Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary

December 17, 2013 | | | | | | | |

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This slow-roasted beef tenderloin recipe is unlike any other you’ve tasted and completely foolproof. Instead of the traditional 400 degrees for 35 minutes, you cook the tenderloin at 275 degrees for a little over an hour. The low-heat method is magic. It produces a tenderloin that’s juicy and tender and total perfection!

Slice slow-roasted beef tenderloin with rosemary on a platter.I know some of you may go with the flow on Christmas day, which is wonderful and very free-spirited of you, but my family has always followed a very strict schedule. It goes a little something like this…

10am: Wake up in Christmas pajamas. (Since all immediate family members are now well over the age of ten, we have come to appreciate the Christmas morning sleep-in. Hallelujah.)

10am-10:30am: Make coffee and mimosas and drag our enormous stockings into the living room and/or bedroom of choice. Try to figure out how to work the Christmas music on the tv while wearing whatever festive Christmas headgear my mother has given us (reindeer antlers, glitter Santa hats, etc.). Bicker Banter with siblings.

10:30am-12pm. Open stockings. Ooooh and aaaah. Make a mess.

12-1:30pm: Prepare brunch. Prep time varies slightly based on number of helpers my mom has (0-1 of her offspring) and the number of mimosas the helper has consumed (1-4).

1:30-2:30pm: Eat too much brunch.

2:30-4:30pm: Open presents in zombie-like state due to mass pancake consumption. Experience range of emotions based on presents given and received. Increase mess to terrifying proportions.

4:30pm-6:30pm: Dirt. Nap.

6:30pm-7pm: Debate whether or not to cook dinner.

7pm-10pm: Cook and eat Christmas feast OR drink champagne and eat random things in the kitchen.

10pm-11:30pm: Watch Christmas movie and pass out surrounded by Christmas loot. (This time used to be reserved for crying over the fact that Christmas was over, but I stopped doing that in like 2009.)

Plated beef tenderloin slices with arugula salad.As you can see, Christmas is a very full day, and the schedule is pretty tight. Dinner provides the only real wiggle room, as it’s always a game-time decision.

When I was younger, we were a lot more put together when it came to getting Christmas dinner on the table. This was most likely because the day started at 6am, which bumped the schedule up 4 hours, leaving plenty of time for cooking post-dirt nap. There was also a lot less booze involved.

During those early, highly motivated years, we usually had beef tenderloin and Yorkshire pudding for Christmas dinner, the latter being my mom’s specialty and probably the most delicious thing in the entire world. We would all don our holiday best (in my case, that meant a green velour Juicy jumpsuit) and sit down to a festive family meal. Yes, there was one year that we ate grilled cheese, but it was consumed by candlelight in the dining room, and we considered it very civilized.

In recent years, we’ve lost serious momentum on the Christmas dinner front. By the time 6:30pm rolls around, my mom and I are usually still in our pajamas, and the thought of cooking anything is simply too much to bear. More often than not, we decide to forego a fancy meal and just eat baguettes, cheese and charcuterie for dinner. It’s very French.

However, this Christmas we’re shaking things up a bit. My newlywed sister is doing a romantic thang with her husband, and my little brother has decided to spend the holiday in Santa Barbara with my Dad. So, my mom and I (power couple) have decided to do Christmas at my great uncle’s house.

What does this mean for the aforementioned Christmas schedule, you ask? I’m not gonna lie, things aren’t looking good. I may have to get dressed, there will be no sibling banter, and I’m worried I’m going to lose my dirt nap. I try not to think about it too much.

On the plus side, I have a feeling we’ll be bringing back the traditional Christmas feast this year. I’m banking on my mom rustling up some Yorkshire pudding, since I plan to make the mother of all beef filets…Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary.

Dinner table with platter of sliced beef tenderloin and a plated serving with salad and red wine.How to cook the best beef tenderloin

This beef tenderloin is unlike any other you’ve tasted. Like, slap yourself in the face amazing. I stumbled across the low-heat method in Ina Garten’s Foolproof (my bible) a few months ago, and I decided to give it a try.

Instead of the traditional 400 degrees for 35 minutes, you cook the beef tenderloin at 275 degrees for a little over an hour. The result is the juiciest, most tender beef you’ve ever experienced. Ever. It actually melts in your mouth, and surrounding the tenderloin with rosemary while it cooks infuses the meat with incredible herb flavor. The first time I tried it, I wanted to lift up the entire 4½ pound tenderloin, kiss it, and carry it triumphantly around the kitchen over my head like the World Cup.

I’ve made Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary four times in as many months this fall, and it is actually foolproof. The recipe is ideal for entertaining because you can prep the beef in advance (which takes all of five minutes) and then pop it in the oven two hours before serving. No muss, no fuss. And people lose their shit. This is a absurdly simple dish that will solidify your status as a domestic god(dess) in one fell swoop. It’s perfection.

