Ina Garten’s Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin Recipe

By Christina Collins

Slow Cooked Filet of Beef

THE special occasion meal.

Ina Garten’s Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin recipe is always what I make for holiday roasts or special occasion meals. Everyone loves a roasted filet of beef and for good reason- when cooked properly it is described as “melting in your mouth.” It’s the most tender cut from the cow and is universally known as a luxury meal.

It is one of the most expensive cuts of beef you can buy, so when you decide to invest in making this beef tenderloin recipe, you will want to make sure you have everything you need to ensure absolute perfection and this is where I can help. Here is what you need to guarantee a stunning beef tenderloin that is cooked to perfection: 1) A great cut of beef 2) An in-oven thermometer probe 3) Lots of fresh tarragon 4) Butchers twine 5) A sheet pan, preferably with a raised grid insert.

This cut of beef often goes by a few names including filet mignon, filet of beef, roast beef, and châteaubriand. Much of this depends on your region, and your butcher’s preference, although there are differences in the cuts. If you want to learn more about the names and cuts of beef, check out this article from Kitchn– A complete guide to steak.

How to make Ina Garten’s Beef Tenderloin Recipe: 6 steps to perfection.

Step 1

Lay Butcher’s twine in vertical strips about 3 inches apart and one 2.5 times the length of the roast down the middle.

Step 2

Lay the tarragon leaves across the twine. It doesn’t need to be perfect- a rustic approach is fine.

Step 3

Raw piece of beef tenderloin

Place the Tenderloin onto the tarragon leaves.

Step 4

Place the remaining tarragon on top and around the roast.

Step 5

Grab each twine positioned at 3 inch intervals and tie them around the roast, one at a time. The ties should be just firm enough to hold the tarragon in place and hold the shape of the beef. Finally, wrap the long piece of twine up and over with a final tie, like wrapping a gift. Make Ahead Tip: At this point, you can lift the roast using the sides of the parchment paper onto a sheet pan (preferably with a raised rack insert) and cook immediately, or placed uncovered in the fridge for several hours. But be sure to remove it from the fridge 1 hour before roasting to bring down to room temp

Step 6

Place the roast on a sheet pan. If you have a raised grid, use it. Roast at 275°F until the temperature registers 126-128 degrees in the center for rare and 135 degrees for medium-rare. (I think 130 is the sweet spot.) Roasting typically takes around 1.25 hours, but many factors influence this including the temperature of beef when placed in the oven, oven efficiency, other foods in the same space, etc. That is why we go by temperature and not time. Let the roast rest for 20 minutes. Slice and Serve.

Slow Cooked Filet of Beef
It is not only easy enough for a beginner cook to make, but it’s also incredibly impressive.

The secret to success- The Dot.

The secret to achieving perfectly cooked beef tenderloin (or any cut of steak or a roast) is nailing the temperature. The only way that can be done is with a trustworthy in oven probe thermometer. I came across the Thermoworks Dot years ago and I have several. I gift them frequently to all the cooks in my life. A must have for anyone who wants to remove the stress out of cooking any roast.

Pro Tips:

  • It’s worth the extra money to purchase this cut at a reputable Butcher shop. If you can only find vacuum sealed or previously frozen (which most vacuum sealed cuts are) then you will need to roast the beef for longer and the results will be a “wetter” or “bloodier” meat. This is avoided by using a fresh cut. Trust me, I have learned this the hard way.
  • Use the right tools. Invest in a in oven probe and a good sheet pan with a raised grid rack.
  • Don’t skip rest time due to fear of it cooling off. Don’t worry- it will hold its temperature for a long time and still be warm after resting. And if it’s not piping hot, it’s okay! Beef tenderloin roasts are often served at room temperature at some of the finest dining experiences in the world! This is another reason it is perfect for a large gathering. Tip- Make sure everything else is on the table first before slicing and plating- that’s when it cools off quickest.

The perfect pairing – Basil Parmesan sauce

I have tried many, many sauces to accompany this beef tenderloin recipe, but I always come back to the Ina Garten’s original recommendation of Basil Parmesan sauce.

The combination of herbal flavor from the tarragon combines perfectly with the sweet basil. This sauce can be made 2-3 days in advance.

Slow Cooked Filet of Beef

Ina Garten’s Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin

This filet of beef tenderloin is cooked at a low temperature for an extended period of time which ensures an even medium-rare from edge to edge.
Serves 6-8 people.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 25 minutes
Resting time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 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
  • 15-20 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.  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 125-130 degrees in the center for rare and 130 – 135 degrees for medium-rare. Cover the filet with aluminum foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Remove tarragon & strings, slice thickly and serve warm or at room temperature. 
  • Recommended: Serve with Basil Parmesan Sauce or Classic Horseradish Cream Sauce.


Because the beef is slow roasted, the recipe can be adjusted to accommodate a small cut of beef without altering the time. Of course, keep an eye on it, but I have produced excellent results using varying size cuts. Simply, adjust your seasonings correctly. 
Recommended side sauces for serving are horseradish cream sauce or Ina’s Basil Parmesan Mayonnaise. 

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3 thoughts on “Ina Garten’s Slow Roasted Beef Tenderloin Recipe”

  1. Made the tenderloin for Christmas Dinner – it was amazing! Melted in our mouths and was cooked perfectly. I didn’t have tarragon but had a fresh herb mix of thyme, rosemary and sage sprigs so I used them – delicious!! Will definitely make this again, its a keeper!

    • I am so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it! Although we were a small crowd of 3 this past Christmas, I still made it this year, and for the first time we had leftovers for “melt in your mouth” sandwiches the next day. Yum! Preparing the tenderloin this way simply blows me away every time we make it. Great to know you tried it with other herbs! Thank you for taking the time to reach out!

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