary.
- Season with salt to taste and whisk in reserved garlic butter. Pour in any juices left over from the resting steaks just before serving.OPTIONAL FOR A SMOOTH AND SILKY SAUCE: strain sauce through a sieve and discard the onion before serving.
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