Roasted beef tenderloin with horseradish is guaranteed to be a showstopper on your Christmas dinner table. A whole beef tenderloin roast is rubbed with a delicious blend of herbs and spices, then cooked to perfection and served with creamy horseradish sauce or au jus.
Cook Like a Pro: This Oven-Roasted Beef Tenderloin Takes Less Than an Hour
Roasted beef tenderloin is perfect for special occasions, Christmas dinner, or any time you want to impress your guests with a delicious, gourmet meal.
It’s one of the leanest cuts of beef you can buy, but when prepared property it has tons of flavor and a texture that will melt in your mouth.
It’s an expensive cut, so it can be intimidating to make, but I’ll show you how to properly cook a horseradish-crusted beef tenderloin roast so it’s tender, juicy, and flavorful every time.
Don’t worry — as as impressive as it looks, it’s actually really simple to prepare!
- Impressive and elegant, making it perfect for special occasions or holiday dinners.
- Ready in an Hour. This easy, hands-off recipe is ready in about an hour, so you can enjoy your time with your family or guests!
- Naturally gluten-free and low carb.
Ingredients You’ll Need
Beef Tenderloin. Choose a center cut tenderloin that’s roughly 2.5 pounds. This will be enough to feed six to eight people, with some leftover. For the most robust flavor, look for a choice or prime cut with some visible marbling. Certified Angus Beef is always great quality and can be found at big box stores like Sam’s Club or BJ’s for a reasonable price.
Unsalted Butter. Since tenderloin is such a lean cut, it benefits from being cooked with a little bit of fat. Unsalted butter makes a greta base for the horseradish crust, and helps the outside of the beef form a delicious brown crust.
Prepared Horseradish. Use prepared horseradish, which is grated horseradish mixed with vinegar. This has a zippier flavor than creamy horseradish, or horseradish sauce, which is made with sour cream or mayonnaise.
Fresh Herbs. I like to add parsley, rosemary, and thyme to the pan while the beef roasts. This infuses the beef with a subtle flavor that isn’t as pronounced as if you chop them and add them to the horseradish mixture. You can leave them out if you’d like, but they’re a nice touch.
- For the beefiest flavor and best crust, salt your beef tenderloin generously and place in the the refrigerator the night before you plan to cook it. This will season the meat and help the outer layer dry out so that it browns more easily. When you’re ready to cook your loin, blot any excess salt and moisture off with a kitchen towel.
How to roast beef tenderloin in the oven
Prepare the beef by tying it with kitchen twine to help it retain its shape while it roasts. Salt the beef generously with kosher salt and refrigerate overnight. Pat dry with paper towels before cooking.
Mix the butter, garlic, and horseradish to form a soft paste.
Sear the beef in a little bit of the butter mixture to create a richly browned crust. Add some herbs to the pan for additional flavor!
Spread the beef with the remaining horseradish butter.
Roast until cooked to your liking. A meat thermometer is a big help here!
Rest the meat for roughly the same amount of time that you roasted it. This will give the juices time to reabsorb into the meat, so it’s tender and juicy. It’s also a great opportunity to finish up any side dishes that you’re making!
Commonly asked questions
How to store Leftovers
Leftovers will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat them gently in a warm oven or serve them cold or at room temperature. Leftover beef tenderloin makes a wonderful sandwich!
Can I Freeze It?
Leftover beef can be frozen in an airtight container for up to 6 months. To prevent overcooking, let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.
What is a beef tenderloin? Is it the same as filet?
The beef tenderloin roast, also known as chateaubriand, comes from the loin area of a cow, between the ribs and the rump. It’s not a muscle that works very heard, meaning it’s super tender and lean, with a mild flavor. It’s perfect for roasting or grilling.
It’s very similar to filet, and is cut from the same muscle, but is butchered slightly differently to form a roast rather than individual steaks. Filet mignon is cut from the most tender end of the tenderloin.
What temperature should I cook beef tenderloin to?
Tenderloin is pretty forgiving, and is ideally served anywhere from rare to medium. If you prefer your meat well done, you can serve it that way but the lack of marbling means it’s prone to drying out. Medium rare is my personal favorite!
For the best results, always use a meat thermometer and remember that the temperature will raise another 5-10 degrees while it rests.
For rare beef (with a cool, bright red center), pull it out of the oven when it reaches 110-115ºF.
For medium rare (with a warm, deep pink center), pull it out at 125ºF.
For medium (pink throughout), remove it from the oven at 130ºF.
What’s the different between select, choice, and prime beef?
It’s all about how much marbling the beef has, with select having the least and prime having the most. Fat = flavor, so a beautifully marbled cut will have more flavor than a cut with less marbling. Fat also adds moisture to the beef, ensuring it stays succulent and tender. For this reason, I do not recommend using select cuts for dry heat cooking methods like roasting.
Do I need to trim the beef before I cook it?
A lot of times the beef tenderloin will come already trimmed, or you can ask them to trim it for you at the butcher counter. If yours isn’t, you’ll want to remove the silverskin and any tough, dry fat from the outside before preparing it.
What’s the purpose of tying the tenderloin up before you cook it?
This helps your tenderloin keep its shape. It also helps it cook evenly since you can tuck away any thinner ends. Here’s a tutorial on how to tie your steak.
Can I use horseradish sauce instead of prepared horseradish?
Yes, but it will have a milder, less spicy flavor.
More delicious main course recipes for special occasions
- Classic Roast Beef
- Air Fryer Rotisserie Chicken
- Baked Crab Cakes
- Slow Cooker Red Wine Beef
- Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- Baked Ham with Apricot-Mustard Glaze
Horseradish Crusted Beef Tenderloin
- 2-3 pound beef tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- cracked black pepper
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish
- au jus or horseradish cream sauce for serving
- Rub the beef tenderloin all over with kosher salt. Tie up with kitchen twine. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 450ºF.
- Use a kitchen towel to blot away any excess moisture from the outside of the tenderloin. Season with cracked black pepper.
- In a small bowl, mix together the butter, horseradish, and garlic.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter mixture in a large cast-iron skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the fresh herbs.
- Sear the beef tenderloin on all sides, about 1 to 2 minutes per side, creating a brown caramelized crust. Spoon the hot butter over the tenderloin as it sears.
- Spread the seared tenderloin with the remaining butter mixture. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant read thermometer registers your desired temperature, about 20 to 30 minutes. (See suggested temperatures above.)
- Remove the tenderloin from the oven and transfer to a cutting board. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing into ¾ inch slices.
- Serve warm, with au jus or horseradish cream sauce.