Beef Tenderloin Side Dishes

While I love beef tenderloin with Yorkshire pudding on Christmas, it goes beautifully with pretty much any side dish. If you need some inspiration, I highly recommend pairing it with:

Beef Tenderloin Sauces

Honestly, this beef is so buttery soft and juicy, it doesn’t even need sauce, but if you’re a die-hard sauce fan, I suggest trying a red wine or peppercorn sauce, or Ina’s basil pesto mayonnaise.

Leftover Beef Tenderloin Recipes

Leftovers are a Godsend, since this filet is ridiculously bomb cold. Try it on crostini with a little goat cheese and pesto, or on a baguette with Dijon mustard and lots of creamy, melting brie. Hell, eat it out of the fridge with your hands and get weird. No judgment.

Merry Christmas, friends! May your days be merry, bright, and filled with beef tenderloin.

Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary: (Serves 6-8)

Whole beef tenderloin partially sliced on a platter with fresh rosemary sprigs for presentation.Ingredients:
1 whole filet of beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied (about 4-4½ pounds)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
3½ teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
12-15 sprigs fresh rosemary

Preparing your Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Rosemary:

-Pre-heat your oven to 275 degrees. Make sure that your oven temperature is accurate!

-Place your tenderloin on sheet pan (I like to line mine with aluminum foil for easy cleanup) and pat the whole thing dry using paper towels.

Whole raw beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied, on a foil-lined baking sheet.-Brush the beef on all sides with 2½ tablespoons of the olive oil. No brush? No problem. Just use your hands to rub the oil over the meat.

-Season the beef with the salt and pepper, making sure the entire tenderloin is given some love. (It may seem like a lot of salt, but trust me, it will make your meat perfectly delectable.)

slow-roasted-beef-tenderloin-with-rosemary-step-2-2-Secure the rosemary sprigs to your tenderloin by threading them through the kitchen string tying the beef at 2-inch intervals. Brush the rosemary sprigs with the remaining ½ tablespoon of olive oil.

Beef tenderloin that's oiled and seasoned with rosemary sprigs threaded through kitchen twine.-Transfer your tenderloin to the oven and cook for 1 hour to 1½ hours until the internal temperature in the center of the meat is 125 degrees for rare or 135 degrees for medium rare. The best way to get an accurate reading is to stick the thermometer horizontally through the end of the beef. (I know a half hour is a large window of cooking time, but it will vary slightly based on the weight of your tenderloin. I strongly recommend checking the internal temperature of your beef after 1 hour to assess the situation.)

Slow-roasted beef tenderloin just removed from the oven.-Cover your cooked tenderloin with aluminum foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.

-Once rested, slice your beef thickly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Beef tenderloin sliced after resting on a cutting board for 10 minutes.-I like to serve my tenderloin on a platter with some fresh rosemary sprigs for entertaining. No-fuss fanciness at its finest.

Close up up sliced slow-roasted beef tenderloin ready to be served. Beef. It’s what’s for dinner.

Close up of plated slow-roasted beef tenderloin with texture.*Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Foolproof.

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  1. Jennifer Souders Conner on July 8, 2020 at 5:44 am

    This recipe is a gem. I have been using this for the past 5 years and is now our family’s Christmas tradition. Thank you for blessing us with this gift! If there are any leftovers, we use them the next morning in omelettes. OMG! Let me tell you… Quite the tasty omelette.

  2. Emily Reder on December 24, 2017 at 3:26 pm

    Do you bring it down to room temp from the fridge before cooking?

  3. Liberty4ev on December 24, 2017 at 9:39 am

    Making this again this year. It is EXQUISITE! Thank you for the recipe!

  4. Liz on December 19, 2017 at 8:49 am

    I have used this recipe every year for the last 4 years when I randomly found it on pinterest. Everyone talks about how wonderful Christmas dinner is every. single. time. Now, an amazing cut of beef certainly helps, but I have never had such consistently perfect results as I do with this recipe. Thank you.

    • Serena Wolf on December 19, 2017 at 10:50 am

      Love, love, love to hear this!! So thrilled this tenderloin makes it onto your Christmas table and is met with so much fanfare. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  5. Jenn Kosar | foodwithaview on December 10, 2017 at 8:51 am

    I agree this is one of the best ways to make tenderloin, also with some sauces on the side, thanks for reminding me as I am still planning my dinner. And I love the story of your family deciding whether to bother making dinner, so funny!

    • Serena Wolf on December 19, 2017 at 10:51 am

      Thank you, Jenn!! Merry Christmas, and I hope your dinner is fabulous!

  6. Dawn on November 25, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I made this for Thanksgiving (paired with Ina Garten’s Gorgonzola Sauce-which by the way is to die for with this) and my family said that it was the best beef dish that I have ever made! Followed your recipe exactly and it turned out wonderfully. Thank you so much!

  7. Heather Hultberg Cartwright on December 29, 2015 at 10:23 pm

    would this recipe be good for sandwiches? I was planning on making it the night before and serving it cold the next night for NYE sandwich appetizers. I was going to cut it thin. What would you recommend? Thank you!! -Heather

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