Rebecca Rather’s recipe, from “The Pastry Queen Christmas” (Ten Speed Press, $32.50), is a delicious memory from her own family holidays.
3 pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
2 cups large pimento-stuffed green olives, halved
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 cup olive juice from the green olives
Coat the tenderloin with olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Sear the tenderloin in an extra-large sauté pan for about 1 minute on each side, or until it is nicely browned. Place the tenderloin in a roasting pan. Spread the olives across the top of the meat and pour the olive juice evenly over everything. Roast for 9 minutes (3 minutes per pound), then turn off the oven and leave the roast undisturbed for 45 minutes (for medium-rare). Do not open the oven door during this time. Remove from the oven and loosely tent with aluminum foil. Let rest for 15 to 20 minutes. Carve and serve.
Note: Let the roast stay in the oven for 1 hour if you prefer your meat medium or medium-well.
Note: It seems hard to imagine that you’ll have much in the way of leftovers, but if you do, there’s nothing better than a tenderloin sandwich served on a soft roll. Try it on homemade sandwich rolls with a touch of horseradish or a slathering of horseradish sauce (see below).
Rather Sweet Variation
Although this roast is wonderful as is, I often serve it with a simple homemade horseradish sauce: In a medium bowl, combine 1 cup mayonnaise, 1⁄2 cup sour cream, 1⁄4 cup prepared horseradish (or more to taste), and 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice. Pass the sauce in a serving dish as an accompaniment to the tenderloin.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
From “The Pastry Queen Christmas: Big-Hearted Holiday Entertaining, Texas Style” by Rebecca Rather with Alison Oresman.
Photo by Laurie Smith © 2008