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I have a love hate relationship with this Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I realize that’s a really odd way to start out this post, but man I just have to be honest, taking photos of beef is not really my thing. Occasionally, I luck out and all goes well, but I swear if I never have to take another photo of beef again I’d be real happy. For all of you out there who think I don’t still sometimes struggle with my photography, I do, I do!

Obviously, I love this recipe or I would not have posted it. It’s easy, delicious, and will soon be my family’s Christmas Eve dinner. Photographing this recipe however? Well, as you can probably guess from the way I started out this post, that was just zero fun. It’s beef, it’s not the prettiest thing to take a photo of, but hey, it’s a great recipe, so let’s just focus on the key points.

It’s also a recipe that I have now tested over, and over again in my frustration to obtain better photos. Yes, my family has been eating beef tenderloin for a week straight. Thankfully they all love steak and are definitely not complaining…well except for my dad who has had onion breath the entire week (ah sorry mom?).

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

And moving right along.

Now that I have sufficiently vented (felt good, but still a little upset I couldn’t make this delicious recipe just a little yummier looking…not stewing on it or anything though), let’s talk holiday dinners!

In the last year, I’ve really enjoyed planning special occasion dinners/parties/holiday things. I have two coming out in the next few days that I cannot wait to share with you guys (sneak peek of my dinner with Camille Styles here). One of the keys to a great dinner party is obviously a great dinner. The thing is, it’s hard to be cooking and entertaining at the same time. If not done properly, it can be a little stressful, and a stressed hostess never makes for a fun party.

Today I’m sharing one of my favorite easy, prep in advance, fancy…ish dinners that’s perfect for any holiday party you may be hosting this season.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

A roasted beef tenderloin is kind of like the creme de la creme of roasted beef. I almost only ever prepare it for my family for Christmas Eve dinner. I think it’s one of those meals they look forward to the entire year, probably even more so than Thanksgiving. Normally, I do more of a classic style roast with a cream sauce, but this year I had the idea to do this French inspired roast.

The beef is roasted very simple with a little garlic, thyme, and plenty of crushed peppercorns. It’s the sauce that’s really key here. It’s basically French Onion Soup. Not basically, it is French Onion soup that gets spooned over the perfectly roasted tenderloin. I can’t think of any other meal that is as perfect for such a special night meal. It’s savory, decadent, buttery, and so full of flavor.

What’s really great is that everything is all made in one pan. You can season the beef the night before, then the next day, just allow the meat to come to room temperature, add the onions to a roasting pan, add the beef on top with a pat of butter and roast. My family prefers their meat pretty rare, especially tenderloin, so I usually end up roasting my meat around thirty-five to forty minutes until it’s 120-125 degrees, but the cooking time is going to vary depending on the size of your meat and how you prefer it cooked. I highly recommend roasting the tenderloin with a meat thermometer to ensure you cook it to the perfect temp.

You’ll want the meat to rest for a few minutes before slicing, so while that happens, transfer the onions to the stove stop, finish caramelizing them with a little butter (of course), add some wine, and season it up.

Slice the meat. Spoon the sauce and onions over top.

DONE.

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

It’s so simple and easy, but yet fancy and delicious.

People go crazy for this and it’s the perfect holiday entertaining recipe. I always love serving this with a side of cheesy potatoes (Gerard family classic), which I will be sharing with you tomorrow! If you need a potato recipe now though, these potato stacks are another favorite.

A side salad is great too…I love this one!

And now we have a complete meal. Oh wait, you need a cocktail. Okay, now it’s complete.

Who’s ready?

Cool. Cool. Let make a roast this holiday season!

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 951 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Ingredients

  • 1 (4-5 pound) whole beef tenderloin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/4 cup peppercorns crushed, or fresh black pepper (I use pink peppercorns)
  • kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter

French Onion Au Jus

Instructions

  • 1. Remove the meat from the fridge 1-2 hours before roasting. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
    2. Rub the beef with garlic, thyme, and season generously with peppercorns and salt. At this point, the meat can be stored in the fridge up to overnight. Bring the meat to room temperature before cooking. 
    3. Arrange the onions in a large, oven safe skillet. Place the beef over the the onions. Add 2 tablespoons butter to the top of the beef. Transfer to the oven and roast until the beef registers 120 to 125 degrees F for medium-rare, for rare about 35-45 minutes, depending on the size of your roast. It's best to use a meat thermometer.
    4. Remove the beef from the skillet to a serving plate and cover with foil. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
    5. Meanwhile, set the skillet with the onions over medium heat. Add 6 tablespoons butter and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are deep golden in color and caramelized, 5-10 minutes. Add the wine, beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and thyme. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer. Remove the thyme sprigs. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    6. Slice the beef and serve with the French Onion Au Jus. 

Roasted Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

PS. Gerard fam? This is your Christmas Eve dinner.

