Let’s talk about your Christmas beef!
I might have the best beef tenderloin recipe right here for your holidays. Because!
For years, and I’m talking YEARS, my grandma would make a tenderloin on Christmas day. And ever since she passed away, my mom has been making one too. It’s so delicious and such a decadent treat that we really only have for a holiday meal.
I mean, never did I ever think that I would be craving beef on a Monday morning but I guess there is a first time for everything.
P.S. Just seeing this recipe makes me want to shout out “the roast beast!” because we have already watched the Grinch probably 56 times and it’s only December 11. Yep yep. I can recite the entire movie to you right now. I swear.
Anywhoooo. (< see what I did there?)
The thing was that I had never prepared a beef tenderloin before by myself and I was adamant to learn how. I took this method from serious eats and ran with it. I made three filets in three months to test the method and make sure I could get it down pat. I was so sure that my first attempt would fail or just any attempt would fail, because it’s such an expensive cut of meat and I was certain I’d screw it up.
But! I’m happy to report that this is pretty much foolproof. I absolutely LOVE this method of roasting the tenderloin. It’s so simple and flavorful and tender. It’s just delicious and worthy of the center of your holiday table.
For extra flavor, I threw together a horseradish sauce because let’s just say that we ate so much filet throughout this testing process in the fall, we needed something extra. Extra extra flavor, you know? The brown-ish butter (oh yeah, there is some brown butter here. eeeeep!) and herbs were fantastic, but if you take this filet and make a little sandwich with it and throw some of the horseradish on top? Oh Mylanta. Fantastic.
And to go with THAT, I also made some caramelized onions. Like allowed them to caramelized the entire time that the beef was cooking, so… yes. Super slowly caramelized onions that are out.of.this.world.
So now that we’ve talked about this whole plate of flavor, I’d LOVE to hear what you eat on Christmas Eve or Christmas day and what your traditions are? Aside from the cookies, of course. Tell me all the things!
Herb and Butter Roasted Beef Tenderloin
- 1 (3 pound) trimmed beef tenderloin
- 1 to 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 bunch of fresh sage
- 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, for melting
caramelized onions with thyme
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 sweet onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 lemon, juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
The key to a delicious beef tenderloin is to start a day or two before! Ideally you want to tie the filet up with kitchen twine so it cooks evenly. You can do this with the method of using butcher’s knots – there is a great tutorial right here.
Place the tenderloin on a wire rack that’s sitting on a baking sheet. Season the meat liberally with the salt and the pepper. Place the sheet in the fridge and let the tenderloin sit uncovered overnight.
Be sure to pull the beef from the fridge at least an hour or so BEFORE you want to starting roasting it.
Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. I like to take the fresh herbs and stick them right against the beef inside the kitchen twine. No rhyme or reason – just tuck them all over the beef!
Place the beef (still on the baking sheet or on a new one) on the center rack in the oven and roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (for a 3-pound tenderloin) or until the internal temperature reaches 120 to 125 degrees F on your meat thermometer. Remove the beef and set it aside for 10 minutes.
During those 10 minutes, place the butter in a saucepan and let it melt. If it verrrry slightly begins to brown, I let it, but I don’t let it brown too much because it’s going to be under the broiler!
Adjust the oven rack so it’s about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Spoon some of the melted butter oven the roast and place it under the broiler. You want to turn the beef every 30 seconds (and I also spoon more butter on it!) until the outsides are golden and browned. You only want to do this for about 2 to 3 minutes total! Remove the beef from the oven and drizzle with more melted butter. Let the beef rest for another 10 minutes or so before slicing and serving with the caramelized onions and horseradish.
caramelized onions with thyme
Give yourself about an hour to do this! Heat a skillet over low heat and add the butter. Add the onions and salt and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions caramelize and turn golden, about 45 to 60 minutes. They will be close to finished by then, but you can continue to caramelize for a few hours as long as you stir often. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn and keep the heat low! Stir in the thyme after 45 minutes.
Whisk all ingredients together (aside from about 1 tablespoon of chives for topping) and let sit in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes. Top with fresh chives and serve!
Sandwich it with some fondue too. For real!