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New Year’s Eve Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream

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Photo Ben Gebo Photography

Ben Gebo Photography

STRATEGY SESSION: I like a tenderloin of beef for a holiday meal because- when properly trimmed- it’s a relatively lean protein as well as a luxurious one. The original recipe contains excess fat and calories. To make the dish healthier, I cut the oil by 2/3 and substitute low  for full fat sour cream in the sauce. These minor changes reduce the total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. In addition, I decrease  portion size to something less Brobdingnagian.

Certified Yummly Recipes on Yummly.com

This recipe is modeled on one I came across  in Saveur Magazine. As soon as I scanned the ingredients, I knew that-after a quick turn in the spa-it would emerge as a lean and fancy option for my New Year’s Eve buffet. It’s easy to prepare and impressive to serve: Everyone thinks it’s grand. And why not? It’s a BIG, BAD MOUNTAIN of MEAT- the fitting centerpiece of a holiday feast.

Serving suggestions: I’ve served  this tenderloin with roasted vegetables of all kinds (e.g. asparagus, Brussels sprouts, greenbeans, red onions), but my favorite accompaniment is my Salad of Roasted Beets, their Greens, and Chives. One advantage of the beet salad is that all of the work can be done in advance, and it’s great at room temperature. Also, there’s something special about the interplay between the beets and the horseradish sauce.

Note: For the photo shoot, I threw some greenery around to brighten things up, but the fresh herbs are really just for show. Speaking of the shoot: If you happen to click on the link to the original recipe, notice the photo. Do you think it looks appetizing? I’d love to know…


New Year’s Eve Beef Tenderloin with Herb-Pepper Crust and Horseradish Cream

Adapted from Herb-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Sauce

  • 3 tablespoons cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1½ cups low fat sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
  • 3 tablespoons prepared white horseradish
  • ½ teaspoon white wine vinegar, or to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (3½-pound) beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt to taste
  1. In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the peppercorns, rosemary, and thyme. Stir with a fork to combine and set aside. (May be prepared to this point 1 day ahead and refrigerated in a covered container.)
  2. In a medium bowl or measuring cup, combine the sour cream, 1 tablespoon of the mustard, horseradish, vinegar, and salt. Whisk to combine. (May be prepared up to 1 day in advance and refrigerated in a covered container. Remove from the refrigerator when the meat goes into the oven and let sit at room temperature until ready to serve.)
  3. Place the beef bottom side up on a sheet of plastic wrap. Rub with 1 teaspoon oil and season with Kosher salt. Spread 1½ tablespoons of the remaining mustard over the exposed portion of the meat, and then sprinkle half of the herb-pepper mixture over the mustard. Carefully turn the meat over and repeat on the other side. Allow the meat to sit at room temperature for 1 hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 425º F. Place a rack on a rimmed baking sheet and set the meat on the rack. Roast for approximately 35 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion reads 115 º. During the last 2 minutes of roasting, preheat the broiler. (If your oven and broiler are located in the same part of your stove, turn off the oven 2 minutes before the roasting time is up and preheat the broiler. Do not remove the meat from the oven during this interval.)
  5. Transfer the meat to the broiler and broil for about 5 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest portion reads 125 º, and the coating is crusty but not scorched. Transfer to a cutting board and allow the meat to rest for 30 minutes. Add any defatted meat juices to the sour cream mixture and stir to blend. Slice the beef and serve with the sauce.

Makes 12 servings

Per serving: Calories 257, 11 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 75 mg cholesterol, 6 g total caborhydrate, 1 g dietary fiber, 31 g protein, 218 mg sodium.

Find other great recipes on the Trufflehead app, now available for the iPhone and iPad in the App Store. For more content, check out the Trufflehead food blog at trufflehead.com.


  • December 27 2009, 2:33 PM
    chocolate shavings

    That does sound perfect for a new year’s eve buffet, and easy enough to make when you’re making several other dishes as well!

  • December 27 2009, 2:58 PM
    marla {Family Fresh Cooking}

    Yes, meat is difficult to photograph. You did well here, this Tenderloin looks lean and filled with flavor.

  • December 27 2009, 4:33 PM

    You’re right. It’s very easy- and you can prepare the herb-peppercorn mixture and the sauce the day before to make it even easier!

  • December 27 2009, 8:14 PM
    [email protected]

    Don’t know how you’d get that to go for 12… it sounds so delicious with that herb crust. They would have to be very polite guests! Great recipe. I just made a tenderloin and it’s good to know it’s low calorie!

  • December 28 2009, 5:31 PM

    You are so right about the photo with the original recipe. No, it does not make me ever want to eat what’s on that plate. Your photo, however, looks really like something I would love to eat. Keep up the good work…photos and advice.

  • December 28 2009, 5:45 PM

    Thanks for your encouragement, Robert. I’ve only been doing food styling since last summer, so I’m a complete novice; but I work with 2 terrific young photographers who coach me well. I’m particularly pleased that you like this photo because meat is very difficult to shoot, and we really tried to make the beef look as good as it tastes.

  • January 10 2010, 11:37 AM

    I agree with Robert - your photograph is much more appealing that the original recipe. Love your webpage and the videos - very useful and clear instructions. Just what I am looking for. I have put your link onto a Facebook discussion page my friend and I have started called Fabulous Foodies Fix Fine Food for Better Health, as it is just what we are looking for. Thanks.

  • January 10 2010, 12:56 PM

    You are extremely kind. I’m THRILLED that you like my website, and I’m honored to be included on your FB page. I’ll check out the other links there.

  • December 16 2010, 5:11 PM
    Blair Culwell

    Glad I came across your blog! I too love to cook with a healthy twist. Your photograph looks far more appetizing than the original. I think I’ll be making something similar for Christmas!!


  • December 16 2010, 6:40 PM

    Thanks. It’s very tasty. I hope you enjoy it!

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