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Comments

  1. Wow! A wonderful recipe! Guests raved about it saying it was the best meal they have ever had. I halved the recipe for four people but will definitely use the full recipe for the onion. Ill even add an extra onion. Keep onion thin but large. Cook to medium rare to rare. Costco’s denuded beef tenderloin was EXCELLENT!

  2. Made with a 3 pound grass fed shoulder roast cooked 45 minutes – excellent. My only issue was the onions were super salty. Maybe an unsalted broth next time. Meat was still tender, tasty, and pink, though, so still a win. Thank you!

    1. Hey Bethany,
      I haven’t tested this in a crockpot, but I would probably advise against doing so. I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you have any other questions! Happy Holidays! xTieghan

  3. 5 stars
    We ended up making this with a chuck blade roast as the tenderloin was $30/lbs. Made it mostly as is, but seared first and lowered the temp a bit. The rub and the onion jus were a huge hit with our friends. Really loved it!

  4. Would the cooking and roasting be similar if I used a dutch oven pot? I don’t see anything about covering it while in the oven so I would imagine the cook time/temp looks similar?

    1. Hey Kelsey! Yes, all would be exactly the same. No need to cover the roast. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you!! xTieghan

  5. 5 stars
    This is delicious.
    Made it for NYE, and making again for a girls night tomorrow.
    Well worth the cost of the tenderloin.

  6. 5 stars
    Tieghan, I have been cooking Christmas dinner for 15-20 People for the last ten years. I came across Half Baled Harvest and used pretty much all of your recipes this year. The tenderloin turned out absolutely perfect! I would typically sear a tenderloin but since I was cooking two (5) lb roasts I followed your recipe and it was Med. rare with a great crispy bark. Thank you, I am buying all of your cookbooks!!

    1. OMG! This is so amazing to hear Joe! Thank you for trying my recipes and I hope you love the ones in the books too! Have a wonderful week and New Year! xTieghan

  7. 5 stars
    I made this last night for a little get together. AMAZING! Everyone, including me, said it was the best tenderloin we have ever eaten. The only thing I did differently is add 2 tbls corn starch to the onion au jus, I like it just a tad creamy. Everyone wanted to drink it. I’m almost 50 yrs old and this is the best roast I have ever made. Thank you so much.

    1. Wow that is so amazing! Thank you for trying this one, Carrie! I am so glad it turned out so well for you. xTieghan

  8. Hi there. In the photo the roast looks pretty browned. Did you have to brown it in the pan before putting it in the over?

    1. Hi Ashely, I have done what is listed out in the recipe. I did not brown the meat first, it will brown in the oven. Please let me know if you have any other questions. I hope you love this recipe! Thank you! xTieghan

  9. 4 stars
    You are the millennial Martha Stewart but from the Midwest, I love the rustic chic we definitely are chef, foodie, decor spirit animals. While I see what the other commenter means about the brown it doesn’t bother me… keep up the great work! Happy Holidays!

  10. Do you think the tenderloin would still come out good if you cooked it at a lower temperature for longer, like at 425? I’m going to have it in the oven with a couple side dishes that need a much lower temp, so I figure 425 might be the middle ground for all of them. Love your recipes!

    1. Hmm, I am not sure. I do think it will work, but I can’t advise on the cooking time as I have not tested the recipe this way. Please let me know how it goes! I hope you love this recipe. Thanks so much and happy Holidays!! xTieghan ?

  11. 5 stars
    This was absolutely amazing! I make a new half baked harvest recipe every Tuesday and this one was fantastic! I have Tuesday dinner at my house with friends weekly and once again Tiegan for the win!!!

  12. Hi Tieghan,
    Thanks for the beautiful recipe!! We’re making this for Christmas Dinner… We did a trial run, and the meat was perfect, but the onions were *incinerated*… We followed to the letter. Wonder if our oven runs hot? Could we add thd onions later, or maybe take them out early?
    Thanks so much for your wonderful recipes

    1. Hmm, I would just add the onions at a later time and see how that goes! Please let me know if you have any other questions. So glad you love this recipe. Thanks so much!! xTieghan ?

  13. 5 stars
    This was absolutely amazing! I can see why you only make it once a year. I think we will have to make this for a special occasion next time with more than just two of us. Ha! But we ate every last bit of this over the week so there’s a plus! Made it with the suggested potatoes and my husband was blown away! He said it was the best meal he’d ever had! Pretty good compliment from the grill master of our house! I definitely want to entertain with this. I think people would rave about it for years! Ha!

    1. HI! I’d use 8 ounce filets and roast for 8-10 minutes, but the cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your filets. I recommend using a meat thermometer for best results. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  14. Hi,

    I’m wanting to make this, do I need to use twine? I’m asking because the picture shows it but I didn’t read anything about it in the recipe. Thanks :)!

    1. HI! It is best if you have your butcher tie your roast. It helps the meat to cook evenly. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

  15. Don’t be so hard on yourself, the pictures are great, very lovely. I printed this and hopefully I will be making it over Christmas! Thanks for all your wonderful recipes!

