Herb and Butter Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish and Caramelized Onions.
Let’s talk about your Christmas beef!
I might have the best beef tenderloin recipe right here for your holidays. Because!
For years, and I’m talking YEARS, my grandma would make a tenderloin on Christmas day. And ever since she passed away, my mom has been making one too. It’s so delicious and such a decadent treat that we really only have for a holiday meal.
I mean, never did I ever think that I would be craving beef on a Monday morning but I guess there is a first time for everything.
P.S. Just seeing this recipe makes me want to shout out “the roast beast!” because we have already watched the Grinch probably 56 times and it’s only December 11. Yep yep. I can recite the entire movie to you right now. I swear.
Anywhoooo. (< see what I did there?)
The thing was that I had never prepared a beef tenderloin before by myself and I was adamant to learn how. I took this method from serious eats and ran with it. I made three filets in three months to test the method and make sure I could get it down pat. I was so sure that my first attempt would fail or just any attempt would fail, because it’s such an expensive cut of meat and I was certain I’d screw it up.
But! I’m happy to report that this is pretty much foolproof. I absolutely LOVE this method of roasting the tenderloin. It’s so simple and flavorful and tender. It’s just delicious and worthy of the center of your holiday table.
For extra flavor, I threw together a horseradish sauce because let’s just say that we ate so much filet throughout this testing process in the fall, we needed something extra. Extra extra flavor, you know? The brown-ish butter (oh yeah, there is some brown butter here. eeeeep!) and herbs were fantastic, but if you take this filet and make a little sandwich with it and throw some of the horseradish on top? Oh Mylanta. Fantastic.
And to go with THAT, I also made some caramelized onions. Like allowed them to caramelized the entire time that the beef was cooking, so… yes. Super slowly caramelized onions that are out.of.this.world.
So now that we’ve talked about this whole plate of flavor, I’d LOVE to hear what you eat on Christmas Eve or Christmas day and what your traditions are? Aside from the cookies, of course. Tell me all the things!
Herb and Butter Roasted Beef Tenderloin
- 1 3 pound trimmed beef tenderloin
- 1 to 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 bunch of fresh sage
- 1 bunch of fresh rosemary
- 1 bunch of fresh thyme
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter for melting
caramelized onions with thyme
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 sweet onions thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup prepared horseradish
- 2 tablespoons mayo
- 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- The key to a delicious beef tenderloin is to start a day or two before! Ideally you want to tie the filet up with kitchen twine so it cooks evenly. You can do this with the method of using butcher's knots - there is a great tutorial right here.
- Place the tenderloin on a wire rack that's sitting on a baking sheet. Season the meat liberally with the salt and the pepper. Place the sheet in the fridge and let the tenderloin sit uncovered overnight.
- Be sure to pull the beef from the fridge at least an hour or so BEFORE you want to starting roasting it.
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F. I like to take the fresh herbs and stick them right against the beef inside the kitchen twine. No rhyme or reason - just tuck them all over the beef!
- Place the beef (still on the baking sheet or on a new one) on the center rack in the oven and roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours (for a 3-pound tenderloin) or until the internal temperature reaches 120 to 125 degrees F on your meat thermometer. Remove the beef and set it aside for 10 minutes.
- During those 10 minutes, place the butter in a saucepan and let it melt. If it verrrry slightly begins to brown, I let it, but I don't let it brown too much because it's going to be under the broiler!
- Adjust the oven rack so it's about 6 inches from the broiler and heat the broiler to high. Spoon some of the melted butter oven the roast and place it under the broiler. You want to turn the beef every 30 seconds (and I also spoon more butter on it!) until the outsides are golden and browned. You only want to do this for about 2 to 3 minutes total! Remove the beef from the oven and drizzle with more melted butter. Let the beef rest for another 10 minutes or so before slicing and serving with the caramelized onions and horseradish.
caramelized onions with thyme
- Give yourself about an hour to do this! Heat a skillet over low heat and add the butter. Add the onions and salt and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions caramelize and turn golden, about 45 to 60 minutes. They will be close to finished by then, but you can continue to caramelize for a few hours as long as you stir often. Keep an eye on them so they don't burn and keep the heat low! Stir in the thyme after 45 minutes.
- Whisk all ingredients together (aside from about 1 tablespoon of chives for topping) and let sit in the fridge for 30 to 60 minutes. Top with fresh chives and serve!
Did you make this recipe?
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I appreciate you so much!
Sandwich it with some fondue too. For real!
48 Comments on “Herb and Butter Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish and Caramelized Onions.”
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Thank you for posting this! I need to get my meal planning act together for Christmas and this is the perfect place to start. We made beef tenderloin last year for the first time and was delicious! And I don’t even really like steak.
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My family is jamaican, so we are very “non-tradtional” for christmas. We also don’t have traditions of things we eat ALWAYS eat on Christmas. There is always something jerk chicken wings or pork. Cheesy hashbrowns or what the midwest calls “funeral potatoes,” roasted asparagus, lemony green beans, and sweet Hawaiian rolls (because no matter how many times I have made delicious homemade yeasty buttered rolls EVERYONE wants Hawaiian rolls so I have let it go), and usually pineapple ham. Our main beast is dictated by whether we are getting together for a New Year’s Day dinner or not. NYD is usually our big fancy meal. We pull out all the stops! More jerk chicken wings, more Hawaiian rolls, mashed potatoes, more asparagus and green beans, with the additions of rice and black eyed peas, sauteed callaloo (greens), crab legs dunked in butter, and herb roasted prime rib! Now that I have written another novel… I am starving and this loin looks delicious! I am also the biggest fan horseradish cream with loins and prime ribs and I am so happy to see the addition here! It all sounds divine!
