Skip to Content

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin | Step by Step Instructions for Cooking Beef Tenderloin

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin | Step by Step Instructions for Cooking Beef Tenderloin

This complete guide with step by step instructions for cooking beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin. I’ll cover everything including how to buy, cook, and reheat beef tenderloin.

Step by Step Instructions for Cooking Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

What is Beef Tenderloin?

Beef Tenderloin is the most tender cut of beef. Once it is sliced up, it is known as filet mignon. It’s elegant and easy to cook – making it an ideal option for a holiday meal or a special occasion.

Step by Step Instructions for Cooking Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

Buying Beef Tenderloin:

You will want to buy ½ pound per person, which sounds like a lot but it does cook down. If you are serving big eaters, you might want to get a little extra.

Both trimmed and untrimmed beef tenderloin is sold. Untrimmed is more affordable, but you will have to do the work of trimming the fat and silver skin off yourself.

You can buy a whole beef tenderloin, or you can ask for a certain amount. A whole beef tenderloin is between four and five pounds. I usually ask my butcher for 1 ½ – 2 pounds of beef tenderloin, which gets me a nice piece of beef with an even thickness.

Beef tenderloin generally costs between $25 and $30.

Important Tips for Cooking Beef Tenderloin

Step by Step Instructions for Making Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

If you are cooking a whole beef tenderloin, it will have a tail piece, a thinner section at the end. You will want to fold that over and tie to so that the beef tenderloin has a more uniform thickness and cooks evenly. You can also ask your butcher to do this for you.

I recommend using an in-oven digital meat thermometer. You may want to even test the accuracy of your thermometer before you use it.

It is better to undercook than to overcook. It’s always easy to get beef tenderloin to cook a little more by placing it under the broiler for a minute or spooning hot gravy over the top.

Step by Step Instructions for Making Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

Usually beef tenderloin is served medium rare.

Let the beef tenderloin rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. The temperature of the meat will rise 10 degrees as the meat rests.

It will take about 45 minutes to prepare a 2-pound beef tenderloin. Since it happens pretty quickly, I like to have my side dishes in the oven before I start cooking the beef.

Below I give step by step instructions for cooking a beef tenderloin using the sear and then roast method. I want to note that there is also a reserve sear method for preparing beef tenderloin where it is roasted first and then seared to develop a crust. I chose not to do this because it is a little harder to get the meat at just the temperature you want.

Preparing the Beef Tenderloin:

Step by Step Instructions for Making Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

If necessary, tie the beef tenderloin so that it is a uniform thickness. Then, you want to mix up some butter, garlic, herbs, and seasonings. I like to start with 2 tablespoons room temperature butter and I mix in 2 cloves of minced garlic, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. You can also opt to add in 1 tablespoon of mustard and/or 1 tablespoon of chopped shallots. *These measurements are for a two pound beef tenderloin, adjust according to the size of your beef tenderloin.

Pat the beef dry (this helps the butter to stick) and then spread the butter mixture all over the beef. Your beef is ready to be cooked.

Optional Step:

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin 3

You may want to cook the beef tenderloin with onions, shallots, and/or mushrooms. Just sauté these in the dutch oven with a tablespoon of butter, and set them aside before you sear your beef.

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin:

Ingredients:

2 pound Beef Tenderloin
2 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
2 cloves of minced Garlic
1 teaspoon fresh Thyme
½ teaspoon of Salt
¼ teaspoon of freshly ground Black Pepper
about 2 cups of Beef Broth
Optional: 1 diced onion, 2 diced shallots, 8-16 ounces sliced mushrooms
Perhaps 1 tablespoon of Flour, ½ cup of Cream, and ½ cup of Sherry or Red Wine for the gravy – Or you can simply let the pan drippings reduce

Step by Step Instructions for Cooking Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

Recommended equipment for cooking beef tenderloin:

A Dutch Oven
Tongs
A digital in-oven meat thermometer
Aluminum Foil
Butcher’s Twine (for full beef tenderloins)

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin:

Step by Step Instructions for Making Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

First you want to sear the meat. This locks in all of the juices, making the meat extra tender, while browning the meat. To do this heat a dutch oven over high heat. No need to butter the pan, there is enough butter on the meat.

Add the meat to the hot pan, and cook each side, and the ends, for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Keep the beef broth handy, if the pan drippings threaten to burn, just add a bit of stock to the pan.

Now that your meat has been seared and browned, you want to prepare it to go in the oven. If you did sauté any onions, mushrooms, or other vegetables, add them back into the dutch oven. Pour 1 ½ cups of beef broth into the dutch oven – this becomes the base for your gravy. If you want, you can also opt to add in ½ cup of red wine or sherry.

Insert the meat thermometer, put the lid on the dutch oven, and place the beef in the oven to roast. This will take about 25-35 minutes. For rare beef, remove the beef tenderloin from the oven once the thermometer reads 110 degrees. For medium rare, remove it at 120 degrees, and for medium remove it at 125 degrees. I do not recommend cooking beef tenderloin beyond medium temperature.

Step by Step Instructions for Making Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

*The golden rule is to remember that the temperature of the meat will increase 10 degrees while the meat rests. This is why we are taking the beef tenderloin out of the oven at 110 when we want it to reach 120-125 degrees for a rare temperature.

