From Gourmet, December 2005, under the name of Rosemary Beef Fillet. Centerpiece of our traditional Christmas feast. Our family’s doneness preferences range from very rare to well done. I cook the beast rare, then those who wish may cook their meat further in the microwave.
For accompaniments, we offer Chimichurri and a creamy horseradish sauce such as the one in Garlicky Beef Tenderloin with Orange Horseradish Sauce.
1 (3 1/2-lb) trimmed and tied center-cut beef tenderloin roast at room temperature
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 (3- to 4-inch) fresh rosemary sprigs
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.
Pat tenderloin dry, then coat all sides with salt, pepper, and garlic. Tuck rosemary sprigs under strings on all sides of roast, leaving a few inches between each.
Heat oil in a flameproof heavy roasting pan over high heat until hot but not smoking, then brown tenderloin on all sides (but not ends), about 10 minutes total.
Transfer pan to oven and roast until thermometer inserted diagonally 2 inches into center of meat registers 120°F, 25 to 30 minutes. Transfer beef to a cutting board and let stand 15 minutes. (Temperature of meat will rise to about 130°F.) Discard string and rosemary sprigs before slicing.