Slow-Roasted Beef Tenderloin

There are many methods employed to roast a whole beef tenderloin, and I believe I’ve tried every one of them. Some call for a very hot oven with a short cooking time, others call for a moderate oven with a longer cooking time, and my favorite method is low and slow.

Roasting a whole tenderloin in a low oven ensures that the tenderloin, from end to end, is all done to the same degree. So, if your family likes a tenderloin that’s medium or medium-rare, you aren’t stuck with end pieces that are well done with just a few medium-rare pieces in the middle.

A simple Red Wine Jus made from a full-bodied wine along with shallots, fresh thyme and beef broth adds the finishing touch to this perfectly roasted special occasion cut of meat.

  • 1 whole beef tenderloin, about 6 pounds, trimmed of fat and sinew
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Season tenderloin generously with salt and pepper and fold the tail piece under itself to create a roast of uniform thickness. Tie beef with twine all the way around, and tuck sprigs of thyme under the twine all over roast. Place beef on a roasting pan and roast until the thickest part measures 130 degrees on an instant-read thermometer (for medium-rare), about 1 3/4 - 2 hours.

Transfer to a carving board, tent loosely with foil and let rest for 30 minutes. Slice and serve, drizzled with the Red Wine Jus.

Makes 6-8 servings.

Red Wine Jus

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups full-bodied red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 cups beef and veal stock or 2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth and 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
Melt butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Turn heat to high and add wine and vinegar and boil vigorously until reduced to 1/4 cup, about 10 minutes. Add thyme and stock or broth and cook until reduced to 1 cup, about 20 minutes. Strain and keep warm until ready to serve. (Jus can be made ahead and covered and refrigerated. Just heat before serving.)