Looking for an impressive but simple holiday meal that everyone will adore? Nothing could ever top Garlic Rosemary Beef Tenderloin Roast for a Christmas Dinner, at least that’s my very strong opinion. It’s a delicious tradition in our family that I look forward to every year but because my mother tends to over cook everything (no offense, mom), I’ve always been the one in charge of the roast.
I remember the first time we ever served tenderloin for Christmas. It had been a bit of a rough year and it would be the first one my brother wouldn’t be attending because he was on tour in Afghanistan. My mom wanted to do something special to perk the mood up. As I entered the kitchen that day, she looked up at me flustered. She had just bought 2 5-pound tenderloins, which had to cost a small fortune, and was standing there just staring at them. She looked up at me and said, “Now what? How do you cook these?” I responded, “I don’t know! I’ve only cooked filets!” At that point my uncle, a former restauranteur, pulls me aside and sternly says, “You better handle this one kid.” The pressure was on as I nervously took on the task. Thankfully, it all turned out well and now with years of practice, I can roast a beef tenderloin with my eyes closed.
Garlic Rosemary Beef Tenderloin Roast
A classic choice for holiday dinners, beef tenderloin roast is an elegant meal that is surprisingly easy to make. Being the most expensive cut of beef, a tenderloin can be intimidating to say the least! But I will let you in on a secret, if you put your trust in a thermometer, you WILL NOT FAIL. My favorite way to serve this tempting cut of beef is with a garlic and rosemary crust and a red wine shallot reduction (which is completely optional but delicious). I’m excited to share with you the recipe that I serve on Christmas day and hope you will enjoy it as much as I do. Here’s how the story goes…
Other than using a thermometer to tell you when the tenderloin is done, the second most important step is tying the tenderloin in sections. Most of the time, when you purchase a tenderloin, at least one end will be smaller than the rest. Tuck this end under so it’s the same thickness as the rest of the roast and tie it secure with cooking twine. Continue to tie the roast in 3-inch intervals to create a roast that is consistent in shape. This will make sure the roast is cooked evenly. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step. I have and you end up with a roast that is well done with only a few slices that are cooked to a proper medium rare. Then you have to pick which of your family members you like best to receive the good slices. This never ends well so tie your roast up! Next, create a mixture of savory garlic, aromatic rosemary, and olive oil and rub this paste over the entire roast. Allow to rest for an hour at room temperature then season liberally with salt and pepper.
Place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan (it’s fine if you don’t have a rack but it helps with even cooking) and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, insert a food grade thermometer (I really like the Thermapen) in the center of the roast making sure that the probe is in the middle of the meat. If it says 120°F to 125°F remove the roast. If not, cook it at 5 minute intervals until it reaches an internal temp of 120°F for medium-rare. Once finished, allow the roast to rest 10 to 15 minutes lightly covered with foil.
While the roast is resting, you can create a shallot red wine sauce by sautéing shallots and reducing them in a mixture of red wine, beef stock, and any pan drippings. This step can also be done a day in advance and reheated just before serving.
Transfer the roast to a cutting board, slice, and serve. Usually, a big bowl of buttery mashed potatoes (or everyone’s favorite parmesan scalloped potato stacks) and sauteed green beans also find their way on to the table. And if you are lucky enough to have leftovers, a slice of this tender steak with a dollop of horseradish on a soft roll is an amazing thing! Hope you enjoy our family’s Garlic and Rosemary Beef Tenderloin Roast and have a wonderful holiday!
Speaking of holidays, the “Effortless Entertaining Cookbook” makes a great gift! Just putting that out there.
A classic choice for holiday dinners, this Garlic Rosemary Beef Tenderloin Roast is an elegantly delicious meal that is surprisingly easy to make.
beef tenderloin roast
- 3 1/2 to 4 pound beef tenderloin roast, trimmed
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
red wine shallot reduction
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1 cup beef stock
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper
you will need
- Cooking twine
- Roasting pan with a rack or a sided cookie sheet
- With paper towels, pat the tenderloin dry. Fold the tapered ends of the tenderloin under itself then secure tightly with cooking twine. Continue to tightly tie the tenderloin in sections so it forms a consecutive shape. This will guarantee even cooking.
- In a bowl, combine garlic, rosemary, and oil and mix while slightly crushing the garlic to form a light paste. Evenly coat the tenderloin with this mixture and allow sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. Evenly season the tenderloin with salt and pepper and place on a roasting rack in a roasting pan. Alternatively, using a sided baking sheet without a roasting rack would work but may cause a faster cooking time and uneven cooking. Roast for 20 minutes then insert a food-grade thermometer into the center of the tenderloin. Remove the roast at 120°F or continue to cook, checking every 5 minutes until temperature reaches 120°F for medium-rare. Transfer the roast to a cutting board and loosely cover with foil. Allow to rest 10 to 15 minutes.
- While the tenderloin is roasting, create a red wine shallot reduction, if desired. In a saucepan, heat oil over medium-low heat and sauté shallots with a pinch of salt until tender, about 3 minutes. Add wine, beef stock, and bay leaf and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a medium simmer and simmer until mixture has reduced by half, about 15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and whisk in butter, mustard, and any pan or cutting board drippings. Season with salt and pepper to taste. This can be made a day in advance, stored in the refrigerator, and reheated before serving.
- Slice the tenderloin and serve with the red wine shallot reduction on the side.
by Meredith Steele