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Perfect Beef Tenderloin

Photo: Jennifer Causey
Active time 15 mins
Total time 10 hrs
Yield

Serves 16 (serving size: 3 1/2 oz. cooked beef)

Inspired by The Food Lab author and Serious Eats managing culinary director J. Kenji López-Alt, we take a 3-step, 5-ingredient approach to the best holiday roast: First, salt the beef and let it air dry in the fridge overnight to help create a flavorful crust; second, slow roast in a low oven to keep the beef extra juicy from the center to the edge; and third, brush with butter and broil the tenderloin for a few minutes to brown it. Serve the tenderloin with the board dressing or horseradish sauce, or both. (Cook’s note: If you don’t have a top broiler in your oven, heat a grill to high and finish browning the tenderloin for a few minutes on each side on the grill.)

Ingredients

  • 1 (4-lb.) trimmed beef tenderloin, tied with kitchen twine
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 246
  • fat 11.7 g
  • satfat 4.8 g
  • monofat 5.2 g
  • polyfat 0.8 g
  • protein 35 g
  • carbohydrate 0.0 g
  • fiber 0.0 g
  • cholesterol 109 mg
  • iron 4 mg
  • sodium 547 mg
  • calcium 19 mg
  • sugars 0 g

How to Make It

  1. Place beef on a rack set in an aluminum foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper, pressing gently to adhere. Refrigerate, uncovered, 8 to 48 hours.

  2. Remove beef from refrigerator, and let stand at room temperature 1 hour.

  3. Preheat oven to 250°F. Roast beef (keep on rack in pan) on center rack until a thermometer inserted in thickest portion registers 125°F (for rare), 1 hour and 10 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes, turning once.

  4. Remove beef from oven. Adjust oven temperature to broil. Combine butter and oil in a small saucepan, and heat over medium until butter melts.

  5. Brush beef with butter mixture. Broil until browned, turning once, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a carving board spread with Board Dressing, if desired, and let stand 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with Classic Horseradish Cream Sauce, if desired.