Roasted Christmas Beef Tenderloin with Creamy Horseradish Sauce

This recipe of mine is the most requested by friends and family. I have been preparing this roasted beef tenderloin recipe for many years, perfecting it during my stint as a private chef. My mother-in-law began the beef tenderloin Christmas tradition, and I’ve been carrying it on since then. Once you know the proper technique of cooking a roast, it is simple to prepare some steps in advance and finish cooking it in the oven when your guests arrive. This protein-packed main dish feeds a hungry crowd and is much more manageable than cooking lots of individual steaks.

To begin, you need to purchase the right cut of beef: a whole beef tenderloin or beef tenderloin roast. I recommend you bring it home with you as trimmed as possible, even trussed or “tied,” resulting in less time for you in the kitchen and more time with your guests. The butcher should know to remove the side chain, which is a mix of lean protein, fat, and connective tissue which can be ground for using in another recipe. I prefer to trim the scraps into pieces for a fabulous stir-fry. Ask your butcher to remove the silver skin, too–the chewy connective tissue–or do it yourself with a sharp boning knife.

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Roasted Christmas Beef Tenderloin with Creamy Horseradish Sauce

For the horseradish sauce:
1/2 cup lowfat plain Greek yogurt (or use whole milk yogurt or crème fraiche for a richer taste)
2 teaspoons freshly grated horseradish (or use prepared horseradish)
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Couple squirts Worcestershire sauce
Small pinch salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the tenderloin:
1 (6-pound) trimmed beef tenderloin, trussed
1 teaspoon salt
Coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon canola or avocado oil (or other high-heat oil)
5 fresh thyme sprigs (or rub on 2 teaspoons dried thyme)
2 fresh rosemary sprigs (or rub on 1/2 teaspoon crumbled dried rosemary)
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Flaked finishing salt for serving, if desired

To make the sauce: Combine all of the sauce ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.

To make the tenderloin:
Remove the beef from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior for more even cooking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil (to ease clean-up) and fit with a cookie cooling rack or use a shallow roasting pan and rack.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the beef. Heat a large sauté pan or skillet (at least 12 inches) on medium and add oil (if your pan is smaller, you may need to cut large roasts in half). When the oil shimmers, arrange the beef in a circular shape to fit in the pan, and brown on one side, about 5 minutes, add the thyme and rosemary sprigs.

Turn it to the other side using 2 sets of tongs and brown, about 5 minutes. Repeat this browning step for the remaining two sides. Transfer the beef to the prepared roasting pan and sprinkle on all sides with garlic powder. Cook in the oven until it is nearly medium-rare (test by inserting a probe thermometer into the thickest section of the roast, where it should read 120 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes covered loosely with foil. The internal temperature will rise to 130 degrees F and the juices will redistribute throughout the meat. Resist cutting into it before this or the juices will be left on the cutting board.

Slice and serve with horseradish sauce and finishing salt, if desired.

Recipe notes:
-The beef can be seared an hour or two before roasting, which can be easier when entertaining. After searing, cover loosely with foil until ready to cook in the oven.

-If a few of your guests prefer more well-done beef, the ends of the roast should suit their needs.

-The caramelized browned bits left at the bottom of the sauté pan is a delicious start to sautéing mushrooms or preparing brown sauce. Before using, scrape off excess blackened bits.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Beef makes 25 servings, 3 ounces each (cooked); Sauce makes 8 servings, 1 tablespoon each

Nutrition Facts (per serving of beef): 180 calories, 8 g total fat (3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 147 mg sodium, 69 mg cholesterol, 0 g total carbohydrate (0 g fiber), 25 g protein, 9% DV iron, 1% DV calcium, 0% DV Vitamin A, 0% DV Vitamin C.

Nutrition Facts (per serving of sauce): 12 calories, 0 g total fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 51 mg sodium, 1 mg cholesterol, 0 g total carbohydrate (0 g fiber), 1 g protein, 0% DV iron, 1% DV calcium, 0% DV Vitamin A, 1% DV Vitamin C.

Michelle Dudash, RDN, is a dietitian, chef, and author of the newly revised and expanded Clean Eating for Busy Families, which is available for pre-order now.

You may also enjoy:
Sautéed Cremini and Wild Mushrooms
Dark Chocolate Covered Pretzel Rods
Crispy Roasted Red Potato Slices with Rosemary

Roasted Christmas Beef Tenderloin with Creamy Horseradish Sauce

By Team Dudash Published: December 16, 2018

    This recipe of mine is the most requested by friends and family.

    Ingredients

    Instructions

    1. To make the sauce: Combine all of the sauce ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.
    2. To make the tenderloin: Remove the beef from the refrigerator 30 minutes prior for more even cooking. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a sheet pan with foil (to ease clean-up) and fit with a cookie cooling rack or use a shallow roasting pan and rack.
    3. Sprinkle salt and pepper on all sides of the beef. Heat a large sauté pan or skillet (at least 12 inches) on medium and add oil (if your pan is smaller, you may need to cut large roasts in half). When the oil shimmers, arrange the beef in a circular shape to fit in the pan, and brown on one side, about 5 minutes, add the thyme and rosemary sprigs.
    4. Turn it to the other side using 2 sets of tongs and brown, about 5 minutes. Repeat this browning step for the remaining two sides. Transfer the beef to the prepared roasting pan and sprinkle on all sides with garlic powder. Cook in the oven until it is nearly medium-rare (test by inserting a probe thermometer into the thickest section of the roast, where it should read 120 degrees F, about 25-30 minutes.
    5. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest for 10 minutes covered loosely with foil. The internal temperature will rise to 130 degrees F and the juices will redistribute throughout the meat. Resist cutting into it before this or the juices will be left on the cutting board.
    6. Slice and serve with horseradish sauce and finishing salt, if desired.

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