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Garlic and Rosemary Beef Tenderloin

This is a beautiful and elegant main dish for any celebration. It especially works as a great Christmas meal. Beef tenderloin is a special cut of meat that is absolutely delicious when prepared properly. My recipe will give you a well seasoned and tender dish that you and your guests will love! The secret is rubbing Kosher salt onto the beef and letting it sit uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours. This process will tenderize your meat, making it the best you have ever had! The tenderloin is simply seasoned, seared, and then roasted for optimum flavor. Serve alongside a yummy garlic sauce or a horseradish sauce to round out this outstanding main attraction.

Bon Appetit!


This is an expensive cut of meat - look for sales during the holidays.

I like to make the sauce(s) a day ahead. Make sure you remove from the refrigerator, and bring to room temperature before serving.

When searing the beef on the stove top, make sure to have your ventilator on as it will get a little smoky.

For the garlic sauce, the garlic may be roasted in advance, squeezed out of its skin, and refrigerated until ready to use.


For the tenderloin, tenderizing time is 24 to 36 hour. Preparation and cook time is 40 minutes.

For the sauce, preparation time is 15 minutes. Total time is 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Click here for a printable version of this recipe.


Ingredients for Tenderloin:

  • 2 to 4 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied if necessary

  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt per pound of meat

  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

  • 1 large garlic clove, coarsely chopped

  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil

Directions for Tenderloin:

Sprinkle the entire surface of the beef tenderloin with Kosher salt, pepper, rosemary , and garlic. Set the beef on a rack, put over a large rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered at least 24 hours and up to 36 hours. Let the beef tenderloin come to room temperature for 1 hour before roasting. Heat the oven to 450 degrees F. Remove as much of the garlic from the tenderloin as possible (garlic will burn).

In a large oven-proof skillet over medium/high heat, heat the oil. Add the meat and brown all over, about 4 minutes per side. If the tenderloin is to large for the skillet, cut the meat in half. Place the skillet on the oven's middle rack and roast until and instant-read thermometer shows 120 degrees (for rare), 10 to 20 minutes. Let meat rest for 10 minutes before carving. Serves 4 to 6 with 2 pounds of meat. Serves 8 to 10 with 4 pounds of meat.


Ingredients for Horseradish Sauce:

  • 7 ounces crème fraiche

  • 1/8 cup white horseradish

  • Grated zest of half an orange

  • Approximately 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • Approximately 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions for Horseradish Sauce:

In a small bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche, the horseradish, and orange zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with tenderloin. Yields 1 cup.


Ingredients for Roasted Garlic Sauce:

  • 2 heads garlic, not peeled

  • 1 slice of firm white bread, torn into pieces

  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil

  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/3 cup water

Directions for Roasted Garlic Sauce:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Remove any loose papery skin from the garlic, leaving head intact. Wrap each garlic head in foil and place in a small baking dish. Roast until garlic has softened, approximately 1 hour. When cool enough to handle, separate garlic into cloves or squeeze the pulp from the cloves all at once. Squeeze the soft garlic from each clove into the bowl. In a food processor with a knife blade attached, puree the garlic, bread, oil, sour cream, lemon juice, and salt until smooth. Add water and process until blended. Serve, or cover and refrigerate up to 1 day and then bring to room temperature. Makes 1 cup. Serve with beef.

(edited by Anna Weicht)

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