I love to cook a beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner and other holiday meals. This big boneless cut is easy to portion, straightforward to prepare, and a breeze to carve. It's tender, delicious, and—tenderloin being the cut from which filet mignon comes—a holiday, special-occasion, or ultimate Sunday dinner indulgence.
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This quick-cooking cut is so tender that you can cut it with a butter knife. With that tenderness, however, comes a slight tradeoff in flavor, so I use a few techniques to bring out and enhance the meat's mild flavor. After generously salting the meat, sear it to give it a deeper flavor and dark crust. Then coat it with a mustard and herb rub before roasting. That's it. Beef tenderloin is so inherently moist, you don't have to bother making a sauce.