I want to come to YOUR house!!! omg. everything sounds amazing.
Omg this is the most stunning beef tenderloin! We always have it on Christmas too but I think this year we’re having beef bourguignon. But I wanna try this!!
You just made me want to eat steak!
haha thanks katy!
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My favorite memory of 2017 is the month we spent with our kids in Michigan. Many memories made!!! And of course all your wonderful recipes I made and served to them as well! Thanks for what you do!!
My favorite memory was meeting and falling in love with my new Grand dog….I have many favorite memories, but he stole my heart. He’s a rescue and is still adjusting to being a dog with a secure home.
My favorite memory of 2017 was after being apart for 20 years, being able to see the love of my life before he died unexpectedly this summer. RIP
I had to wipe down Kindle ‘coz the incredible pics made me drool!! Cannot wait to try the recipe!!
At Thanksgiving paying homage to my grandmother’s amazing pie recipes and recreating them for my family. Of course, there were photos and shares which never would have happened as her pies cooled on the enclosed front porch waiting for consumption.
We do tenderloin. But I’m definitely trying you recipe this year. Look s delicious. We usually have cavatelli, cheesy potatoes and a veggie too. Of course cookies.
I followed the Serious Eats tenderloin method three years ago, and have found myself in charge of making the “roast beast” annually now! Last year in someone else’s wacky oven while 9 months pregnant overheating and armed with a dodgy thermometer…let’s just say at one point I threw everyone out of the kitchen… LOL.
Happy to be home this year and making many of your dishes for our holiday crowd! :)
I LOVETHIS RECIPE i am cookin 2 5 lb roasts. How long do you think I should cook them?
This looks amazing! I plan to double it, how long do you think I should roast a 6lb tenderloin? Thanks for the great recipes! I’ve made dozens from your site!
we’re pretty basic…ham, veg tray, green beans from the summer’s garden (though they are so good! my mom cans them; the best!), dressing/stuffing that was frozen from thanksgiving, but what makes christmas eve dinner is my grandma’s german potato salad. my mom replicates it every year, and although its never quite the same as Mima’s was, its so nostalgic and still pretty damn tasty! all the feels <3
This was awesome. I made the entire recipe EXACTLY for family in town this past weekend. It was a huge hit. Thank you for helping me make something that made everyone so happy (and took me out of my comfort zone). I’m thinking I’ll make it again for family who are coming for Christmas. In some ways, It’s almost “make ahead” – if you prep everything the day before, it’s just roasting the day-of.
Made this today and it was amazing! Perfectly cooked thanks to your detailed instructions, thanks!
I made this for Christmas dinner. All I can say is “WOW! The beef was so tender, you did not need a knife.
Omg I made this tonight and it was delicious but my herbs caught fire in my oven while under the broiler!! There was an interesting smoky flavor to the meat but no one complained!!
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How much of this can I make ahead?
We do beef tenderloin instead of turkey so I bookmarked this one when you posted it last year and made it yesterday for Thanksgiving.
It was a big hit with the onions and horseradish sauce. Low and slow totally works (it’s like sous vide in an oven). Plus the leftovers are perfect for sandwiches.
if i were to roast a larger tenderloin (we’re having 8 adults & 6 kids), or potentially two 3 or 4 lb tenderloins, do you know roughly how much longer that would take? i’m eyeing this recipe for christmas…. looks delicious!
Hi Jessica, if you have guests who prefer their meat more well done how do you handle? I thought end pieces were reliably more well than center cut….?
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Well, this is delicious! Made it for Christmas dinner, and it will be a staple from now on. The sauce and caramelizad onions make it soooo good. Do not skip! The only thing I really did different was doing a rosemary/garlic paste instead of the herbs. So good. Thanks so much!
Very easy and so delicious. You could really taste the herbs. Only thing was, I pulled the meat out at 2 hours and it was already at 165 degrees! Still juicy and flavorful but much more cooked than we wanted. Caution- check the meat at intervals!
I have made this several times and it is amazing! Everyone raves and don’t skip the onions, they could be doubled! Thank you!
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I made this last year and it was amazing! I typically do a 5 lb piece of beef and can’t remember how long it took? Has anyone done more than the 3 lbs suggested and if so, then how long should I plan for?
Could you tell me how to do this with a 6 lb tenderloin? Tia
Oh Jessica‼️ Was going to grill a couple filets from the whole tenderloin but not so after seeing this spectacular suggestion of yours, thank you and will let you know how yummy it will be❣️Merry Christmas ‼️🌲😘
We have made this beef tenderloin recipe the last two
Christmases. It is fantastic. I would critique myself to put way more salt than you think! It creates a crust of flavor on the outside. Delicious recipe that makes it look like you spent way more effort than you did cooking it! Thanks!
This recipe is fantastic! I saw a few comments asking about doubling – I did two beef tenderloins that each weighed about 5lbs each and my cooking time was just a little more than 3 hours to get me to 120 internal temp. Because my pan has raised handles, I couldn’t get super close to the broiler so did the broiler on medium instead of low. They came out perfectly and everyone loved it!
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Looks great! Can the horseradish be made a day in advance?