Tenderloin is one of the most elegant cuts of meat, wonderful for romantic dinners and other festive occasions. This recipe features the two-step process called “reverse searing.” It yields meat that is uniformly pink from edge to edge. You can make it an hour ahead of time and serve it at room temperature—it’s perfect as the centerpiece of a buffet.
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, plus more for garnish
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, plus more for garnish
- 1 sprig fresh basil, stems and leaves
- 1 sprig fresh sage, stems and leaves
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coarse sea salt, plus more for seasoning
- 1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
- 1/4 cup red wine, such as a Shiraz
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
- 2-pound center-cut beef tenderloin, trimmed
Strip the thyme and rosemary sprigs, placing the leaves/needles on a cutting board along with the basil, sage, garlic, and 1-1/2 teaspoons of salt; coarsely chop everything together. Transfer to a mixing bowl and stir in the black pepper and the wine. Slowly whisk in 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
Place the tenderloin in a large resealable plastic bag, pour in the marinade, and seal the bag. Refrigerate for 2 to 8 hours (or overnight), turning the bag occasionally to redistribute the marinade.
When ready to cook, drain the meat and pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper, place on a rack in a roasting pan, and let it come to room temperature for up to an hour. Preheat your oven to 250°F. If you have one, insert a remote temperature probe in the thickest part of the meat. Roast the meat until the internal temperature reaches 110°F. If you don’t have a probe, use an instant-read meat thermometer and start checking after an hour. Remove the meat from the oven and tent with foil. Let rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat a cast-iron grill pan or large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat until hot. (You can also finish the tenderloin on a grill.) Rub the tenderloin with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, then sear on all sides until the outside is deeply browned and caramelized and the internal temperature is 125°F for rare or 135°F for medium rare. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and loosely tent with foil again. Let rest for 5 minutes.
Carve into 1/2-inch-thick slices, reserving the juices. Shingle the slices on a warmed platter. Drizzle with the juices and additional olive oil and garnish with thyme and rosemary sprigs.
Yields 6 servings