Tenderloin of beef is a perfect go-to roast for special occasions. It is very easy to prepare, takes little time to roast, and carves beautifully. Yes, it is expensive, but when reserved for special occasions, is so worth it.
The tenderloin is the most tender of cuts. This muscle runs under the ribs next to the backbone of beef, and gets very little use, so remains tender. Even in an older animal who’s meat might be only be used for minced or stew, we try to reserve the tenderloin, which has amazing flavour, but is still tender. Unfortunately on-the-hoof aged tenderloin is hard to get (unless you raise beef).
The basic principal is that the more exercise a muscle gets, the more flavourful it is. So although very tender, the tenderloin benefits when treated to a rub or paste before roasting. Buy a roast that has had its fat and silver skin removed. It will have a long tip at one end, which you’ll be tying back to create a uniformly shaped roast.
3½ – 4# beef tenderloin
3 oz butter (room temperature)
½ cup of mixed, well-chopped, fresh herbs ~ rosemary, flat parsley, thyme, sage
2 t kosher salt
1 t freshly cracked pepper
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped or pressed
Take the roast out of the fridge to rest 1 hour before it needs to be in the oven, let it sit unwrapped and on a rack in a roasting pan. Tie back the long skinny end back on to the roast itself, creating a uniformly shaped roast.
In a small bowl, or in a small processor, mix the butter with the herbs, salt, pepper, and garlic.
Using your hands, smear this all over the top of the roast. Note: this can be done earlier in the day. Just pop the roast back into the fridge uncovered when done, ready to be pulled out later in the day for roasting.
Preheat the oven to 450°.
After having let the roast sit out at room temperature for an hour, put into the preheated oven.
Roast for 15 minutes.
Reduce the heat to 400°.
Continue cooking the roast until 130°-135° another 40 minutes or so.
Remove the roast from the oven, and let rest, tented with foil, for 15-20 minutes before serving. During this time, it will finish its cooking process.
Slice into ½“ pieces and arrange on a platter or board.
Serve with roasted potatoes, which can be cooked alongside if desired.