  16. I understand that some foods must be easier to photograph than others but honestly, I’m sure that 98% of people reading your blog think your pictures are great. You’re doing a fantastic job and I check on what’s new every day. Stay confident, you’re young and you have already achieved so many things! Personally I love seeing these French-inspired recipes (big smile); We usually swap our Christmas turkey for fine beef too, thanks for sharing!

  17. Your photographs are always stunning and I look forward every day to seeing what you’ve cooked up! However, you may want to double check with your butcher about the cut of meat you used. It looks like a boneless prime rib roast. A tenderloin will be long and narrow and not marbled like that. Great recipe though for any cut of beef!

    1. Hi Carol, thanks for the concerns and kind words. the roast in these photos is most definitely a tenderloin. I just left some of the fat on my tenderloin, which is making it look thicker than most tenderloins. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? ?

  18. 5 stars
    Yes…I am still learning how to take good photos, but I totally get what you mean. There are some subjects that I just hate photographing too. Sandwiches/wraps/burgers come to mind!! And we also have meals on repeat until I can get it right (or good enough). For what it’s worth, I think these photos are drool-worthy. Steak is definitely one of my favorites!

  19. I’m obsessed with your food photography! Beef is a tricky SOB to shoot but I always look to you for inspiration, because you make everything looks so friggin bonkers delicious! Me and my family love throwing down for our holiday feats. I look forward to cooking with them every year. I can’t wait to show them this post! I know they will be drooling as much as I am!

    1. I question the same. It looks more like a prime rib cut. Beef tenderloin is the yummy expensive long filet mignon. I feel the prime rib or roast would go well with this sauce, but a beef tenderloin doesn’t need it.

    2. Hi Jo, the roast in these photos is most definitely a tenderloin. I just left some of the fat on my tenderloin, which is making it look thicker than most tenderloins. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

      1. Sorry, but that is not a tenderloin – tenderloin does not have fat to leave on. It is also a oval/circular shape which your roast is not.

        1. Hi Jo. It’s a tenderloin, just not trimmed of the fat. Please let me know if you have other questions. Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

  20. I came across this recipe. Sounds delish. Can I use this with a 5-6# Prime Rib? Also in your second description mentioned sugar. I don’t see where in your ingredients it’s mentioned? Thank You.

    1. Yes, a prime rib roast will be great in place of the beef tenderloin. Sorry about the sugar, that was a typo. All fixed now. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

    1. I like using half beef broth and half pomegranate juice. Alternately, all beef broth works great too. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

  21. Can’t wait to try this. I do not see sugar in the ingredient list. How much sugar is used? Have never been disappointed by any recipes. You’re the best.

    1. I so sorry for the confusion, that was a typo. No sugar in this recipe. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holiday’s ? 🙂

  22. Although your photos are still very pretty, in my humble opinion, I think the problem with your beef photography is it always seems to be brown on brown on brown. Brown beef over a brown cutting board over a brown wood table, and all the same tone of brown. Maybe varying the wood tone would help if you don’t want to venture too far away from this rustic look, or showing it on a serving plate? I don’t really know, just my quick though on this.

    This aside, the recipe as still me drooling over it ! The french onion au jus looks divine ! I will sure make it this winter to warm my kitchen and my heart 🙂

    1. Thank you Erika! I really love when you guys give me honest opinions, it means a lot! I hope you love this dish, let me know! Thank you again!

  23. 5 stars
    Hi. Looks very nice so once I get a nice piece of beef I’ll definitely try this.. BTW how long should I roast it to get medium or which temperature I should reach? Thanks.

    1. HI! You will need to roast for 45-55 minutes or until the beef reaches 145 degrees for medium. Please let me know if you have other questions, Hope you love this recipe!

    1. So sorry, that was a typo. No sugar! Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Happy Holidays ? ?

  24. 5 stars
    Oh, Tiegh, I write it all the time, but apparenntly, I need to repeat myself: your photos are always, ALWAYS ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! You can capture something like an ugly looking beef into a delicacy, trust me! I was drooling over my keyboard reading the lines. The juicy meat slices.. the pink peppercorns.. the mouthwatering onions!! Ooooh, those onions, I’d kill for them. And I’m amazed how simple this recipe is. Just a few ingredients, not much of a dishes to clean, pretty quick in consideration it is a beef meat. What else to wish for?!
    Really, you did a wonderful job here, no worries. I don’t know anyone such talented as you are regarding the content and styling. Always creative, a little bit of everything.. it is a pleasure to read your posts. Moreover, I highly appreciate the personal touch of the blog. It is like I know you personally, you show yourself as a real human, not an impersonal recipe creator who is paid for that stuff. It’s just you in the pure genuine form. I love it so much.
    Have a lovely day!
    Sending hugs,
    ||Jar||