If you’re looking for a super tender cut of beef to roast up for a special occasion like Christmas dinner or for the family to enjoy as a Sunday roast, then you’ll definitely want to try this Roasted Beef Tenderloin! We sear this tenderloin in a cast iron skillet and finish it off in the oven, complete with roasted garlic cloves and a browned butter drizzle.
Beef tenderloin is undoubtedly one of the most fork-tender, melt-in-your-mouth cuts of meat out there. While it’s certainly pricey, it can definitely feed a crowd if you serve it with candied yams, delicious veggie sides, Homemade Dinner Rolls, or any of your holiday favorites!
Leftovers can easily be stored and used to make additional weekday lunches and dinner, although this cut of meat is so juicy and flavorful with the browned garlic butter drizzle that I seriously doubt you will have any leftovers to work with!
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What is Beef Tenderloin?
Beef tenderloin is a muscle that extends along the rear portion of the spine of a cow. It gets little exercise, hence its signature tenderness. It also does not have a lot of fat or marbling throughout it, and is typically considered a less flavorful cut of meat. Where it lacks in flavor, it makes up for in its silky texture and unmatched tenderness. It is also a lean cut of meat, for those looking for a more health-friendly cut of beef.
Beef tenderloin is sold as a long, tapering cut of meat. It is fat at one end (the sirloin end) and slims down to a point. A butcher will typically trim the tenderloin of its attached small muscle, the psoas minor. Little prepwork is needed to cook this delicious tenderloin.
If the tenderloin has not already been tied, I would recommend cutting the tenderloin in half for this skillet recipe. Flip one of the pieces so that the two wider ends are facing out and the meat forms an overlapped packet of fairly even thickness. Tie it with baker’s twine. this will help it to cook most evenly.
What Ingredients do I need for this Beef Tenderloin Recipe?
- Beef tenderloin 4-5 pounds
- canola oil
- salted butter
- coarse sea salt and whole black peppercorns
- whole garlic cloves
How to Roast a Beef Tenderloin Perfectly
Prepare/Sear the Beef Tenderloin
Cut the tenderloin into two pieces, if needed, so that it will fit into a cast iron or oven-safe skillet. Tuck the long skinny end under itself to form a roast that is uniform in thickness. Tie with kitchen twine to secure. Heat canola oil in a cast iron skillet, then add the roast and sear on all sides until well browned.
Coat the Beef Tenderloin with Butter and Garlic
Brush softened butter and minced garlic over the roast. Add whole cloves to the roasting pan. Bake until the beef roast reaches desired internal temperature, then remove from oven and tent with tin foil.
Prepare Browned Butter Sauce
Heat butter and garlic in a saute pan until the butter turns golden brown and the garlic is toasted. Remove from the heat immediately so the garlic and butter do not burn. Pour the deliciousness over the sliced roast.
Variations and Substitutions
- Trim your tenderloin yourself with a sharp knife or ask your local butcher to trim it for you. The idea is to get rid of excess fat prior to cooking.
- Cook beef tenderloin how you enjoy it the most – rare, medium-rare, or well-done. I’ve included internal temperatures in the FAQ section below as a helpful guideline.
- You can use minced garlic instead of whole garlic cloves but be careful that the minced garlic doesn’t burn while cooking otherwise your meat will absorb that burnt taste.
- Add any fresh or dried herbs with the butter drizzle if you like. Personally, I think that this meat is so naturally flavorful that I usually just opt for basic seasoning using salt and pepper to allow the meat flavor to shine through.
Tips For Making Roasted Beef Tenderloin
- I use canola oil or vegetable oil whenever I’m searing this cut of meat as these oils have higher smoking points than others which is what you need for getting the oil hot for a good sear. You could also use olive oil always it does tend to have more of a distinct taste.
- Don’t be heavy-handed with the minced garlic if you opt to add it to the top of your tenderloin. If you add too much, it’s most likely going to burn, which doesn’t taste great! The whole cloves of garlic, on the other hand, roast up beautifully.
- Do not skip the step of browning the butter and the minced garlic – it makes an incredible drizzle for your meat that you won’t want to miss out on.
