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How to Roast a Beef Tenderloin

A great option for Christmas, New Year's Eve,or any special occasion meal, beef tenderloin is easier to cook than you might think. In this video, you'll learn how to make a perfectly roasted beef tenderloin your guests will rave about. 

Sarah Breckenridge
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Beef tenderloin is a great option for ChristmasNew Years Eve, an indulgent Sunday dinner, or any special occasion meal, and it’s easier to cook than you might think. In this video, you’ll learn how to make a perfectly roasted beef tenderloin.


Which roast is right for you? View a slideshow of our most meltingly tender beef tenderloin recipes.


First, take a look at your tenderloin and make sure there’s no silverskin left on it—this is a silvery-looking thin membrane that stays tough when it’s cooked. If it hasn’t been trimmed off, you can do it yourself, running your knife just under the membrane. 

Also, if the butcher hasn’t trimmed off the chain, which is a long, skinny, fatty piece of meat that runs the length of the tenderloin, you want to trim that off as well. This is actually great to use in stir-fries or stews, you just don’t want to roast it because it will cook at a different rate than the tenderloin.

Next, cut the tenderloin in half lengthwise. Two smaller roasts are easier to handle than one long one-and this way you can roast one more on the rare side and one more well done, so everyone’s happy.

Next, tie your roast at regular intervals-this keeps the meat in a uniform, compact shape, which will help it cook more evenly. The twine should be firm, but not so tight that the beef bulges out.

The best way to cook beef tenderloin is a two-step process: sear, then roast. That way, the tenderloin gets a nice crusty brown exterior without overcooking inside. Use enough vegetable oil to just cover the skillet, and heat it over medium-high heat.

Pat the tenderloins dry, and then season with salt. Lay them in the heated skillet and let them cook, without disturbing them, until they’re browned. Then turn the tenderloins and sear it on the next side.

You’ll need to turn the tenderloins two or three times to sear all the sides.

Before putting the browned tenderloins in the oven to roast, brush on a mixture of mustard and herbs to impart a little extra flavor.

Put the tenderloins on a rack in a roasting pan, and roast them in a 450°F oven. 

After about 15 minutes, check the internal temperature with a probe thermometer. For a tenderloin that’s medium-rare, look for an internal temperature of 120°F. For medium, the internal temperature should be 125°F.  

When the tenderloin is cooked the way you like it, let it rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before slicing. This will let the juices redistribute so the meat is juicy all over. 


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