1/4 cup whole-grain mustard
3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, coarsly ground
1 Tbs. dried savory, finely crumbled
1 Tbs. dried thyme, finely crumbled
1 whole filet of beef (7 to 8 lb. untrimmed or 5 to 6 lb. trimmed)
Vegetable oil for sautéing
Freshly ground black pepper
In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, olive oil, savory, and thyme, garlic, salt and pepper.
Trim the meat of all excess fat and silverskin. Tuck the tapered tip under and tie with twine to fashion two equally thick roasts. Tie each roast at 2-inch intervals.
Heat the oven to 450°F (480).
Transfer tenderloin to a broiler pan, spread mustard mixture over entire roast. Allow it to sit out 30 minutes to one hour before cooking.
Bake 10 minutes at 480 degrees, then lower temperature to 450 and roast until the internal temperature reaches 130°F for medium rare.
Remove the filets from the oven and let rest in a warm spot for at least 15 min. before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.
When I cook a beef tenderloin for the holidays, I don't know who's happier with it, me or my guests. I like this big boneless cut because it's easy to portion, straightforward to prepare, and a breeze to carve. My guests love it because it's tender, delicious, and—tenderloin being the cut from which filet mignon comes—a special-occasion treat.
Sear first for a flavorful, well-browned crust. I always sear my tenderloin roasts on top of the stove or on the grill before finishing in a hot oven. Some chefs claim they can get the same dark, caramelized crust on the meat by "oven searing"—starting the roast at a higher heat.
Be sure to pat the meat dry before searing it, or the surface moisture will interfere with good browning. After searing, brush the mustard-herb mixture generously over the tenderloin. The coating adds flavor that complements the mild taste of the beef.
I rub the meat with the mustard-herb mix after searing it (rather than before) for two reasons: the mustard would introduce moisture to the pan, again interfering with browning, and it would burn. The simple rub adds flavor to the tenderloin without overwhelming the cut's mild beef taste.
Let the meat rest in a warm place for at least 15 minutes (longer is fine) before slicing it.