This cast iron beef skillet is coated in a savory herbed rub, seared to lock in flavor, and baked until juicy and tender. With a savory, herbaceous flavor and a melt-in-your-mouth texture, it’s a showstopping dish perfect for holiday gatherings and fancy dinners.
Christmas Dinner Beef Tenderloin
If you’re looking for a simple recipe to serve for Christmas dinner, then look no further! This cast iron beef tenderloin is flavorful and juicy and makes enough to feed a group. Even better, it comes together quickly and cooks in less than 20 minutes!
Whether you’re looking to replace a classic Christmas ham or just want to add variety to your table, you can’t go wrong with this herb crusted beef tenderloin. One bite and you’ll be making it for years and years to come.
- Christmas Dinner Beef Tenderloin
- What is Beef Tenderloin
- Beef Tenderloin vs Filet Mignon
- Cast Iron Beef Tenderloin Ingredients & Notes
- How Much Beef Tenderloin per Person
- Equipment You Will Need
- How to Make Beef Tenderloin in the Oven
- Oven Beef Tenderloin Expert Tips
- Temperature of beef tenderloin
- Sauce for Beef Tenderloin
- How to Store and Reheat Oven Roasted Beef Tenderloin
- What to Serve with Beef Tenderloin?
- Frequently Asked Questions
- More Popular The Fit Peach Recipes
What is Beef Tenderloin
Beef tenderloin is a pretty large piece of meat. It’s basically the entire tenderloin muscle of the cow which has an oblong cylindrical shape that comes to a point at one end. The muscle sits right below the cow’s back which doesn’t get much exercise making the cut of meat very tender with good veining.
Beef Tenderloin vs Filet Mignon
Both beef tenderloin and filet mignon are luxury pieces of beef that many enjoy during a special occasion. Filet mignon is only the tip portion, and also the most tender piece, of the beef tenderloin.
While beef tenderloin typically has some good marbling throughout, the filet mignon piece of the tenderloin has little to no veining. This makes filet mignons very lean pieces of meat. However, because they are so tender, they basically melt in your mouth when cooked properly.
The main difference, in my opinion, is when to serve what. If you’re serving a crowd of 6 or more people, a beef tenderloin will probably be your best bet. You’ll save some money buying one large piece of meat, and you will have a variety of cuts of meat for your guests to choose from. I like to reserve filet mignons for quaint special occasions where there are less than 6 people involved.
Cast Iron Beef Tenderloin Ingredients & Notes
For the tenderloin
- Beef tenderloin - This is a large cut of beef that is cut from the loin and sirloin. Lean and tender, tenderloin is one of the best cuts of meat and is cut down to create filet mignon.
- Salt and pepper - Adjust to taste.
- Olive oil - This helps lock in moisture and allows the seasonings to stick. I prefer the strong taste of olive oil, avocado oil works as well.
For the herb coating
- Olive oil - I don’t recommend swapping out the olive oil for the coating as it has a strong, peppery taste that pairs well with the rest of the ingredients.
- Dijon mustard - Adds a tangy flavor that pairs well with the savory herbs.
- Coconut aminos - This adds a salty flavor and helps tenderize the beef. You can also use Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce here.
- Garlic - Whole, fresh cloves instead of pre-minced varieties will give the best flavor.
- Fresh herbs - Fresh rosemary and fresh thyme add a vibrant, earthy taste.
How Much Beef Tenderloin per Person
A general rule of thumb is ½ pound (or 8 ounces) of beef tenderloin per person. If you’re serving beef tenderloin with a bunch of different sides or even another protein option, you can usually stretch it to 5 ounces per person. This would mean a standard 4-pound beef tenderloin would serve about 12 people.
Equipment You Will Need
- Kitchen twine - If your butcher can’t tie up the beef tenderloin, you will need to create some ties yourself at home. This is really easy with good kitchen twine.
- Cast Iron Skillet - I love cast iron for searing meat which helps to give it nice crispy edges, but it also does the work of two when it goes straight into the oven to finish cooking the meat. You can also use a standard oven-safe skillet for this recipe.
- Meat thermometer - A good meat thermometer can make or break a recipe. So, I recommend investing in a good wireless thermometer you can place in the oven if you plan to cook meat regularly. This standard meat thermometer is also a good choice, but it can’t go in the oven.
