Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish-Dill Sauce

Although mild in flavour, nothing beats the extravagantly buttery texture of a perfectly cooked beef tenderloin. This sensational Beef Tenderloin with Cool Horseradish-Dill Sauce recipe, inspired by my friends Cory and Richard who served it as an appetizer at a cocktail party earlier this year, was adapted from one of their issues of 'Fine Cooking'. Creating a menu of elegant hors d'oeuvres for a special birthday celebration last week, this recipe was at the very top of my list. The best way to cook beef tenderloin is a two-step process: sear, then roast, but restraint is the key — this exquisite cut of meat is best served rare or medium rare, so allowing the tenderloin to relax after roasting, gives the meat a chance to reabsorb all the juices, ensuring a succulent and mouthwateringly tender result. Accompanied with a cool and creamy horseradish and dill sauce, this dish is guaranteed to be the culinary highlight of any special celebration.

Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish-Dill Sauce

Serves 30-40 as appetizer
Recipe adapted from 'Fine Cooking'


5 whole scallions, sliced
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup prepared horseradish, drained
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream or crème fraîche
1 hard-cooked large egg, finely chopped


1 trimmed whole beef tenderloin, about 3-1/2 to 4 lb
Kosher salt
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 medium clove garlic, mashed to a paste
1 tsp honey
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

To make the sauce, pulse the scallions and dill in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the olive oil, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and pulse until just blended. Transfer to a bowl, stir in the sour cream, and then fold in the egg. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to let the flavours meld. Season to taste with more salt, pepper, lemon juice, or Worcestershire.

To prepare the beef, fold the thinner end of the tenderloin under to create an evenly thick roast, and secure with twine. Rub the beef all over with a tablespoon of salt. Wrap it up in plastic wrap, place it on a rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Remove the beef from the refrigerator and let sit for about an hour before roasting. Meanwhile, position a rack in the centre of the oven and heat the oven to 475°F.

In a small bowl, combine the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, honey, soy sauce, thyme, and a few grinds of pepper, and set aside. Heat a flame-proof roasting pan over medium-high heat, using 2 burners if necessary. Add the oil, swirling the pan to coat, and then add the beef. Cook, turning with tongs, until well browned on all sides, about 10-12 minutes total. Transfer to a cutting board, and wipe out the pan.

Brush the glaze over all of the beef, return to the roasting pan, and roast to an internal temperature of 120°F for rare, 16 to 20 minutes, or 125°F for medium rare, 22 to 26 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest at least 10-15 minutes. If serving cold, wrap the tenderloin in plastic wrap once it has cooled and refrigerate for up to 24 hours, which is what I did and the results were perfect! If serving at room temperature, slice the tenderloin 1/8 inch thick and pour any juices that have accumulated over the sliced beef. Serve on a platter with the horseradish-dill sauce and sliced baguette on the side for guests to assemble hors d'oeuvres themselves, or prepare as canapés to be passed around to guests.

The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Let it sit at room temperature for at least 15 minutes before serving, as cold can mute flavours. Season again just before serving; the tenderloin can be tied and salted up to 2 days ahead; keep it wrapped in butcher paper or plastic in the refrigerator; the tenderloin can be cooked, cooled, and refrigerated, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 24 hours.

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