Spice Rubbed Beef Tenderloin

Beef Tenderloin

There’s nothing that I love more than beef tenderloin. I am not one for fatty cuts of beef, so give me a tender piece of meat without an ounce of fat on it and I am happy camper. Sadly, the steep price tag of beef tenderloin keeps me from making it more than once a year, usually for Christmas dinner. So, you could imagine my excitement when I found tenderloin marked down to 50% off.

This is a very simple beef tenderloin recipe, with very little ingredients. When you have a good cut of beef, you don’t want, or really need, to overpower it with seasonings and spices. You really want the taste of the meat to shine through on its own, and not be overpowering.

Since it is an expensive cut of meat, you really don’t want to screw it up and overcook it. Therefore, an internal meat thermometer is vital. I have one that you leave inside the meat while the meat cooks, and you can monitor the temperature without even opening the oven door. I use it all the time when making roasts or turkeys. Invest in one. They are totally worth the money.

Spice Rubbed Beef Tenderloin

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 1 whole beef tenderloin (4 to 5 lbs)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Season salt (to taste)
  • Lemon pepper seasoning (to taste)
  • 1/3 cup black peppercorns
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Trim the meat to remove the fat and the silvery cartilage underneath the meat. It doesn't have to be perfect, just remove as much as you can. (Or, have your friendly butcher do it for you.)
  3. Sprinkle the meat generously with seasoned salt, and use your fingers to massage it into the meat. Sprinkle lemon-pepper seasoning on top and again, rub in with your fingers. Place the peppercorns in a ziplock bag, and use a mallet or meat hammer to smash the peppercorns.
  4. Heat some olive oil in a heavy skillet. When the oil is hot, place the tenderloin in the very hot pan to sear it. Throw a couple of tablespoons of butter into the skillet to give it a nice little butter injection before going in the oven. A minute or two later, when one side is starting to turn nice and brown, flip and repeat.
  5. Place the tenderloin on an oven pan with a rack. Sprinkle the pummeled peppercorns all over the meat. Press the pepper onto the surface of the meat. Put several tablespoons of butter all over the meat. Stick the long needle of the thermometer lengthwise into the meat.
  6. Place it in a 475-degree oven until the temperature reaches just under 140 degrees, about fifteen to twenty minutes. Stay near the oven and keep checking the meat thermometer to make sure it doesn’t overcook. Let meat stand ten minutes or so before slicing, so the meat will have a chance to relax a bit.





Source: Pioneer Woman

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  1. guest says

    I can’t find beef tenderloin at any of my local grocery stores. Do you have to ask for it from the butcher, or is it just readily available near you?

    • says

      My grocery store has it right in the meat section, but my grocery store tends to have a large selection of meat. If you have a smaller grocery store, you might have to ask your butcher or special order it.

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