Herb Roast Beef Tenderloin
This is my family’s traditional Christmas dinner entrée, although it would also be perfect for a New Year’s Eve gathering. We eat baked stuffed shrimp on Christmas eve then beef on Christmas Day alongside creamy dauphinoise potatoes (similar to au gratin potatoes) and pan-seared green beans. My dad makes this every year, and every year he outdoes himself.
The two-day preparation, while it may seem overwhelming, is the secret to making the meat so juicy and flavorful. On the first day the meat is pierced with a knife and stuffed with cloves of garlic and rolled in a mix of chopped rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper so it can marinate overnight. On the second day the meat is removed from the refrigerator and brought to room temperature so it cooks evenly. It’s then seared and roasted. It’s crucial to let the meat rest so the juices stay inside the tenderloin then it’s served sliced at room temperature.
The roasted tenderloin is great for family gatherings because it serves a lot of people. This is one of those meats that may taste even better as leftovers the next day! I love slicing it thin and turning it into a roast beef sandwich with horseradish mayonnaise on French bread.
20 cloves garlic, divided
1 (4-pound) center-cut beef tenderloin, fat trimmed
¼ cup chopped fresh rosemary
2 tablespoonschopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Finely dice half of the garlic and set aside. Use a small sharp knife to poke incisions into the roast. Rub tenderloin with the garlic and push some of the pieces into into the incisions as well. Rub with rosemary, thyme and black pepper so that it’s fully coated. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a full day.
Remove tenderloin from the refrigerator and rub all over with kosher salt. Wrap again in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an additional four hours. Take the meat out of the refrigerator two hours before cooking. Bringing it to room temperature will allow it to cook evenly.
Heat oven to 550ºF. Heat a large roasting pan in the oven, add olive oil so it is almost smoking and sear the tenderloin in the pan, about five minutes on each side.
Lower the oven to 350ºF and roast for 20 minutes, until the internal temperature of the tenderloin is 125ºF.
Remove the tenderloin from the oven and place it on a rack to cool for at least 15 minutes. (Do not let it cool in the pan. Since the pan is still hot, it will continue to cook the meat). Use a sharp knife to slice into 1/2-inch slices and serve at room temperature.