Beef tenderloin is a melt-in-your-mouth cut of beef full of flavor, very tender, and extremely juicy. The perfect beef tenderloin roast is the preferred cut of beef for many. And preparing beef tenderloin in an oven covered in butter is our preferred method!
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What Makes a Roast Beef Tenderloin So Delicious
When you want to make an impressive meal without the need to be a remarkably skilled home cook, you won’t do better than choosing a beef tenderloin recipe. Naturally tender and juicy, beef tenderloin is definitely going to give your dinner that wow factor you are looking for, all without requiring a lot of work on your part.
Whether you want something special for the holidays, Christmas dinner, or are planning more intimate dining for two, beef tenderloin and a few sides are the way to go.
Why This Beef Tenderloin Roast Recipe Is the One You Want To Keep On Hand
The thought of ruining an expensive beef tenderloin can be intimidating for many people, but this recipe is basically foolproof. With only four ingredients and a simple reverse-sear cooking method, you won’t find a more straightforward roast beef tenderloin recipe.
That simplicity does not mean you need to give up great flavor. The butter coating in this recipe offers a rich yet subtle flavor that highlights the natural qualities of this most desirable cut.
It’s the best beef tenderloin recipe to make for your family and friends.
How To Select The Best Tenderloin Beef Roast for Your Budget
Tenderloin is not a cheap cut of meat, and it can get prohibitively expensive when you go with prime grade. But even if you can afford the highest quality beef tenderloin in your local store, is it something you should buy?
The main difference between any prime and choice cut is the marbling, or how the intramuscular fat is distributed within the cut. Prime cuts contain more marbling than lower-grade cuts, meaning more tender meat. But since even choice-grade tenderloin is super tender, going for prime doesn’t give you the best bang for your buck.
Instead of buying prime-grade beef, spend a little more on a trimmed center-cut tenderloin that comes without any exterior fat and notoriously difficult-to-remove silverskin. Using center-cut trimmed beef tenderloin will save you time and potential cuts and is worth the extra money.
Where to Buy a Beef Tenderloin and Packaging Notes
Before you heat up the oven, you’ll need to know where to purchase beef tenderloin and packaging types.
- If a beef tenderloin roast is not available at your regular grocery store, you can find one at specialty butcher shops and higher-end grocery stores. Some warehouse stores carry whole beef tenderloins.
- Beef tenderloin roast is also called a filet mignon roast. It is the most tender cut of beef.
- You can buy a tenderloin in the cryo-vac. If so, you will need to break down and trim the tenderloin yourself. There will be some waste if you trim it yourself. You can also buy them trimmed, and ready to go.
- When you buy your already trimmed tenderloin, make sure that it has the silverskin that covers the meat removed. Sometimes the butcher may leave a bit of it still on the roast. If you don’t remove it, the roast will be tough where that silver skin remains.
Ingredients for Roast Beef Tenderloin Recipe
To make this roast beef tenderloin recipe, you’ll need:
- Beef tenderloin center cut is best
- Unsalted butter
- Ground black pepper
This recipe’s instructions are based on a 2 lb center-cut beef tenderloin that will serve about four people. Feel free to increase the size of the tenderloin you use, but you’ll need to experiment with the cooking time.
This recipe has so few flavoring components that it’s best to use high-quality butter and freshly ground peppercorns. Grass-fed butter has a deep buttery flavor that really adds to the taste.
Beef Tenderloin Roast Recipe Notes
I like to use a two-step cooking method when I prepare a tenderloin roast. The primary cooking is done in the oven. The final stage of cooking is simply searing the meat before allowing it to rest before cutting. I like to sear it after it cooks in the oven.
Most often when roasting meat, you first sear and then bake. We are going to reverse that in this recipe. Why? If we do it before, the crust on the outside isn’t crisp and browned. If meat is seared after baking, it looks naturally beautiful and has a nice crisp outside.
It is critical that you use a meat thermometer with this recipe. While cooking a roast is pretty straightforward, and you can use this chart to cook with it. Oven temperatures can vary.
Check the temperature once when you have hit about 75% of the cooking time. This roast is going to be cooked at 300 degrees. If you want your roast rare, it will take between 20 to 25 minutes per pound. For medium-rare, it should take between 30 to 35 minutes per pound.
