Succulent, melt-in-your-mouth beef tenderloin is truly something to behold. I’m not a big steak person, but this is really special, and just thinking about it makes my mouth water.
Cut from the short loin section, this large boneless roast is one of the most tender pieces of beef you can buy. Which also makes it an expensive cut of meat (and one that I reserve exclusively for very special occasions, such as the holidays). Because of that, the pressure is on: you don’t want to screw it up!
Be sure to select a good-quality cut of meat from a reputable butcher or market. You can use this recipe to prepare a whole tenderloin, which can range in size from 4 to 6 lbs. Or, have your butcher cut a smaller tenderloin—I used a 3 lb roast—for fewer people. Ideally choose the thicker butt end, although if you get the tail end, tuck the tail under and tie the roast every 1 to 2 inches; this ensures that the roast is about the same size throughout and will roast evenly. Also, make sure you trim the silverskin off of the tenderloin (before you tie it!), as the silverskin becomes tough when cooked, and makes the tenderloin difficult to slice once roasted.
Because I always make this with a flavorful sauce to serve alongside, there’s no need to do anything much to the tenderloin except season it with salt and pepper and pop it into the oven (in a roasting pan, on a rack) to roast.
Here are the temperatures you are aiming for when roasting:
- 120°F to 125°F for rare
- 125°F to 130°F for medium rare
Once you take the tenderloin out and transfer it to a cutting board, tent it loosely with foil and let it rest for at least 20 or up to 30 minutes before slicing. This gives the meat a chance to re-absorb the liquid inside, keeping it juicy and flavorful.