Let’s Cook Perfect Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

Yummly's Secrets to Making Perfect Beef Tenderloin

Imagine an even medium-rare, with a deeply flavorful red wine-mushroom sauce. With our new step-by-step Guided Video Recipe, you’ve got this!

At least once this holiday season, you owe yourself and your clan a pull-out-the-stops dish, one that everyone will still be talking about and sighing over next December. Our Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Mushroom Sauce won’t fail to deliver. A whole beef tenderloin, which is a gorgeous, ultra-tender cut of meat, is always impressive (once sliced it’s known as filet mignon). With this recipe you’ll nail the temperature at a perfect medium-rare throughout, thanks to the low-and-slow cooking technique. Then there’s the sauce, with concentrated, layered flavors that go on and on.

While you’re going to need a few hours total time to make the beef tenderloin recipe, the results will be totally worth it. So let’s head to holiday cooking school and see how it goes together.

How to make the ultimate roast beef tenderloin

Like all of our Guided Videos, this one is a Yummly original created by our team of contributors. Martha Holmberg, the talented cook behind it, is the author of Modern Sauces, among many cookbooks, and she taught us how to coax out deep flavors and get foolproof results at every step of the recipe.

Start with a red wine-mushroom sauce

Creating the sauce is a several-step process, but the good news is it reheats beautifully if you want to make it a day or two ahead.

Saute mushroom stems with tomato paste and seasonings

Saute mushroom stems with tomato paste and seasonings

Begin building the flavors of the sauce by cooking the mushroom stems with tomato paste, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and a little sugar to encourage caramelization.

Add red wine and simmer to concentrate

Next, add a dry but fruity red wine such as gamay or Côtes du Rhône — plus a splash of balsamic vinegar — and cook down to intensify.

Stir in sauteed mushroom caps and shallot for body

After thickening the red wine reduction with a flour-butter roux, you’ll saute the mushrooom caps and a shallot to concentrate the flavors. Combine the mixtures to create texture in the sauce and to continue building the flavors.

Blend in Worcestershire, Parmesan, and pepper for umami

Blend in Parmesan for umami

That taste we call umami that some describe as “savory” gets further deepened with the addition of Parmesan, Worcestershire, and black pepper. A big pat of butter pulls the flavors together and gives the sauce a silken finish. (Holmberg prefers salted butter, but you could use unsalted butter if you prefer.)

How to load up your roast with flavor — and how to cook beef tenderloin to a perfect medium-rare

If you’ve shopped for a beef tenderloin roast, you know it’s a pricey cut of meat, and so you might be concerned about how to cook it to the right doneness. But before we get into the magic of the low-and-slow method, let’s talk about infusing this cut of beef with flavor.

Slip slices of garlic into the meat

Slip slices of garlic into the beef tenderloin

Here’s a trick to add to your repertoire. With a small, sharp knife, cut slits into the piece of meat. Thinly slice several cloves garlic and then stuff each slit with a piece of garlic.

Tuck herb sprigs under the butcher’s twine

Tuck herb sprigs around the meat

After rubbing the roast all over with kosher salt, some black pepper, and a little extra-virgin olive oil, tie it snugly with butcher’s twine (see how in the recipe video) and then slip in fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs. A sheet pan works great for cooking; you don’t need a roasting pan for this recipe.

Cook beef tenderloin to 135° for medium-rare

Roasting beef tenderloin at a gentle 275°F rather than the typical high heat has several advantages. The meat cooks more evenly, meaning you achieve medium-rare throughout, rather than getting a rare center and a well-done outer ring. The meat also takes longer to cook (about an hour total cook time), so it’s more forgiving; it doesn’t go from done to overdone in a flash. Finally, there’s no need to bring the meat to room temperature or sear it before it goes in the oven. To measure the perfect 135°F internal temperature for medium-rare, you’ll need a meat thermometer that you insert at the start of cooking or an instant-read thermometer that you can check with towards the end of the cooking time; test in the thickest part of the meat. Let the roast rest on a cutting board while you reheat the sauce, then slice and serve.

Get the recipe

The beef tenderloin recipe is perfect for Christmas dinner or any other special occasion you’re dreaming up for this season. As for the sides, you can keep them simple: maybe mashed potatoes, green beans, and a big green salad, plus a dollop of horseradish if you like. Ready to start cooking? Just click the blue Make it Now button to launch the video.