Make a slow roasted beef tenderloin with creamy mushroom sauce for your next holiday meal or special occasion. An elegant meal that's sure to impress, this beef tenderloin is perfectly cooked and tender, with a flavorful mushroom sauce.
Slow roasted beef tenderloin is an outstanding meal that's sure to impress your guests and family. I've also included a recipe for creamy mushroom sauce that brings this tenderloin recipe to the next level - it is rich, flavorful, and an absolute must.
Slow roasted in the oven until tender and pink on the inside, you'll reverse sear your tenderloin using the broiler to make a crunchy, browned crust. The prep work involved is well worth the effort!
While beef tenderloin is an expensive cut of meat, it's the perfect main course for celebrating holidays and special occasions. Serve an elegant beef tenderloin at your next holiday meal, like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter. It's an excellent alternative to the traditional turkey or ham.
Ingredients and substitutions
For this recipe, you'll need:
- Whole beef tenderloin
- Butcher's twine (Amazon)
A whole beef tenderloin includes three parts:
The butt end, which is the thickest end, usually has a "wing" piece to one side.
The center cut is the most tender part of a beef tenderloin. This is what you'd slice up to make filet mignon. Left whole, this cut is also called a chateaubriand or filet mignon roast.
The tip end is the thin, tapered end of your tenderloin. We will be folding the tip end in on itself to create a more uniform shape and size for roasting.
For this recipe, you'll be looking for a whole beef tenderloin that contains all three parts - not just a chateaubriand.
Your beef tenderloin will need some prep before it's ready to go in the oven. This is the most time consuming (and important!) part. I promise it is worth the effort.
- First, trim off any excess fat, silver skin, and the chain muscle of your tenderloin.
- Next, wrap the thin tail end underneath, shaping your tenderloin to be more even in size.
- Wrap your tenderloin in butcher twine, using the twine to help make the tenderloin as even in size as possible.
- Generously salt and pepper your tenderloin.
- Store your prepared tenderloin for 24-48 hours on a baking sheet in the refrigerator, uncovered. Seasoning and resting deepens the flavor your meat. Drying the outside of your meat also translates into a nice brown crust when roasted.
Are you a visual person? Here are a few videos that may help:
- Get Out and Grill!: How to prep a whole beef tenderloin or The Virtual Weber Bullet: Preparing a beef tenderloin
- Martha Stewart: Tying Beef Tenderloin
Tips and tricks
Meat thermometer - My most important tip for this recipe is to use a meat thermometer to test your tenderloin for doneness.
Room temperature - Bring your tenderloin to room temperature before placing it in the oven. A cold tenderloin will take significantly longer to cook through and will cook unevenly (the outside will be done long before the center).
Use the broiler - Since this cut of meat is so large, it can be difficult to sear on the stove top. Using the broiler is a great alternative to pan searing.
Reduce the sauce - The mushroom sauce doesn't contain any thickening agents, like flour or cornstarch, and will look quite thin. Once you've added your heavy cream, you'll reduce the sauce for several minutes to help it thicken.
Don't skip the parmesan - The addition of parmesan cheese not only adds a savory, salty flavor, but also helps to thicken the sauce slightly.
Allow the sauce to rest - A few minutes off the heat will also help your sauce thicken even more.
Frequently asked questions
Roasting will take anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the size, shape, and thickness of your tenderloin. I recommend using a meat thermometer for perfect results. Amazon - ThermoPro Digital Thermometer with Stainless Steel Probe
Roast your tenderloin until the internal temperature reaches 5 degrees below desired doneness. The temperature will continue to rise out of the oven.
- Rare: 125 degrees (remove at 120 degrees)
- Medium-rare: 135 degrees (remove at 130 degrees)
- Medium: 145 degrees (remove at 140 degrees)
- Medium-well: 150 degrees (remove at 145 degrees)
Use a meat thermometer. Since beef tenderloin is an expensive cut of meat, you'll want to ensure it's not overcooked in the oven. I highly recommend investing in a meat thermometer to keep on hand for recipes like this one. Relying on time alone can be risky, since individual oven temperature and meat size and shape can vary from person to person.
