I had always cooked ﬁlet of beef at a high temperature to sear the outside and keep the inside moist and rare. Recently, though, I tried slow-roasting a ﬁlet of beef, and found it was the tenderest I’d ever tasted. Prep it in advance and throw it in the oven two hours before dinner. The homemade mayonnaise with basil and Parmesan is a delicious accompaniment.
Serves 6 to 8
1 whole ﬁlet of beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied (4½ pounds)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
10 to 15 branches fresh tarragon
Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise, for serving (recipe follows)
Preheat the oven to 275 degrees. Use an oven thermometer to be sure your oven temperature is accurate!
Place the ﬁlet on a sheet pan and pat it dry with paper towels. Brush the ﬁlet all over with the oil, reserving about half a tablespoon. Sprinkle it all over with the salt and pepper (it will seem like a lot but believe me, it makes a difference). Place the tarragon branches around the beef, tying them in 4 or 5 places with kitchen string to keep them in place, and then brush the tarragon with the reserved oil.
Roast the ﬁlet of beef for 1. to 1- hours, until the temperature reg- isters 125 degrees in the center for rare and 135 degrees for medium- rare. I place the thermometer horizontally through the end of the beef. Cover the ﬁlet with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice thickly and serve warm or at room temperature with Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise.
Originally published in Barefoot Contessa Foolproof.