Sunday Dinner with the fam: Beef Tenderloin and a killer Basil Parm Mayo

Sunday dinner is special. Something about the slow moving, relaxing pace of a Sunday makes me want to cook up something a little more special than the average weekday meal. But really – who wants to pull themselves off the couch and their current Netflix binge to make something fancy and super labour intensive? Not me. I’m a simple “chef” at heart and as much as my family appreciates when I go all out and make a seafood lasagna complete with 42 steps – they equally appreciate a beautiful beef tenderloin. Literally 1/4 of the work, can be thrown together in a jiffy and your family thinks you are the “Queen” of the fancy Sunday meal! This recipe is one I have been using for several years and always gets rave reviews. About 2 months ago, I made this recipe and had the steps on our Instagram story. I think because it looks SO easy, and it looks SO good – you guys all wanted the recipe!

We have our friend, Ina Garten to thank for this one. I adore her respect for “real” food, and although she does not go easy on the butter or salt, sometimes I like to throw out all the latest trends on healthy eating and just do homemade real food. It may not be low fat, low carb, or low salt, but you can pronounce the ingredients and you can guarantee it is going to be great.

The key to this recipe is a fresh, prepared by the butcher, beef tenderloin that has been trimmed and tied. The one I purchased recently was 6 1/2 lbs and from MY place BonTon Meat Market, but quite often you cannot find a tenderloin this large. Typically they run about 4 1/2 to 5 lbs. Now, having two teen boys and a hubby with healthy beef appetites plus my daughter, a guest and myself, this allowed plenty and leftovers for sandwiches, or steak and eggs the next day. If you are open to trimming the roast on your own, Costco has some fantastic cryovac beef that you can get for a super decent price.

Trimmed, tied, and seasoned with olive oil, salt and pepper – easy peasy
Can I just say, I could not find tarragon in the stores when I made this, so I just loaded her up with some dried tarragon. Didn’t miss it a bit! 🙂

Beef Tenderloin - Slow and Low

  • Servings: 8
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The perfect recipe to impress guests for a dinner party, or your family at Sunday dinner and still get your binge watching in! Adapted from Ina Garten, Foolproof


1 whole filet of beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied (4 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons good olive oil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
10 to 15 branches fresh tarragon

Preheat the oven to 275 degrees.
Place the filet on a sheet pan and pat it dry (all over) with paper towels. Brush the filet all over with the oil, reserving about half a tablespoon. Sprinkle it all over with the salt and pepper (it will seem like a lot but believe me, it makes a difference). Place the tarragon branches around the beef, tying them in 4 or 5 places with kitchen twine to keep them in place, and then brush the tarragon with the reserved oil.
Roast the filet of beef for 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, until the temperature registers 135 degrees in the center for rare and 145 degrees for medium-rare. Cover the filet with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.

Typically, while cooking this beast on uber low heat I get to work on some simple sides of roast potatoes and my favourite veg – roasted cherry tomatoes. BUT – you can take this beef to another level with a homemade BASIL PARM MAYO – that is simply to die for.

Easy to prep, this mayo just adds that “specialness” to the meal. Equally delicious is a heavy cream gorgonzola sauce, but jeez, you add dessert to that meal, and you are getting out the Thanksgiving pants 🙂 So – the slightly less rich homemade mayo it is!!

Prepping this mayo is so easy as it is all done in the food processor. Throw it all in, pulse away, add oil and you are good to go. It really is amazing how it emulsifies into a thick beautiful addition to your meal.

Basil Parmesan Mayo

  • Servings: 12
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A yummy flavourful addition to your tenderloin. Perfect for sandwich leftovers too! Adapted from Ina Garten, Foolproof


2 extra large egg yolks. at room temperature
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup good olive oil

Place the egg yolks, lemon juice, Parmesan, mustard, basil, garlic, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Process for 20 seconds, until smooth. Combine the vegetable oil and olive oil in a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. With the processor running, slowly pour the oil mixture through the feed tube to make a thick emulsion. Taste for seasonings. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use; it will keep for up to a week.

I have to tell you – I make this meal for special things. On Sunday, I made it because our son was going back to Uni after being home for a week on Reading Break. He loves his meat, and my entire family appreciates this tenderloin roast. This is one of my “LOVE” meals. You know the ones. The meals you make to show them just how much they are missed, how much you cherish them and how proud you are. Kinda like that laundry we do for them, right?

This one’s for you Zaker …



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