Fillet of Beef

Total Time:
50 min
5 min
20 min
25 min

8 to 10 servings

  • 1 (4 to 5 pound) fillet of beef, trimmed and tied
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.

Place the beef on a sheet pan and pat the outside dry with a paper towel. Spread the butter on with your hands. Sprinkle evenly with the salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for exactly 22 minutes for rare and 25 minutes for medium-rare.

Remove the beef from the oven, cover it tightly with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. Remove the strings and slice the fillet thickly.

Note: Be sure your oven is very clean or the high temperature will cause it to smoke.

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Pairs Well With
Cabernet Sauvignon

Rich, intense red wine

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    44 Reviews
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    I have made this many times. Perfect every time! Ina is awesome.
    HELP! Does anyone know how to do this method with 2 tenderloins at the same time? I'm having a large crowd and have a 7lb and a 5lb tenderloin that will both need to be cooked (hopefully at the same time). Do I average the total weight and base the cooking time on a 6lb roast or add the total weight together and base the cooking time on a 12lb roast?
    The cooking time is the same, however, since you have two pieces of meat that are different weights add another 5-7 minutes to the 7 lb piece- Do this: 
    At the appropriate time (22 min or 25 minutes) take out the 5lb piece of meat, cover it to rest for 20 minutes). By that time, the other piece should be ready to come out. Then cover it for 20 minutes. This is probably better because as your are cutting one, the other is finishing resting.
    Excellent. I made this on Christmas Day 2013, and it was perfect. No smoke at all. I put a sheet of aluminum foil on the bottom of the pan and set the meat directly on top of it. Do not be afraid to use all of the recommended Kosher salt. I studded the meat with garlic slivers, for added flavor. My roast untrimmed was about 5 lbs., and trimmed it was barely 4 lbs. Thanks, Ina.
    My tenderloin was perfect! The ends were medium and the middle was medium rare. I love cooking tenderloin this way because once it comes out of the oven, all of the side can go in and everything is ready at once. I cleaned my oven very well that day and had no problem with smoke.
    I had to read and re-read this recipe a few times because there was no way this could be this simple and delicious. Well, it is really this simple and delicious. Mine started to smoke a bit at about the 22 min mark but it was certainly manageable. I thoroughly cleaned my oven and racks before as well as purchased a new heavy non stick sheet pan that stated it was oven safe to 500 degrees. I ended up cooking it an extra 5 minutes and the narrow part of the tenderloin was a delicious medium, the wider end was more rare - leaving a piece for all the preferences at the table. Finished the sides while it rested for an easy elegant meal everyone loved! Will make again for another special occasion.
    Perfect !
    The beef was very good. However, the juices smoked in the pan so much that the smoke detectors in the house would not stop! The worst holiday meal ever! So embarrassing. I will never cook at this high a temp again!
    I purposely undercook a tenderloin roast - I have a hot skillet on the stove next to where we cut/serve the roast with a butter dish nearby, I then take a slice of the roast and briefly sear it in the skillet and then Viola !!! = Magnificeo !!!
    What about a 7-8 lb. long should I cook it?
    Delicious, tasty, juicy. Best fillet of beef yet, thank you Ina!
    try this trick to eliminate the smoke - put the meat on a rack in the sheet pan - pour an entire canister of regular salt like Morton's or generic on the sheet pan under the rack - my grocery store private label brand runs 33 cents. The salt will absorb the drippings and there will be no smoke. "An entire canister?!" you ask - will be the cheapest ingredient of this it works! I roast whole chickens with a pan of salt underneath and not a wisp of smoke.
    perfect but cook outside on grill and go with 35 minutes for med rare
    Extremely pleased! This was a totally new way of cooking fillet of beef. Like so many times before, I trusted in Ina's ability to orchestrate a great end result. Minor smoke, which is to be expected from this cooking style. As many have indicated in the past, the smoke is a side effect of having oil, butter or fat drippings on a hot sheet pan. It's just science... Each type of fat has a different "smoke point". Once it is reached, it produces smoke. If you are properly prepared to "manage" the likelihood of a little smoke, by opening a window for about the last 5 minutes of cooking, then it should not be a setback at all! Taste is wonderful, clean up is easy, and the suggested cook times are dead on.
    I used this recipe for a roast last night and it didn't thoroughly cook. I was highly disappointed. I had a 5 lb roast trimmed and tied by my butcher and the center was raw, not rare. Plus it made my smoke director go off and my oven was spotless (it's the butter that makes it smoke Ended up putting it back in the oven with a digital meat thermometer until it was done. I highly doubt I will ever make this again.
    did you use a different cut than the trimmed tenderloin? I have use this recipe several times and always comes out perfectly. If the "roast" as you mentioned above has a larger diameter than the tenderloin, you would definitely end up with a raw center.
    Easy and perfect, just make sure your oven is clean!
    Probably the best and easiest way to cook a beef tenderloin I've tried. I used olive oil instead of butter and seasoned it with a rosemary, garlic dry rub. Next time I'll try a different rub or just a large grain sea salt and maybe the butter. The timing and temp. were about perfect, we like ours rare to med rare and that's the way it came out. Be sure to wrap the roast tightly when you remove it from the oven to keep the heat in while it rests. Definitely a keeper!
    Perfect! Our family likes our steak medium so we roasted the tenderloin for 30 minutes. It was perfect and we did not have a smoke problem. I would make this again in a heartbeat.
    Done perfectly. I used truffle butter and put a little water on the bottom of the pan. This was so easy to make! I will do it again. Thanks Ina!
