When I want to serve something special and elegant for the holidays, beef tenderloin is always one of my top choices. It always feels very celebratory, and the best part is that it’s actually so easy to make. After getting a quick sear on all sides, the beef roasts in the oven for about a half hour while you can tend to other parts of the meal.
I highly recommend having a meat thermometer on hand for this recipe – it ensures a perfectly cooked tenderloin every time.
While the beef tenderloin itself is delicious with its garlic and rosemary crust, what makes this recipe extra fun is the red wine-rosemary compound butter. A compound butter is essentially just a butter that has other flavorful ingredients mixed in, and it’s lovely with steak. For this butter, I mix a reduced red wine syrup infused with rosemary into the butter. It’s one of those things that sounds so impressive, but it’s easy to pull together – and you can do it way in advance!
Beef Tenderloin With Red Wine-Rosemary Butter
For the red wine–rosemary butter:
- 1 cup 8 fl. oz./250 ml dry red wine
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 sticks 8 oz./250 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
For the beef tenderloin:
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 Tbs. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 center-cut beef tenderloin about 3 lb. (1.5 kg), trimmed and tied
- To make the red wine–rosemary butter, in a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the wine and rosemary sprig. Bring the wine to a boil and then simmer until the wine has reduced to a syrup and measures approximately 2 Tbs., about 20 minutes. Allow the wine to cool to room temperature. Place the butter and salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the wine and process until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute.
- Scrape the butter into a line on a large sheet of parchment paper. Fold the parchment over the butter and drag a clean spatula down along the line of butter to push it into a log. Twist both ends of the parchment to seal the ends and refrigerate the butter until ready to use, at least 1 hour.
- To prepare the beef tenderloin, place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
- In a small bowl, stir together 2 Tbs. of the olive oil, the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Rub the mixture all over the tenderloin.
- In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Sear the tenderloin on all sides until browned, about 3 minutes per side.
- Transfer the pan to the oven and roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 125°F (52°C) for medium rare, 30 to 35 minute. Remove from the oven and transfer the meat to a cutting board. Cover the roast loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
- To serve, slice the meat into slices 1/4 inch (6 mm) thick and arrange on a platter. Slice the butter into rounds 1/8 inch (3 mm) thick and arrange on top of the warm meat slices. Serves 6.