- Carving knife - A high-quality carving knife can also make or break your beef tenderloin - presentation is everything! You want to look for one that is long, thin, and sharp so you can cut pieces on the thinner side. An electric carving knife is also a great investment if you plan to roast meat often.
How to Make Beef Tenderloin in the Oven
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
Step 1: Bring the beef to room temperature. Before you begin, set the beef out on the counter for about an hour to allow it to come to room temperature.
Step 2: Prepare the herb coating. Mix the olive oil, Dijon mustard, coconut aminos, garlic, rosemary, and thyme in a bowl until well combined.
Step 3: Cut the beef. Slice the tenderloin in half so you’re left with two pieces of equal length. Then, fold the end with the long slim tail along the side of the thicker part.
Use kitchen twine to hold the meat together, wrapping it around the beef every 2 inches so that it’s uniform in shape.
Step 4: Season the meat. Preheat the oven, and pat the tenderloin dry with a paper towel. Then, season the beef with salt and pepper, massaging it in well.
Step 5: Sear. Heat oil in a large skillet on the stove over medium-high heat. Once the oil begins to simmer and smoke a bit, place one of the beef halves in the center, and allow it to brown before flipping it over and browning the other side.
Transfer the tenderloin to a plate, and repeat this step with the other half. Remove the skillet from the heat.
Step 6: Add the olive oil coating. Place the other tenderloin half back into the skillet. Then, use a pastry brush to brush the herb mixture onto the meat.
Step 7: Cook the meat. Insert a meat thermometer into one of the pieces of tenderloin, and transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake until the cast iron beef tenderloin has reached your desired doneness.
Step 8: Serve. Remove the skillet from the oven, transfer the herb crusted beef tenderloin to a cutting board, and allow it to rest for at least 20 minutes. Then, slice it into pieces, and enjoy!
Oven Beef Tenderloin Expert Tips
- Chop up your herbs finely before making the coating. This ensures the herbs will effortlessly coat the meat without falling off.
- The key to a great beef tenderloin is a good sear. Depending on the thickness of your tenderloin, it will need a few minutes on each side to achieve that crispy sear.
- A meat thermometer is ESSENTIAL when cooking meat but especially when your meat costs as much as a beef tenderloin. The last thing you want to do is overcook it because you don’t know when it’s done. Make sure to insert the thermometer into the center and thickest part of the beef. Check out the temperature section below to know how best to cook your beef.
Temperature of beef tenderloin
Knowing what temperature to cook your beef tenderloin to is essential to ensuring your meat is cooked exactly the way you want it. Below are the optimal internal temperatures depending on how well you want it cooked. Because beef tenderloin is very tender, medium rare is the typical recommended doneness as you will have some sections that are more well done than others.
- Rare - take the beef out when the temperature hits 120 F. Once it’s rested, it will cook to about 123 F.
- Medium Rare - take the beef out when the temperature hits 130 F. Once it’s rested, it will cook to about 135 F.
- Medium - take the beef out when the temperature hits 140 F. Once it’s rested, it will cook to about 148 F.
Sauce for Beef Tenderloin
A good sauce is a great way to level up your beef tenderloin even more, and there are so many that pair well with the dish.
- Horseradish sauce - I make mine with Greek yogurt so it’s super creamy
- Chimichurri - perfect for those wanting a more savory herby flavoring
- Red wine sauce - a luxury-style sauce that is very easy to whip up
- Au Jus - another very easy sauce to make using the drippings from the beef
How to Store and Reheat Oven Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Beef tenderloin is known to make great leftovers! Not only is it great on its own, but it also makes a darn good sandwich or wrap. My family has even been known to throw it in a scramble the next morning.
- Fridge (slices) - store beef tenderloin slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can eat it chilled (this is great on a sandwich). Or, heat it up in the microwave in 15-second increments.
- Fridge (unsliced) - if you know you will have leftovers, I recommend keeping some of the tenderloin unsliced. This will trap the moisture inside the meat so it stays fresh for longer. Allow the tenderloin to cool down. Then, wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap. Or, store it in an airtight container, and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to enjoy, slice off a piece and heat it in the microwave in 15-second increments, or enjoy chilled.