    After all the reviews complaining about heavy smoke, I decided to make the fillet outside on my gas grill. IT WAS AWESOME. I followed the recipe but placed the fillet on a heavy duty broiler pan instead of on sheet pan. Even on my clean grill, there was a lot of smoke and my broiler pan is now charred black. I would never make this in my oven. The heavy smoke is due to the use of butter, not how clean one's oven might be. If you make this on the grill, make sure you have an accurate thermostat, meat thermometer, and the discipline to leave the grill closed for the full 22 minutes. (A lot of heat is lost if you open the grill and the super high temp and the short cooking time is the key to the success of this recipe. I can't wait to make it again.
    I dont eat rare nor medium meat.. So I cooked it for 50 minutes. It was great.. Lots of smoke in the house though but so easy and totally worth it. I love it. I am waiting for my daughter and husband to come home and to taste it.... Thank you Ina.
    I prepared this over the weekend for my husband's family and it was fabulous. Didn't smoke at all; perhaps because my sheet pan was very clean, also my oven. I was really hesitant about the short cooking time; but it turned out just perfectly. Everyone raved about it. Good job, Ina.
    I made this dish for my boyfriend on Valentine's Day.... Followed the recipe exactly, and it turned out amazing! The meat was perfectly medium-rare (wrapping it in foil for 20 minutes is the secret), and the meat was delicious. I had leftovers that tasted perfect the next day. My oven made very little smoke, that I didn't even notice it. I definitely reccommend this recipe because it's so easy to just pop the beef fillet in the oven!
    The other reviewers are right. This recipe will smoke you out of your house. Ina Garten is my FoodTV favorite and this is my first disappointment. I read the warnings about smoke and didn't think it would happent to me. I cleaned the oven prior to cooking the fillet. We had to open all the windows and set an exhaust fan in the window. We were a bit embarrassed in front of our Chirstmas dinner guests.
     When the 22 minutes of smoke were up I was disappointed to see the the meat was undercooked. My oven is not a slow oven. It required an additional 10 minutes to bring the meat to the correct doneness. I would suggest keeping the recipe in-check by also using a meat thermometer.
     I don't think I would try this again. If I do, I might add some water to the bottom of the pan to keep the drippings from smoking.
     By the way, the fillet itself was very good.
    I love Ina's recipes & tried to modify this one in my oven with a smaller fillet of beef which I wrapped/tied myself, also got the smoky results reported by so many others (still, the beef was fab!). My take is that consumers are dealing with residential ovens & our beloved chefs on FNC have industrial gourmet ovens w/ventilation systems we don't usually have available, so I've learned that unless I want a complete kitchen/oven cleanup there are just some recipes I can't try to duplicate play/by/play. Lesson learned.
     Roanoke, VA
    We too were smoked out despite a clean oven. I think the butter burning on the pan is the culprit. Next time I will omit the butter (maybe I'll try olive oil). Despite the smoky house, the beef was a huge hit. Because I had some guests who preferred rare and others that preferred medium, I did not tie up the meat to a uniform size. My fillet was close to 5 pounds and I found that it needed 10 more minutes to reach medium at the thin end and rare at the thicker end. Delicious!
    I have made this recipe many times. Everyone that has eaten it, loves it and asks for the recipe. I love the gorgonzola sauce that compliment it! The roasted cherry tomatoes recipe is also delicious with this dish. The oven does smoke but it is worth it. A trick; I leave the fillet out (not cold from the refrigerator), this helps the meat to cook more evenly (medium-rare) and not raw (cold in the middle).
    Served this for Christmas day dinner along with bernaise sauce. So delicious. Also, served roasted root vegetables. I prepared a porcini mushroom risotto starter. Would recommend. A bit expensive, but so easy to prepare, especially when you have big number of guests and you want to spend time with them!
    Suzanne, I ran into the same problem ...... I made this for this year's Christmas Eve dinner in our brand new house. We had our guests enjoying appetizers in our back yard while I roasted the filet of beef at 500 degrees (also in our new oven). I opened the oven door and YIKES!! My husband ran in the house because he saw the smoke filled kitchen and thought the house was on fire. Needless to say, we opened the sliding glass doors and windows (Thank God we live in AZ but it was cold out). The beef was fabulous but my new oven is a disaster. Just like Suzanne, it is filled with BLACK gunk. I've self-cleaned it once and must do it again.
     Could this be done in an outside barbeque grill on a pan?? I'm going to check out the Joy of Cooking method for next time.
    I've used the Joy of Cooking method for cooking tenderloin for years, but I wanted to try something new that would take less time. It did take less time, but at 500 degrees and covered with butter, the tenderloin splattered all over the oven. My oven is only 4 weeks old, and now it is completely BLACK inside. I'm hoping it self cleans all right.
     Also, when we opened the door to remove the tenderloin, the smoke that filled the room was unbearable. We had to open all of the windows and doors. Not very impressive for my dinner party! Someone actually asked if we had a fire extinguisher! My second floor still smells like smoke 24 hours later.
     As for the meat itself, it was very tender and medium rare inside, but the edges came out like potroast (I think the foil covering steamed it). There was also a distinct smokey flavor throughout the meat.
     Next time I'm going back to my Joy of Cooking recipe, and I'll spend the extra cooking time sipping a glass of wine!
    I made this for my husband's birthday dinner at my in-laws' house. My father-in-law, a huge beef lover, couldn't get enough of it and refused to believe I hadn't added special seasonings! It is a super easy and quick dinner that will get rave reviews. You must try it!
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