Black Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin


Wow your guests with this impressive Black Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin! Easy and delicious and served with a zippy horseradish sauce. Turn this into a meal, by serving it with mashed potatoes and your favorite roasted vegetable.


In a world of Christmas hams, be a beef tenderloin.

That’s my motto, anyway! And let me tell you that this black pepper crusted tenderloin is pure perfection. This cut of meat is special and incredibly tender. And it’s because of this, that it doesn’t need any fancy seasonings. Just flaky kosher salt and coarse cracked black pepper is really all it takes. But that doesn’t mean a sauce isn’t appreciated. Now, while I make an Au jus for prime rib (yum!), I absolutely love serving beef tenderloin with a horseradish cream sauce. It adds zip and really compliments the beef flavor.

If I haven’t mentioned it, this entire beef tenderloin recipe is SO easy and, if you’re new to cooking, this is nothing (and I mean nothing) to be afraid of. So first things first:

What Tools Will You Need To Make This Beef Tenderloin?
  • kitchen twineYou will need this only if your tenderloin doesn’t come trimmed and tied. This is also known as butchers string or cooking string.
  • Roasting pan with rackThis allows air to circulate and ensures even cooking.
  • Instant read digital thermometerThe only sure way to know how done your tenderloin is.

All of these are linked in the recipe printable.

To Make This Black Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin You Will Need:

  • beef tenderloinAlso known as beef filet or chateaubriand. See notes below.
  • avocado oilYou can also use extra light olive oil or grapeseed oil.Any oil safe for high-temp cooking.
  • kosher saltBesides flavoring, it creates a delicious crust on the outside of the tenderloin.
  • freshly cracked or ground black pepperAdds delicious flavor and crust on the tenderloin.
What Type Of Beef Tenderloin Should You Buy?

If you’re going to serve beef tenderloin, I wouldn’t skimp. Check out your local butcher or meat market and you can ask for them trimmed and tied. I also like to by my beef tenderloin at Costco, there you only have the option to buy it trimmed of sliver skin. This option is pricier, so depending on which one you buy, you may have to remove this skin yourself. In my opinion, it’s worth paying the little extra to save yourself time. For example, this 4 pound beef tenderloin cost me around $94.00. But this will serve 8 people so that’s not so bad if you think about it.

What is Silver Skin?

Silver skin is a white, shimmery connective tissue that runs along the tenderloin. You NEVER want to leave this on as it will never get tender and be impossible to chew.

How Much Is a Serving Of Beef Tenderloin?

For a holiday meal, you want to plan on feeding 8 to 10 people. Beef tenderloins range from 2 to 6 pounds. Personally, I like to plan on a 1/2 pound (raw meat weight) per person. Depending on who you ask, you will get different answers, but I like to be generous with number. This calculation accounts for trimming and shrinkage while cooking. For example, plan on a 4 pound beef tenderloin feeding 8 people.

Preheat your oven to 450° and position your oven rack to the second in the bottom third of your oven.

Fold the narrow end underneath so the tenderloin is uniform in thickness – this will ensure even cooking. Tie the roast with kitchen string about every 1-1/2 to 2 inches, trimming off the excess string. There are lots of helpful videos on YouTube to help you achieve this. I love this one.

Preheat your oven to 450° and position your oven rack in the lower third of your oven.

Brush all sides of the tenderloin with oil. Season liberally with kosher salt and black pepper on all sides. Take liberty and use as much or as little black pepper as you feel your guests will enjoy. I was making this for my family where only my husband and I like a lot of pepper. So I used less than I would prefer.

Place the the tenderloin on a rack set into a roasting pan. If your rack is stainless, you may want to spray it with olive oil spray to prevent any sticking.

Insert an oven-safe digital thermometer into the middle of the thickest part of the beef tenderloin.

If you can, program your thermometer to alert you when the tenderloin reaches your desired doneness.

What Are The Temperatures of Doneness For A Beef Tenderloin?

125° is rare – cool with red center

*135° is medium rare – warm red center (<– this is my personal recommendation)

145° is medium – warm pink center

150° is medium well – warm slightly pink center

To Make The Horseradish Cream Sauce You Will Need:

  • plain non-fat greek yogurtLends creaminess and tang.
  • sour creamAdds a little fat and also lends creaminess and tang.
  • prepare horseradishAdds a distinct strong and spicy flavor.
  • oregano (fresh) – Lends a peppery slightly bitter herbaceous flavor.
  • thyme (fresh) – Lends an earthy, slightly minty and lemony flavor.
  • heavy creamImparts a creamy richness while thinning the sauce.
  • lemon juice (freshly squeezed) – Adds brightness and acidity.
  • kosher saltEnhances the flavors of sauce.
  • black pepperLends subtle bite and flavor.

In a medium bowl, add 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup sour cream, 1/4 cup prepared horseradish, 1 teaspoon minced fresh oregano, 3/4 teaspoon minced fresh thyme leaves, 2 to 3 tablespoons heavy cream and the juice of 1/2 a lemon.

Mix well to combine.

Taste-test and season with kosher salt and black pepper to your preference.

Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Once the beef tenderloin has reached your desired doneness, remove and transfer to a carving board. Tent with foil and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

Remove kitchen string before slicing. Personally, I’m pretty generous when serving and like to cut the tenderloin into thick slices, but you can cut thinner (1-inch) slices serving 2 per plate. It’s totally up to you.


Serve on a platter with a bowl of the horseradish cream sauce.

What To Serve With Beef Tenderloin:
What to Make with Leftover Beef Tenderloin:
  • Fry up some eggs and serve it with this sheet pan breakfast hash (just swap the prime rib for the tenderloin).
  • Slice it thinly and top toasted sliced baguette with blue cheese to make crostini.
  • Slice and make sandwiches or top a salad.


The warm, mouth-watering beef with the cool zippy horseradish sauce is incredible.

I like to serve it with mashed potatoes, a roasted vegetable, like Brussels sprouts or asparagus and a good merlot.


Enjoy! And if you give this Black Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin recipe a try, let me know! Snap a photo and tag me on twitter or instagram!