Beef tenderloin is one of the most elegant and celebratory dinners. It’s also one of the easiest. The oven really does most of the work for you, turning the tender meat juicy and brown on the outside and rosy pink on the inside. The spicy horseradish sauce can be made a day in advance and compliments the succulent roast beef to perfection.
It’s that easy: The trick to making a perfect tenderloin roast lies in having a $10 instant read thermometer. Just check after roasting for about 25 minutes to see where the temp is and then check again every few minutes until it gets there. This way I’ve become more in tune with the rate that things cook so I’m actually less reliant on thermometers which is, I think, a better way to operate.
- Prep time:
- Total time:
- 6 to 8
- One 3- to 4-pound trimmed beef tenderloin
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish, strained of liquid, plus more to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon salt and a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper
- Thyme and rosemary sprigs for garnish
- On the morning of the day you plan to serve it, sprinkle the entire surface of the beef tenderloin with coarse kosher salt. Place beef on a parchment lined sheet pan and refrigerate uncovered at least 6 hours.
- Remove the roast from the fridge two hours before you plan to serve it. One hour before serving position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F. Rub beef all over with the oil and sprinkle with pepper.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of meat registers 125°F for medium-rare about 30 minutes, depending on the thickness (see, it’s that easy). Remove the roast from oven and rest at least 15 minutes on a cutting board lightly tented with foil. This allows the temperature to rise slightly and also for the juices to settle evenly throughout the roast.
- While the roast cooks, combine all the ingredients for the sauce in a serving bowl and refrigerate.
- Slice the roast into 1-inch-thick slices and arrange on a heated platter. Garnish with the herbs and serve with the horseradish sauce.
In the glass: This is a meal worthy of a splurge on a celebratory bottle of wine, but if you’d like to buy a few bottles and are looking for something less expensive, look for Chateau STE. Michel Cabernet Sauvignon or a red blend of Cabernet, Malbec, Syrah, Merlot and Petit Verdot from Clos de Las Siete. All are delicious.