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seriously BEST EVER roasted beef tenderloin

June 21, 2011

My nightmare would be working in the test kitchen at Cooks’ Illustrated.  I love practically every recipe that they publish or show on their PBS show and I love that each one is perfect because it has been tested 30-40 times.

You read that right — they remake each dish more than 30 times to be sure that the measurements are correct, the right ingredients are used, and the cooking times and methods recommended are exact.  But seriously people… I love cooking but I get bored if we have green beans two days in a row.

Though their repeat testing would kill me, I am super grateful that they are all up in Boston somewhere testing away.  Because its that determination that produces killer recipes like the one for the PERFECT beef tenderloin.

Take a 6-7 lb. tenderloin and slice about 3-4 inches off of each ends.  Save the ends for a future use (like grinding for burgers — YUM).

Tie the tenderloin at two-inch intervals so it is an even diameter along the whole roast.  Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the kosher salt over the whole tenderloin, cover with saran wrap and let sit on your counter for an hour.

In a small bowl, mix the pepper, garlic, and remaining salt with 4 tablespoons salted butter.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels and rub the tenderloin with the butter mixture.  Really cover it here.  There’s nothing to be ashamed about.  Except maybe my cholesterol.  Worries for another day….

Put the tenderloin on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in the preheated 300 degree F oven.  After about 20 minutes, flip tenderloin.

While the meat is cooking, finely chop the shallots and garlic.  Mix with softened butter, salt, pepper and parsley.  Set aside until the roast has come out of the oven.

Roast the tenderloin until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 135-140 degrees F, about 55 to 60 minutes.  The tenderloin will continue to cook after removing it from the oven, so take it out about 10 degrees rarer than you want to serve it.

Transfer roast to cutting board and spread 2 tablespoons shallot-parsley butter evenly over top of roast; let rest about 10 minutes. Remove twine and cut meat crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin

1 7-lb. beef tenderloin
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tablespoons minced garlic
4 tablespoons butter, softened

Trim tenderloin of all fat and silver skin and cut each end off about 3-4” to make it the same diameter from end to end.  Reserve ends for future use.

Tie the tenderloin crosswise at 2-inch intervals using cotton twine.  Sprinkle roast evenly with 2 teaspoons of salt, cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

In a small bowl, mix the pepper, garlic, and remaining salt with 4 tablespoons salted butter.  Pat the meat dry with paper towels and rub the tenderloin with the butter mixture.

Put the tenderloin on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet in the preheated 300 degree F oven.  After about 20 minutes, flip tenderloin.  Roast until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 135-140 degrees F, about 55 to 60 minutes.  The tenderloin will continue to cook after removing it from the oven, so take it out about10 degrees rarer than you want to serve it.

Transfer roast to cutting board and spread 2 tablespoons shallot-parsley butter evenly over top of roast; let rest about 10 minutes. Remove twine and cut meat crosswise into ½-inch-thick slices.

Shallot and Parsley Butter

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
½ teaspoon table salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Combine all ingredients in medium bowl.

17 Comments leave one →
  1. June 21, 2011 11:04 pm

    Good lord, Katie. That looks amazing! Poor Andrew, he is not marrying a cook :) I could probably tackle the mojito recipe below, though!

  2. Jennifer permalink
    June 22, 2011 9:03 pm

    This meat melts like butter in your mouth. Honestly I havent ever had a better tenderloin in a restaurant.

  3. Telisa permalink
    May 26, 2013 6:58 pm

    Can’t believe how simple this was and taste so So good

  4. Kathleen Cooper permalink
    July 28, 2013 11:57 pm

    Katie, made 2 of these today …one to take to friends who just had triplets….she needs protein …. and the other for dinner with family. Amazingly fabulous! Had some of the finishing butter left and will freeze it to use on the burgers from the other portion of the tenderloins! Thanks …. Can’t wait to eat the leftovers!

  5. Iley permalink
    December 18, 2013 9:51 pm

    How many will this serve?