**Also note that the end slices of the beef tenderloin will be slightly more cooked than the slices in the center. If someone wants medium temperature beef, just give them an end piece.

As soon as you remove the beef from the oven, use tongs in one hand and a fork in the oven to transfer the meat onto a piece of aluminum foil. Cover the meat with the foil, let it rest for 10 minutes, and turn your attention to the dutch oven containing the pan drippings.

Now, you have some options regarding the pan drippings. You can simply let them simmer and reduce. Or you can make a thicker gravy by adding some flour. You can opt to add a touch of cream. Personally, I like to add a touch of flour and cream to make a rich gravy. In a small bowl, I whisk together 1 tablespoon of flour and ½ cup of cream. Then I stir that into the pan drippings and bring it to a simmer and let it reduce. Taste test, and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve the beef tenderloin, use a sharp knife to cut into thick slices, and serve with gravy over the top.

Printable Step by Step Instructions for Cooking Beef Tenderloin:

Yield: 6 Servings

How to Cook Beef Tenderloin

Step by Step Instructions for Making Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

This complete guide with step by step instructions for cooking beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 pound Beef Tenderloin
  • 2 tablespoons Butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cloves of minced Garlic
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of Salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of freshly ground Black Pepper
  • about 2 cups of Beef Broth
  • Optional: 1 diced onion, 2 diced shallots, and/or 8-16 ounces sliced mushrooms
  • Optional for gravy: 1 tablespoon of Flour, ½ cup of Cream, and/or ½ cup of Sherry or Red Wine

Instructions

If necessary, tie the beef tenderloin.

Then, you want to mix up the butter, garlic, thyme, salt, and ground pepper.

Pat the beef dry (this helps the butter to stick) and then spread the butter mixture all over the beef.

Heat your oven to 375 degrees.

First you want to sear the meat. Heat a dutch oven over high heat. No need to butter the pan, there is enough butter on the meat.

Add the meat to the hot pan, and cook each side, and the ends, for 2-3 minutes, until browned. Keep the beef broth handy, if the pan drippings threaten to burn, just add a bit of stock to the pan.

Now that your meat has been seared and browned, you want to prepare it to go in the oven. If you did sauté any onions, mushrooms, or other vegetables, add them back into the dutch oven. Pour 1 ½ cups of beef broth into the dutch oven – this becomes the base for your gravy. If you want, you can also opt to add in ½ cup of red wine or sherry.

Insert the meat thermometer, put the lid on the dutch oven, and place the beef in the oven to roast. This will take about 25-35 minutes. For rare beef, remove the beef tenderloin from the oven once the thermometer reads 110 degrees. For medium rare, remove it at 120 degrees, and for medium remove it at 125 degrees. I do not recommend cooking beef tenderloin beyond medium temperature.

As soon as you remove the beef from the oven, use tongs in one hand and a fork in the oven to transfer the meat onto a piece of aluminum foil. Cover the meat with the foil, let it rest for 10 minutes, and turn your attention to the dutch oven containing the pan drippings.

Now, you have some options regarding the pan drippings. You can simply let them simmer and reduce. Or you can make a thicker gravy by adding some flour. You can opt to add a touch of cream. Personally, I like to add a touch of flour and cream to make a rich gravy. In a small bowl, I whisk together 1 tablespoon of flour and ½ cup of cream. Then I stir that into the pan drippings and bring it to a simmer and let it reduce. Taste test, and add additional salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve the beef tenderloin, use a sharp knife to cut into thick slices, and serve with gravy over the top.

Share and save this beef tenderloin recipe for later:

Step by Step Instructions for Making Beef Tenderloin | This complete guide with step by step instructions for making beef tenderloin will show you how to make a flawless beef tenderloin.

How to Store Leftover Beef Tenderloin:

You want to store any leftover beef tenderloin right in the gravy. Covering the beef with the gravy will prevent it from drying out and make it extra tender.

How to Reheat Leftover Beef Tenderloin:

Place the beef in an appropriately sized oven safe dish – I recommend glass or ceramic. Otherwise line a metal baking dish with foil. Add the slices of beef, and then cover them with gravy. Place in a 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until hot. Heating the meat right in the gravy makes it extra tender.

More Beef Tenderloin Recipes:

Beef Tenderloin with a Red Wine Mushroom Sauce

Beef Tenderloin Wrapped in Pastry

Beef Tenderloin with Gravy

Side Dishes to Serve with Beef Tenderloin:

Steakhouse Style Twice Baked Potatoes

Miso Garlic Roasted Broccoli | The rich umami flavor of miso adds so much to simple roasted broccoli. Miso Garlic Roasted Broccoli has a balance of buttery, salty, and garlic flavors.

Miso Garlic Roasted Broccoli

Roasted Carrots 2

Roasted Carrots

The Best Wedge Salad | A wedge salad is topped with maple toasted walnuts, thick cut bacon, grape tomatoes, caramelized shallots, and homemade chunky blue cheese dressing.

Steakhouse Style Wedge Salad

Yorkshire Pudding | Learn how to make Yorkshire Pudding, an essential part of a traditional Sunday Roast.

Yorkshire Pudding

Roasted Bacon Maple Brussels Sprouts - the BEST brussel sprout recipe

Roasted Bacon Maple Brussels Sprouts

If you have any questions, let me know in the comments!

Skip to Recipe
thekittchen