Where’s the turkey?
This tenderloin is at the top of the “main course” portion of our holiday menu this year and we decided to go the non-turkey route. This isn’t because we don’t love turkey (or ham, for that matter). We certainly do. However, good turkey-roasting, brining, stuffing and/or frying recipes are a dime a dozen on the internet and in cookbooks so we didn’t want to reinvent the wheel. Plus, we want our holiday menu this year to work well for either Thanksgiving or Christmas and so give you a little something different to prepare if you are so inclined.
If you’re one who wants a turkey and/or ham you can certainly do that and just choose a few of our other menu options for your holiday table. Check our VK Pinterest board, “Holiday” for a turkey recipe as well as some other good holiday options or just do your own search on Pinterest or Google. You’ll come up with plenty to look through. If you have a question about a recipe that looks good to you but you just aren’t quite sure about for one reason or another, shoot us an email at hello@VeritasKitchen.com and we’ll help.
We also recommend a cookbook that just hit the bookstore shelves last month. It’s called, “Celebrations” by Danielle Walker. She has some beautiful Fall and Christmas food including a turkey recipe. We thought y’all would like to know about that book.
Why beef tenderloin?
The fact that a tenderloin is easier to prepare than a big ‘ol turkey was so enticing to us. It takes much less time to thaw, roast, serve and even prepare than a turkey does (in many cases). We’ve made a little video of the steps to prepare our recipe. You can view it below and see how easy it is.
Speaking of easy, it really is easy. Many people think of tenderloin as being very fancy. It certainly can be that, but that doesn’t translate into difficult to prepare. All you do is decide whether you want your tenderloin to be cooked to medium-rare (which is technically the way you’re supposed to cook tenderloin) or medium, etc and then cook it to the corresponding internal temperature. A meat thermometer, therefore, tells you when it’s done. Easy, peazy. We’ll give you those cooking temps in the recipe.
You may be asking yourself, “Isn’t the tenderloin one of the most expensive cuts of meat on the cow?” Yes. Yes, it is. The whole tenderloin (which is what we’re preparing here) is where we get filet mignon cuts and traditional dishes such as the French Chateaubriand steak or the English beef Wellington use cuts from the tenderloin. It’s delicious and while it may be quite the splurge for many of us, we thought a holiday meal is just the type of occasion where a beef tenderloin might be appropriate. Of course, our holiday menu will go just as nicely with a nice roasted turkey, too.
How do I get a beef tenderloin?
Quickly, before I hand it over to Stephanie to share her recipe I want to let you know how to get a beef tenderloin. When we were testing this recipe, we ordered one tenderloin from Holy Cow Beef. Weldon and Ann Warren, owners of Holy Cow Beef, are great resources for purchasing healthy proteins this holiday season. Any cut of meat from Holy Cow Beef is certified grass-fed. Weldon and Ann are a wealth of knowledge concerning the benefits of grass-fed beef and how to prepare your personal beef cuts.
If you are in the Lubbock area you can order a tenderloin roast from Holy Cow Beef via their website by using the email address or phone number on the contact page. You may pick up your order right off their front porch. If you are not in the Lubbock area, give them a call and speak about how you can get your hands on some of their beef. They deliver regularly to many cities in TX and arrangements possibly can be made for delivery to other cities. Just give them a call.
*Note – they do not keep specialty cuts of meat like this one in stock all the time but they do make arrangements and take Special Orders during these holiday months. You will need to place an order with them very soon if you want to secure a tenderloin in time for your holiday meal. Follow them on Facebook and/or join their email list to stay up to date about how to get what you need. In addition to those things the best thing to do would be to give them a quick call.
Where else can I get a beef tenderloin?
If you don’t get one from Holy Cow Beef or another grass-fed source, you can purchase one at the butcher counter of a local grocery store. We tested and photographed 2 tenderloins this month and purchased one of them from the Market Street butcher/meat counter. It was hormone and antibiotic-free. We were pleased to find that the tenderloin at Market Street was the same price per pound as the one we purchased from Holy Cow Beef!
While grocery stores like this may stock this cut of meat more consistently it is still prudent to call ahead and ask them what they carry regularly and what their delivery schedule is like. This way you can reserve a tenderloin if the need be.