- Freezer (slices) - Allow the tenderloin slices to cool completely. Then, transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag, and store them in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, allow the meat to thaw in the fridge overnight, and heat it up in the microwave in 15-second increments until warm.
What to Serve with Beef Tenderloin?
There are so many great side dishes to pair with beef tenderloin!
- Mashed potatoes
- Mashed cauliflower
- Roasted brussel sprouts
- Air fryer cauliflower
- Roasted carrots and parsnips
- Smashed potatoes
- Roasted acorn squash
- Savory muffins
- Orange mandarin salad
- Pumpkin salad
Frequently Asked Questions
Filet mignon is a specific piece of beef tenderloin - the most tender piece of beef.
A dry heat is best for most beefs so an oven or a green egg is best to roast it.
Beef tenderloin is the most luxurious piece of beef with its supreme tenderness and butterfly flavor, which is why it mandates a high price point.
I prefer first, which creates a delicious crust that gets even crispier as the meat cooks in the oven. You can do the sear as the last step (this is called a reverse sear), but you risk overcooking the meat.
For more main course recipes, check out my:
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a str review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
PS : If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star review and comment below! Also be sure to follow along with me on Instagram and Pinterest to stay up to date on all tasty recipes here at The Fit Peach!
More Popular The Fit Peach Recipes
- Almond Flour Cinnamon Rolls
- Dipping Sauces for Sweet Potato Fries
- Southwest White Chicken Chili
- Egg Bites with Ricotta
- Turkey Meatballs
- Raspberry Lemon Cookies
Herb Crusted Beef Tenderloin
- 4 lb beef tenderloin - trimmed and tied and at room temperature
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
For the herb coating
- 4 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoon coconut aminos - you can also use worcestershire sauce or soy sauce here
- 5 cloves garlic - finely diced
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- If you haven’t already, set the beef out on the counter about an hour before you want to start cooking until it comes to room temperature.4 lb beef tenderloin
- Prepare the herb coating by mixing the olive oil, dijon mustard, coconut aminos, garlic, rosemary, and thyme together in a bowl until well combined. Set aside.½ tablespoon dijon mustard, 2 teaspoon coconut aminos, 5 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon rosemary, 1 tablespoon thyme, 4 tablespoon olive oil
- Cut the beef tenderloin in half so you’re left with two pieces of equal length. Fold the end with the long slim tail along the side of the thicker part. Use kitchen twine to hold the meat together about every 2 inches so each piece of tenderloin is a thick uniform shape.
- Preheat the oven to 450 F. Pat each piece of meat dry with a paper towel. You want the beef as dry as possible to ensure a nice crispy outer layer. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Use your hands or the back of a spoon to massage it into the meat well.2 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper
- Heat a large skillet on the stove over medium high heat with the olive oil. Once the olive oil starts to simmer and smoke a bit, place one of the beef tenderloin halves on the skillet and allow it to brown for 1 ½ - 2 minutes before flipping it over and allowing the other side to cook for 1 ½ - 2 minutes. Because the tenderloin is round, I like to quickly sear the sides that haven’t been directly on the skillet for about 10 seconds just to give it a slight brown too. Transfer the tenderloin to a plate and repeat this step with the other half. Remove the skillet from the heat.1 tablespoon Olive oil
- Place the other tenderloin half back into the skillet so both are nestled in the skillet together. Use a pastry brush to brush the herb mixture onto the meat, making sure the tops and sides are well coated.
- Insert a meat thermometer into one of the pieces of meat and place the skillet in the preheated oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the meat has reached your desired temperature (see temperature notes below).
- Remove the skillet from the oven and transfer the meat to a cutting board to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing into ½ - 1 inch inch pieces to serve.
- Fridge (slices) - store beef tenderloin slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. You can eat it chilled (this is great on a sandwich) or heat it up in the microwave in 15 second increments.
- Fridge (unsliced) - if you know you will have leftovers, I recommend keeping some of the tenderloin unsliced. This will trap the moisture inside the meat so it stays fresh for longer. Allow the tenderloin to cool down and then wrap it up tightly in plastic wrap or store in an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to a week. When ready to enjoy, slice off a piece and heat it in the microwave in 15 second increments or enjoy chilled.
- Freezer (slices) - Allow the tenderloin slices to cool completely then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, allow the meat to thaw in the fridge overnight and then heat up in the microwave in 15 second increments until warm.