  6. Amy permalink
    December 23, 2013 6:43 pm

    Hi! I have made this before as I had seen a video of it and it’s been an absolute hit!! However, I keep forgetting to write down about how long it ends up taking total to prepare and cut the beef so I can time it for Christmas dinner right… to this end… I am cooking 2 6 lb tenderloins (we have 10 adults and 14 children!) and the butcher at store where I bought the beef said I should figure 20 minutes PER POUND at 300 degrees?? Can you ensure me that when you cooked your 7 lb tenderloin it only took about an hour (plus the 20 minutes of searing?) THANKS FOR ANY ADVICE!!! If I want to serve dinner between 3:45 and 4pm, I have to know when to start the beef!! Many thanks- AMy

    • December 23, 2013 8:03 pm

      Don’t cook it 20 min per pound or it will be overcooked!! In order to give it a few minutes to rest, I would start the entire process at 2 PM. This gives you time to sear it and to cook it in the oven.

  7. Sharon permalink
    December 26, 2013 3:20 pm

    Katie I looked up a lot of recipes and yours seemed yummy, easy and just what I was looking for.I cooked a 7lb tenderloin, 20 mins on 300 and flipped it, started checking temp’s in 50 mins from there until it was 130 which was about 60 mins. Took it out flipped it and covered it in the butter sauce and let it rest 10 mins. I cannot tell you this was hands down the BEST tenderloin I have ever made. I made it for Christmas dinner and this morning my husband and I had it with eggs, just full of flavor and melts in your mouth. I have printed out your recipe and plan to teach my newly married daughter your secret to a perfect tenderloin. I love the name of your website and cant wait to use your recipes in the future! Thanks so much! YUM!

  8. Jeanne Dahl permalink
    February 11, 2014 9:23 am

    So the shallot and garlic are not cooked?

    • February 11, 2014 7:19 pm

      Hi Jeanne,
      Yes, the shallots and garlic in the butter mixture are not cooked. They should be chopped very finely and they will soften as they sit on the hot meat.
      Hope you enjoy!
      Katie

  9. Dottie permalink
    February 11, 2014 3:28 pm

    It sounds delicious but I am questioning the temp. Most rare to med rare call for roasting to 120-125. Please explain the 135-140 you propose. I want it to be med rare

    • February 11, 2014 7:21 pm

      Hi Dottie,
      I like to serve beef tenderloin at medium temperature, not medium-rare. But if you prefer medium-rare, then definitely pull it out when it hits 125 degrees!
      Katie

  10. Stephanie permalink
    April 3, 2014 2:57 pm

    I’m making the recipe this Saturday, can’t wait. A few questions though, if I want to serve the roast at medium rare (130 – 135), I’m assuming I should pull it out at around 120 – 125 because it will cook for another 10 degrees while sitting? Also, our butcher recommended searing it on the stove top first (or covered in the oven at a higher temp for 20 minutes first). Thoughts? Sorry for all the questions, I’m not good at this :)

    • April 3, 2014 3:05 pm

      Hi Stephanie! I wouldn’t pull it out at less than 125 — it will gain up to 10 degrees while resting and should be perfectly medium rare. Also, you can definitely sear it on the stovetop first, but I find that it creates a nice crust and holds the moisture in well by just cooking it in the oven. If you sear it on the stovetop, be sure not to do it for too long or the meat won’t be pink / red all the way to the edges. Hope it turns out well!

  11. Karen Lofland permalink
    June 6, 2014 1:24 pm

    In one post I see you mention searing the meat, but I don’t recall the instructions saying to sear the meat. I am making this Saturday night and I wanted to confirm if I should sear or not. Also, if all goes well on Saturday, I am making this for 60 people for my Mother’s 75th B-day party. Can I cook several in the oven at the same time? If so, will I need to cook longer? Thank you.

    • June 7, 2014 6:02 pm

      You do not sear the tenderloin in this recipe. Also, you could cook more than one in oven at once, but it will take a few minutes longer. Just be sure to use a meat thermometer so that it does not overcook.

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