Beef tenderloin is a lean roast cut from the tenderloin of a cow. Due to its flavour and tenderness, it is one of the most expensive cuts of meat and often found on the menus of fine restaurants. It is a popular main course for special occasions. Beef tenderloin is easy to cook and carve, but it is best when prepared the day before eating to allow the meat to marinate.
Purchase the beef tenderloin the day before you plan to eat it for ideal freshness.
Place your tenderloin on the cutting board and with a sharp knife trim any excess fat. Rinse the meat and pat dry.
Sprinkle the tenderloin with salt and pepper. Season the meat by adding herbs and/or spices. Rosemary, thyme, peppercorn, saffron, garlic and oregano all make nice complements to beef. It's best to limit your mixture to two to three herbs or spices so that you do not saturate the meat with excessive and competing flavours -- but you can be generous with the few flavours you do choose.
Drizzle olive oil over the meat, herbs and spices. With a spoon or other utensil, spread the mixture evenly over the meat.
Place the tenderloin in a covered dish or pan and refrigerate overnight so that it marinates.
Remove the beef tenderloin from the refrigerator approximately 1 hour before cooking and preheat the oven to 204 degrees Celsius.
Tie the length of the tenderloin into even sections using butcher's twine. This will help the meat cook more evenly. Place a cooking thermometer in the thickest portion of the tenderloin and insert into the oven.
Cook until the thermometer reads at least 48.9 degrees Cor rare, 62.8 degrees Cor medium rare or 71.1 degrees Cor medium. Remove from the oven and let stand for 15 minutes before carving. This will help the meat retain its juices.
Beef tenderloins are best served medium rare to medium.
Eating rare or undercooked meat increases exposure to food-borne bacteria.