Amazon - ThermoPro Digital Thermometer with Stainless Steel Probe
Leftover beef tenderloin can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container.
If your beef tenderloin has been sliced into thick, one inch or larger steaks - bring your steaks to room temperature for about 30 minutes. Then, give them a quick sear in a preheated skillet with a little oil, about 1 minute on each side.
Leftover tenderloin can also be cubed and tossed into a beef stroganoff, or thinly sliced to make a steak sandwich with sauteed onions and melted cheese.
I'd recommend potatoes (baked or mashed) and a lighter vegetable, like asparagus. Here are a few side dish ideas:
- Creamy mashed potatoes
- Roasted potatoes and asparagus
- Strawberry walnut salad
- Kale cranberry salad
- Perfect baked potatoes
- Grilled broccolini
- Gruyere potatoes au gratin
Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin
- 4-5 pound whole beef tenderloin
- butcher's twine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
Creamy mushroom sauce
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ cup beef broth
- 1 cup heavy cream
- ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon pepper
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Beef tenderloin: 24-48 hours in advance
- Line a half baking sheet with foil and top with an oven-safe cooling rack. Set aside.
- Trim off excess fat, silver skin, and the chain muscle of your beef tenderloin. Wrap the thin tail end underneath itself to make tenderloin even in size across. Wrap tenderloin in butchers twine, in 1 to 2 inch segments, using the butchers twine to make the tenderloin as even in size as possible. (If needed, see my section above titled "Preparation" for video tutorials on prepping and tying a beef tenderloin)
- Generously season your tenderloin all over with salt and pepper. Place onto prepared baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered for 24-48 hours. Doing this deeply seasons your meat and dries the outer layer for a nice brown crust when roasted.
Beef tenderloin: day of cooking
- Remove tenderloin from refrigerator to bring to room temperature for 2 hours. This allows the roast to cook evenly in the oven.
- Preheat oven to 225 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place baking sheet with tenderloin in the oven. Roast until internal temperature reaches 5 degrees below desired doneness (temperature will continue to rise out of the oven):- Rare: 125 degrees (remove at 120 degrees)- Medium-rare: 135 degrees (remove at 130 degrees)- Medium: 145 degrees (remove at 140 degrees)- Medium-well: 150 degrees (remove at 145 degrees)Test for doneness using a meat thermometer in the center of your tenderloin. Roasting will take anywhere from 1.5 to 2.5 hours, depending on the size, shape, and thickness of your tenderloin.
- Optional: Adjust oven rack so that tenderloin will be 6 inches below broiler. Preheat broiler on high. Return tenderloin to oven and broil for 30 seconds on each side, using tongs to turn your tenderloin. Remove from oven and allow to set for 10 minutes, undisturbed. (Meanwhile, prepare the mushroom sauce below).
- Cut off and discard twine. Slice tenderloin into 1 inch steaks and serve with prepared sauce.
Creamy mushroom sauce
- In a skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add sliced mushrooms and cook until lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
- Add beef broth and scrape the bottom of the pan to deglaze, until most of beef broth has evaporated. Add heavy cream, thyme, salt, and pepper.
- Bring sauce to a simmer and reduce heat to medium-low, stirring occasionally, until sauce reduces slightly and begins to thicken, about 3-4 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and stir until melted.
- Remove pan from heat and allow to set for 5 minutes to thicken slightly. This sauce is very rich and on the thin side. A little goes a long way.
- Drizzle a few spoonfuls of sauce over prepared tenderloin steaks and serve immediately.
- Here is a great resource to visualize the degrees of doneness for your beef: Degree of Doneness - Certified Angus Beef
- Beef tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat. I do not recommend cooking it to "well" doneness. Since it has so little fat throughout, it will dry out quickly when overcooked.
- Leftover beef tenderloin can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container.
- For detailed information on cooking the mushroom sauce, see my full post: Creamy Mushroom Sauce