Oven-Roasted Beef Tenderloin With Sour Cream Sauce

SERVES: 8-10




  • (A step-by-step demo of this prep was posted in the African Forum, and should appear also in the Index thread, under "Beef", in the Kitchen Information Reference Forum).
  • Heat oven to 325 deg F/160 deg C IF you intend roasting the fillet immediately after preparation.
  • A whole fillet has one thick part and then tapers to a narrow point at the end. In this shape it is not very useable.
  • First trim off the shiny sinew which covers part of the top of the tenderloin by scraping it off gently with a sharp paring knife, so as not to waste meat. Trim off excess fatty bits. WEIGH your tenderloin, which is important for oven timing.
  • Fold the thin end like a fish tail towards the thick end, and then start tying up the folded "tail end" very tightly with kitchen string. Truss the entire tenderloin this way, at intervals of 1/2 inch. In the end you should have a piece of meat which seems equally thick, and will be easy to handle.
  • Mix the flour, ginger, salt and pepper in a dish into which the meat can fit.
  • Rub or pat the entire roast with the mustard.
  • Put it in the flour mixture, and with the help of a spoon and your hands, scoop up and pat this on all over the meat.
  • At this stage it's oven-ready, and can be covered and rested either at room temperature or, if for longer than an hour, in the fridge. It's best to bring it to room temperature before roasting.
  • You can time your tenderloin more or less like this: 15 minutes per pound at 325 deg F/160 deg C should almost guarantee you a rare roast, provided it wasn't freezingly cold when it went into the oven. Twenty minutes per pound should yield a medium-rare roast. If that's still too undercooked to your taste, give it 15 minutes extra in the oven, i.e. 75 minutes at 325 deg F. Personally, I think any more than that and it will be too well done.
  • Test the roast about 2/3 through roasting as described in the intro. Convection ovens like mine are notoriously fast (I can't work out exactly why, because the temperature is correct!
  • Remove, and rest the roast for 15 minutes at least. It can be left in a warming oven, and do warm your serving plates as well.
  • For the sauce, crush the (drained) peppercorns in a mortar and pestle. If you don't have one, put the peppercorns in small batches in a tablespoon, and use the rounded part of another tablespoon to crush them a little.
  • Mix all ingredients well, and ladle into a small bowl. This can be heated gently in the warming oven with the meat, or you can heat it over low heat in a small pot first.
  • Slice hot, at the table, using a very sharp knife to avoid pushing down on the meat and letting the juices run out. Serve with a spoonful of the sour cream sauce, and side dishes of your choice.