- Add any fresh or dried herbs with the butter drizzle if you like. Personally, I think that this meat is so naturally flavorful that I usually just opt for basic seasoning using salt and black pepper to allow the meat flavor to shine through.
- Pre-trimmed tenderloin can be bought at the meat/butchery section of most local grocery stores. If you have a local butcher then ask them to tie up the tenderloin for you.
Garlic Roasted Beef tenderloin can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days or you can freeze the meat for up to 1 month.
Since beef tenderloin is naturally a very tender cut of beef, I think it lends itself beautifully to being roasted to medium-rare.
Obviously, this is personal preference, so if you’re looking to cook your meat to medium or well done, then you should make sure that you stick to these listed internal temperatures as a good guideline using a meat thermometer:
– For medium-rare meat, you’ll need to reach an internal temperature of about 130°F
– For medium meat, you’ll need to reach an internal temperature of about 135°F
– For medium-well meat, you’ll need to reach an internal temperature of 140°F
– For well-done meat, you’ll need to reach an internal temperature of 150°F
Side dishes are an easy and affordable way to bulk up a meal when serving a hungry crowd. Here are some tasty side dish ideas to serve with your roasted beef tenderloin:
An assortment of roasted veggies such as potato wedges, carrots, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli would all go very well with this beef tenderloin.
– Creamy mashed potatoes
– Homemade dinner rolls
– Yorkshire pudding with gravy
– Biscuits and gravy or sauce (a creamy horseradish sauce would be delicious!)
– Green bean casserole or sweet potato casserole
– Potato gratin
Great question! Don’t chuck any tenderloin scraps away as you can easily incorporate this rich and flavorful meat into other meals in the days that follow. Consider using your leftovers or scraps for the following recipes:
– Steak stir fry
– Grilled cheesesteak sandwiches
– One-pan beef and broccoli
– Beef tortillas or tacos
Roasted Beef Tenderloin
- 4 pounds Beef tenderloin 4-5 pounds
- 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
- ½ cup salted butter divided
- 1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
- 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
- 5 cloves garlic minced (plus whole cloves for roasting, if desired)
- Fresh herbs for garnish optional
- Prepare beef tenderloin by trimming (if it didn’t come trimmed). Set out tenderloin 1-2 hours before cooking so that it can come to room temperature.
- Cut the tenderloin into two pieces, if needed, so that it will fit into a cast iron or oven-safe skillet. Tuck the long skinny end under itself to form a roast that is uniform in thickness. Tie with kitchen twine to secure.
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Coat tenderloin with coarse sea salt and cracked black peppercorns. The exact amount will vary, but sprinkle liberally and coat all sides of the tenderloin.
- In a large skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat until oil begins to smoke. Place the tenderloin into the skillet and sear. Brown on each side for 3-4 minutes.
- Spread 4 tablespoons of butter over the top and sides of the browned tenderloin. Add whole garlic cloves to the pan around the meat. Add a teaspoon of minced garlic to the top of the meat, if desired.
- Place in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the center of the meat registers 120-125°F (for medium rare meat).
- Remove from the oven and tent with aluminum foil for 10 minutes (the juices will redistribute and the temperature should continue to rise to about 130-135°F.
- Heat the remaining ¼ cup of butter and minced garlic over medium heat until the butter begins to turn golden brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
- Remove the twine from the tenderloin and slice into ¾” sections. Drizzle with the garlic browned butter.
- Garnish with a bit of freshly chopped parsley if desired. Serve immediately.
- Beef tenderloin is the most tender, melt-in-your-mouth cut of meat out there. It is pricey and wonderful for a special occasion.
- Use canola oil or vegetable oil for searing as it has a higher smoke and it’s important to have the oil nice and hot for a good sear.
- Using minced garlic on the top of the roast will likely burn (and burnt garlic isn’t delicious) so use sparingly. The whole cloves of garlic, however, roast up into buttery smooth deliciousness.
- Browning the butter and minced garlic together make the most delicious drizzle for this meat. Do not skip!
- You can add any herbs you’d like to the butter topping on the meat. Dried or fresh herbs will work, though I really like to use just salt and pepper and let the meat shine.
- I got my tenderloin from Costco and it came pre-trimmed. You can also ask a butcher to tie up the tenderloin.