From America's Test Kitchen Season 3: Holiday Dinner
There's nothing like the buttery texture of a roasted beef tenderloin. Ideally, it has rosy meat all the way through and a deep brown crust; too often, though, this roast has only one or the other. We wanted a technique that produced perfectly cooked and deeply flavored meat - without too much fuss. Tenderloins come whole or center-cut, and the obvious choice was the latter; it's already trimmed, and it lacks the narrow "tail" of the whole cut.
To add flavor to this mild cut of beef, a simple technique of salting it before roasting worked wonders. With its uniformly rosy meat, deep brown crust, and beefy flavor, this beef tenderloin was worthy of its price tag.
Serves 12 to 16
To age the tenderloin, set it on a rack over a roasting pan and refrigerate it 3 to 4 days. If you do age the meat, you can reduce the post-roasting resting time to 15 to 20 minutes. To give the tenderloin a more pronounced pepper crust, increase the amount of pepper to 6 tablespoons and use a mixture of strong black and white and mild pink and green peppercorns. Be sure to crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle or with a heavy-bottomed saucepan or skillet. Do not use a coffee or spice grinder, which will grind the softer green and pink peppercorns to a powder before the harder black and white peppercorns begin to break up.