How To Make This Recipe For Beef Tenderloin Roast
To prepare this beef tenderloin roast recipe:
- Remove the beef from the fridge about an hour before cooking. Allowing the meat to come up to room temperature ensures more even cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Some people like to roast beef tenderloin at 425 degrees F, while others prefer a low temp of 225 degrees F. Using 300 degrees F is a good compromise that still produces a fork-tender roast without taking all afternoon to prepare.
- Check to ensure there is no silverskin on the beef tenderloin, and then rub half the butter all over the beef. Season the meat liberally with salt and fresh ground pepper.
- Place the beef tenderloin roast on the baking rack on a rimmed baking tray.
- Using a meat probe will take all the guesswork out of cooking and is worth considering if you don’t feel confident about timing. If you use a meat probe, set it for the temperature you want and insert it into the meat with the tip in the center. See the next step for temperatures.
- Roast the beef tenderloin until it reaches your preferred temperature: 120 for rare, 130 for medium-rare, and 140 for medium. If you don’t have a meat probe, start checking the temperature with an instant-read thermometer after about 35 minutes for a 2 lbs beef tenderloin.
- Once the beef reaches your desired temperature, remove it from the oven.
- Add the rest of the butter to a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Sear the beef quickly on all sides until it browns.
- Let the meat rest on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving. This helps keep the juices inside the meat.
- When setting the temperature, I always like to cook beef more on the rare side. This way if I need to cook it later to reheat it, I feel I don’t end up with something that is close to shoe leather. This is a very personal choice. Unlike pork, you can eat beef safely when it is rare.
- It is recommended to serve about 1/2 pound of tenderloin per person. This weight should be taken before cooking. If you are serving 10 people you would need five pounds of raw tenderloin. The 1/2 of beef may seem like a very large portion. Some water weight cooks out, and you will end up with less beef after cooking.
How to Long to Cook Beef at 300 Degrees
- Rare 120 to 125 degrees Fahrenheit about 15 to 18 minutes a pound
- Medium Rare 130 to 135 degrees Fahrenheit about 20 minutes a pound
- Well 140 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit about 25 minutes a pound
What To Serve With Your Beef Tenderloin Roast
Condiments to serve with a beef tenderloin are creamy horseradish sauce or a compound butter with garlic and herbs.
How To Store Leftover Beef Tenderloin
Don’t waste even an ounce of that expensive beef tenderloin roast. You can store it in the fridge for up to three days:
- Allow the beef tenderloin to come down to room temperature.
- Transfer the beef tenderloin to a clean airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic.
What’s the Best Way to Reheat a Beef Tenderloin
The best way to reheat this roast beef tenderloin recipe is in the oven:
- Take the beef out of the fridge and cut it into slices. Thinner slices will shorten the reheating time and prevent the meat from drying out.
- Allow it to come up to room temperature. This can take a while, but it is a crucial step, so don’t skip it.
- Preheat the oven to 250°F.
- Lay the sliced tenderloin on a sheet of aluminum foil. Sprinkle beef stock or water on top and wrap the meat loosely with aluminum foil.
- Place the aluminum foil packet directly on the wire oven rack. Put a rimmed baking sheet under the meat to catch any drippings.
- Reheat until the meat is warm, about ten minutes. Let the meat rest in the aluminum foil packet for another five minutes, then serve.
More Beef Recipes
- How to Cook Beef Shanks
- How to Cook Brisket in the Oven
- How to Cook Rib Eye Roast
- How to Cook a Pot Roast in the Oven
- How to Cook a Roast in the Oven
- How to Cook a Striploin Roast
- How to Cook Corned Beef in the Oven
Great Main Dish Recipes
- Baked Salmon
- Country Fried Chicken Recipe
- How to Make Chicken Fried Steak
- Oven Roasted Chicken Leg Quarters
- Pot Roast Recipe Stove Top
- Roast Pork Loin
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Beef Tenderloin Roast
- 2 pounds beef tenderloin center cut is best
- 4 tablespoons butter room temperature, divided use
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Take the beef tenderloin out of the refrigerator about 45 minutes to 1 hour before roasting to bring it to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Spread 2 tablespoons of butter on the roast and season liberally with salt and pepper.
- Place the roast on a rack on top of a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes per pound for rare, or about 30 to 35 minutes per pound for medium rare, checking the internal temperature with a thermometer. When the roast reaches the desired temperature, remove it from the oven.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Place the roast in the skillet and sear all sides until it is evenly browned.
- Remove the roast from the skillet and allow it to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.