Cooking beef tenderloin in the oven is a perfect choice for holiday meals. Low in fat and high in protein, this cut fits into most diets without adding inches to your waist. Ideally, choose an organic brand for extra flavor and nutrition.
The key to perfectly roasted beef tenderloin is to cut it in two and tie it up before cooking. Sear it and then bake it for extra flavor.
What Is Beef Tenderloin?
This tender, lean cut of meat comes from the loin of the beef. It can be cooked as is or divided into steaks and roasts, such as the famous filet mignon or Chateaubriand. Also known as eye filet, it's cut from the rear portion of the spine, so it gets little exercise. That's why it's so tender and soft, with a buttery texture.
Read more: Just How Healthy Is an 8 Ounce Filet Mignon?
According to the Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Association, loin cuts are ideal for grilling and broiling, but they can be roasted as well. Low in fat and calories, beef tenderloin steak fits into most diets. The USDA reports that each serving (3 ounces) has just 110 calories, along with the following nutrients:
- 19 grams of protein
- 4.5 grams of fat, including 1.5 grams of saturated fat
- 10 percent of the DV (daily value) of iron
- 2 percent of the DV of calcium
A research paper published in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society in August 2016 outlines the nutritional value of red meat. As the scientists note, this type of meat supplies high biological value protein and other key nutrients. When consumed as part of a balanced diet, it may facilitate weight loss and increase satiety.
Organic beef meat is even more nutritious. A July 2019 review featured in the Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture states that there is 32 percent less fat, 53 percent more beta-carotene and 17 percent less cholesterol in organic beef compared to its conventional counterpart. It also provides 72 percent more taurine, an amino acid that modulates cell development and neuronal activity.
Beef Tenderloin in the Oven
Cooking a tenderloin roast in the oven is easy due to the tenderness of the meat. Tougher cuts, such as the shoulder roast or top round, take hours to cook and require extensive prep work.
First, trim any visible fat and silverskin with a thin, flexible knife. If you're using a whole beef tenderloin recipe, cut it in two and tie it up beforehand. This ensures even cooking and enhances its visual appeal.
Next, mix your favorite spices and herbs in a small bowl and rub them into the meat. Cover the tenderloin with a thin layer of salt to bring out its juices. Put it in a large baking dish and roast it at 425 degrees Fahrenheit, as recommended by the USDA. The steak should be ready within 45 to 60 minutes, depending on it its size.
Cook your beef tenderloin in the oven until it reaches a minimum internal temperature of 145 F. When done, let it rest for 15 minutes or longer. If you slice it right away, its juices will leak out onto your plate.
Consider searing the beef tenderloin before putting it in the oven. This way, the meat will get a dark, caramelized crust and more flavor. Just remember to sear the roast on each side. For a rich aroma, rub it with a mixture of mustard and herbs afterward.
- Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Association: "Tenderloin Roast"
- USDA: "Nutrition Facts for Beef Tenderloin Steak"
- Proceedings of the Nutrition Society: "The Role of Red Meat in the Diet: Nutrition and Health Benefits"
- Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture: "Nutritional Properties of Organic and Conventional Beef Meat at Retail"
- Molecular Vision: "Taurine: A “Very Essential” Amino Acid"
- USDA: "Beef From Farm to Table"