Few cuts of beef have the ability to inspire anxiety for the cook like beef tenderloin. It begins the moment you take out a small mortgage paying for it at the grocery store. All the way home you wonder if it is worth what you just paid for it considering you may not have the skill needed to cook it to the medium rare doneness most people desire. Once at home, when the tenderloin is stashed away in the refrigerator, it’s likely your anxiety is tucked right there right along side it. On you go to other tasks.
Out they return the moment you go to prepare your tenderloin for roasting. Yes, sipping on a glass of wine does help take the nervous edge away, but I think my suggestions will do a better job to calm any worries you may have.
Most importantly, invest in an instant reading food thermometer. If there ever was a confidence builder this little gadget is it. Available at most kitchen stores, they register the temperature of what you’re cooking when you poke it in taking the mystery and anxiety of whether you’ve cooked whatever it is you’re cooking to the desired doneness.
I prefer beef tenderloin medium rare and that means cooking the beef to approximately 130 to 135 degrees F. when inserted in the thickest part of the meat. The interior of the beef will still increase in temperature about 5 degrees F. after it is removed from the oven. Remember to allow time for the beef to “rest” at least 15 minutes after you remove it from the oven and before you slice it as this will keep the juices in the meat and not running out onto the cutting board when you slice it.
- Horseradish Sauce:
- 1-1/2 cups sour cream or light sour cream
- ⅓ cup prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground black pepper
- For the Beef:
- 3 lb center cut beef tenderloin
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried
- For the Horseradish Sauce, stir together sour cream, horseradish and parsley; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until using.
- Remove beef from the refrigerator 20-30 minutes prior to roasting. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Stir together rosemary and thyme.
- Sprinkle beef all over with desired amount of salt and pepper. Spread butter evenly over beef then sprinkle with rosemary thyme mixture pressing to adhere (beef can be made ahead to this point and refrigerated several hours before roasting. Remove beef from refrigerator 20-30 minutes before roasting).
- Put beef on a rack and in a roasting pan or directly in the pan. Roast for 15 minutes then turn heat down to 375 degrees F. and roast until an instant reading food thermometer inserted in the thickest part of meat reads 130 to 135 degrees F. for medium rare, about 35 minutes.
- Remove beef from oven; cover lightly with foil and allow "resting" in a warm place 15 minutes.
- Slice beef and serve with Horseradish Sauce.