Regardless of where you get your tenderloin make sure you secure your purchase well ahead of the day of the big meal. This can be a popular cut of meat during the holidays.
Without further ado, let’s turn it over to Stephanie for this mouth-watering (really…everyone who had a bite during the testing phase of this recipe said it was delectable) recipe. And, don’t forget the creamy horseradish sauce made with our homemade mayo. It is sooooo oooooo oooooooo good!
- -3 lb beef tenderloin
- -4 Tbs avocado for pan
- -1 Tbs avocado oil for herbs
- -5 Tbs butter at room temp
- -2 Tbs each chopped, fresh parsley, oregano & thyme (see notes section for tips)
- -3 tsp sea salt
- -2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
- 1/2 C homemade mayo or a quality store-bought brand
- -1/2 C sour cream (for dairy-free just use 1 C mayo and no sour cream)
- -1/4 C cream, milk or almond milk (for non-dairy option)
- -1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
- -6 Tbs (3 oz.) horseradish (in a jar)
- -1 Tbs chopped, fresh parsley
- -1 tsp sea salt
- -1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- Make sure your tenderloin is at room temperature before you get stared– 1 to 2 hours out of the refrigerator.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Unwrap your tenderloin and pat it dry with some paper towels.
- Most tenderloin, being a long and thin cut of meat, have a very skinny end piece. Tuck this under and tie it up with a bit of butchers’ string (abundant at the stores this time of year). This allows it to cook evenly with the rest of the tenderloin.
- Place a large cast-iron or sauté skillet over medium-high heat on the stove with 4 Tbs avocado oil in it. It will take a little time to heat up while you do this next part.
- Sprinkle and rub all your salt and pepper over the entire surface of the meat.
- Now, with a pair of tongs, begin to brown the meat on all sides (see video). This takes about 10 minutes. If you don’t hear a sizzling sound when the meat hits the surface of the pan, it isn’t hot enough. Take the meat out and allow the pan to heat up completely before putting it back in.
- Once your tenderloin is nice and brown set it aside to cool. This won’t take long.
- Now, prepare your herbs by placing 1 Tbs of avocado oil and all your chopped or dried herbs in a small bowl. Stir them up, mashing them with the back of your spoon a bit to release the oils in the herbs.
- Once your tenderloin is cool (so the butter you’re about to add doesn’t immediately melt off again) rub it down with all 5 Tbs of soft butter.
- Then, do the same with all your herbs.
- Place your dressed tenderloin in the center of a roasting pan and stick a meat thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the tenderloin. Place it in the preheated, 450-degree oven and set a timer for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes you will want to begin checking the internal temperature of the meat.
- -For medium-rare tenderloin, (technically the correct internal temp for tenderloin) cook to an internal temp of 130 degrees.
- -For medium, cook to an internal temp of 140 degrees.
- -For medium-well cook to an internal temp of 150 degrees.
- 14. Obviously, your cook time will vary depending on which internal temp you’re going for and how thick your specific tenderloin is. Just use the thermometer as a gauge. You’re probably looking at anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour.
- 15. When your thermometer reads the desired temp, remove tenderloin from oven and let it rest, (meaning, do not cut into it), for at least 15 minutes, or more.
- 16. Slice thinly, and serve with creamy horseradish sauce.
- Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and stir it up. Serve over tenderloin.
Ideally, you would use a roasting pan like the one in our photos and video to roast a tenderloin as it allows the hot air in the oven to circulate all around the meat BUT I just set it down in a pyrex dish once and it did just fine. Don’t be deterred from preparing this dish or feel like you must run out and buy on if you do not have some sort of roasting pan already. P.S. many ovens come with double layered roasting pans. Check the oven drawer at the bottom of your oven, if you have one.
Fresh-herbs. You can use dried herbs if you like. Just use half the amount of what would you would use fresh. For example, 2 Tbs chopped fresh parsley = 1 Tbs dried parsley. For one of our test runs we use fresh parsley and thyme but dried oregano because that’s all we could find.
If you do not have a meat thermometer they are all over the stores this time of year and inexpensive. You should go buy one. They are a good tool to have in the kitchen!
When you remove the tenderloin from the oven the internal temperature will continue to rise as the meat rests – usually another 5 degrees or so. The rest time is very important so do not skip that part. Resist the urge to immediately cut into your tenderloin!