Follow these simple steps and you'll have a Perfect Beef Tenderloin every time!
It's often intimidating to cook a pricey cut of beef - afterall, you don't want to ruin it, especialy if it's for a special occasion dinner.
Here are some tried and true tips for making the perfect beef tenderloin! The recipe includes a delicious Horseradish Sauce, too!
Beef tenderloin is a special treat at our house because it's so pricey! So when we splurge on this, I sure don't want to burn the tenderloin...here's how to make perfect beef tenderloin every time!
Why you'll use this recipe over and over again!
- Easy - cooking the perfect beef tenderloin is not hard at all, you just need a good, accurate meat thermometer
- Foolproof - this method works every time - no matter what size tenderloin you have!
- Versatile - season your beef tenderloin how you like it - with or without herbs
What you'll need
Other than a few basics - a high-quality beef tenderloin, butter, salt and pepper--you'll need a broiler pan, some foil and a good meat thermometer.
You'll also need a super sharp knife to remove the silverskin (if the butcher can't remove it for you.)
For the Horseradish Sauce, you'll need: sour cream, prepared horseradish, mayonnaise, salt, white pepper
How to make the perfect beef tenderloin
Prep the meat
Bring to room temperature and remove the silverskin. (More on this later.)
Coat with butter and season with salt and pepper (or additional spices and herbs if you prefer)
Baking times and temperatures: Important: READ THIS!
- Place meat on broiler pan (with rack) and bake uncovered at 475ºF for 20-minutes
- Check internal temperature; when the beef reaches ten degrees below desired degree of doneness (rare, medium, etc.), remove from oven and tent with foil.
- A large (4-5 pound) tenderloin will increase 10-degrees when resting
- Slice in 1"-inch increments and serve
The perfect beef tenderloin recipe is not exact because ovens are different and every tenderloin is different. I strongly recommend you check the internal temperature after 20-minutes.
My tenderloin was 5 pounds. After baking it for 20-minutes, it was at 120ºF; so I put it back in and checked in another 10-minutes.
Then I checked again, and it needed another 10-minutes. In all, the total time mine took was 40-minutes, plus 10-minutes for resting.
Tips you need to know beforehand:
Grade of beef
Tenderloins generally come in different grades: Prime, Choice and Select. These grades are based on the degree of marbling:
- "slightly abundant marbling" = Prime
- "modest, moderate and small marbling" = Choice
- "slight marbling" = Select
Prime is the highest-quality, Choice is second and Select is third. Generally, most beef tenderloins you'll find at the store are Choice grade which is just fine. Costco offers Prime grade beef tenderloin often, if not always.
Price and size
Most beef tenderloins are between 4½ - 5 pounds. Prime cuts are the most expensive ranging anywhere from $29.99 - $32.99 per pound. Choice tenderloins usually cost anywhere from $19.99 per pound and up.
Number of servings
If you slice a 5-pound beef tenderloin into 1"-inch slices, you'll have about 14-16 slices; allow 2 slices per person, so a 5-pound tenderloin will feed about 8 people.
Roasting times and temperatures:
The perfect beef tenderloin doesn't take long to roast at all, but you do need to keep a close eye on it...it's all about the temperature!
What is silverskin and how do I remove it?
Silverskin is a thin, tough connective tissue found on the tenderloin. To remove it, simply use a very sharp knife, and gently slide the knife under the tissue.
Often, butcher shops will gladly remove the silverskin for you and re-tie the tenderloin. It's not imperative that you remove the silverskin, but the tenderloin will cook more evenly without it.
Silverskin doesn't dissolve like fat, so if you leave it on, the meat will be a bit tough.
When we made our tenderloin, the high heat from the oven produced a steam that set off the smoke detector, even though I used a broiler pan and the oven was clean.
Start with a clean oven and be prepared to swing a broom over the smoke detector.
The shrinkage of the tenderloin is about 2-3%; not much, so don't worry about that when you're planning your meal.
You'll probably have some beef tenderloin leftover. I made a pseudo-Philly Cheesesteak with our leftovers.
Saute onion and bell pepper in oil; add flour and beef broth; serve over Texas toast with sliced beef tenderloin. Done!
If you follow the basic guidelines of time and temperature, you'll have the perfect beef tenderloin every time!
Never have to be intimidated again by this pricey dish-which is TOTALLY worth every penny...once or twice a year:)
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If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a rating and comment! I love to hear from you! Thank you!
Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce
- Meat thermometer
- Super sharp knife (for removing the silverskin)
- Broiler pan with rack
- Aluminum foil
- 5 pound Beef Tenderloin
- 6 tablespoons butter , salted, softened
- salt and pepper , to taste
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 4½ tablespoons horseradish
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice , fresh
Prep and Cook the Tenderloin
- Bring tenderloin and butter to room temperature5 pound Beef Tenderloin
- Remove silverskin if it's not already removed
- Rub entire tenderloin with softened butter6 tablespoons butter
- Lightly season with salt and peppersalt and pepper
- Place on broiler rack and bake uncovered at 475ºF for 20 minutes
- Check internal temperature for desired doneness; if it's ten degrees below how you want your tenderloin, remove it and cover it in foil; allow to rest 10-minutes before slicing. If it's not quite the internal temperature you're looking for, return tenderloin to oven and continue to check the internal temperature every 10-minutes until it's ten degrees below the desired doneness
Horseradish Sauce Instructions
- In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, mayonnaise, horseradish and lemon; combine well1 cup sour cream, 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 4½ tablespoons horseradish, 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- Taste for salt and peppersalt and pepper
- Place in refrigerator until an hour before the tenderloin is done; serve sauce at room temperature
- For best results, start with a clean oven. The high heat often creates a steam that might set off the smoke detector. Don't ask me how I know this.
- Make the sauce in advance and refrigerate it until about an hour before you serve the meat; let the sauce sit at room temperature while the meat is cooking
- If you want to add additional seasonings or herbs, combine them with the softened butter; slather the mixture over the tenderloin then bake
- Remove the tenderloin when it is about 10 degrees shy of the desired "done" temperature.