Holiday Beef Tenderloin With Parsley-Red Pepper Sauce

If you read our blog regularly, you know that Maggy, Sharon, and I–spouses too–have cut back considerably on our meat consumption. In fact we didn’t even roast a Thanksgiving turkey this year, but instead feasted on all the good sides.

Maggy’s husband, Andy, has been a good sport, but good Englishman that he is has put in a request for a proper roast Christmas dinner. Because he’s been an especially good young man this year, we’re going to oblige him.

But there’s David to consider. Last doctor visit his cholesterol was slightly elevated, and he’s been trying to watch it.  We don’t want to serve a well-marbled cut like prime rib. Enter: beef tenderloin. It’s pricy, but if you’re ever going to do it,  ’tis the season. Even at warehouse-style grocery stores, a whole beef tenderloin costs nearly three figures, so you don’t want to mess this up.

Here’s our simple, yet perfect method for roasting a beef tenderloin, along with a festive holiday sauce.


Holiday Beef Tenderloin With Parsley-Red Pepper Sauce
Serves: 12 to 16
  • 1 large roasted red pepper, cut into small dice
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, chopped coarse
  • 6 cornichons, sliced thin, plus 2 teaspoon cornichon juice
  • ¼ cup capers
  • 2 scallion, sliced thin
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 beef tenderloin, peeled, trimmed of excess fat, and tied, crosswise, at 1-inch intervals (about 7 pounds if buying an unpeeled tenderloin, 4 to 5 pounds if tenderloin has already been peeled)
  1. Mix red pepper, parsley, cornichons and juice, capers, scallions, ½ cup olive oil and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl; set aside. (Can be covered and refrigerated a couple of days; return to room temperature.)
  2. Adjust oven rack to upper middle position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Set meat on a sheet of plastic wrap and rub meat all over with remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons pepper onto meat, lifting plastic wrap up and around meat to press on excess.
  3. Roast tenderloin on a wire rack set on a shallow roasting pan until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast registers about 125 degrees for a roast with a range of medium-rare to medium, 40 to 45 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes. (Can be cooled to room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated.) Cut roast into ½-inch thick slices. Arrange on a serving platter and serve with Parsley-Red Pepper Sauce.


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