Special Occasion Beef Tenderloin With This Ina Garten Beef Tenderloin Recipe And 3 Sauces (Recipes, Tips & Video)


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An Ina Garten beef tenderloin recipe is the perfect way to experience what is arguably the best cut of beef. 

An extremely tender, juicy cut of premium beef with a rosy-pink hue on the inside. 

Served with a beautiful selection of Ina Garten beef tenderloin sauce recipes.

This is a picture of my most recent Ina Garten no fail filet of beef.

The savory and rich aromas of roasted beef will fill your kitchen and make your mouth water.

I made it with two sauces – Ina’s mustard mayonnaise horseradish sauce and her basil parmesan mayonnaise.

Its super easy and anyone can do it.

I didn’t even tie my tenderloin – simply because I had run out of twine and it was still perfect.

Keep reading for everything you need to make this mouth watering Barefoot Contessa beef tenderloin recipe.

Article Guide – How To Make The Perfect Ina Garten Filet Of Beef

There are 3 parts to this article.

1. Select the Ina Garten filet of beef recipe you want to prepare.

2. Select from 3 Ina Garten beef tenderloin sauce recipes.

3. My top 5 tips to the perfect beef tenderloin - including how to tie beef tenderloin.

Each section should take a minute to skim through.

If you like to learn by watching, I have a short video linked below which shows how to prepare the perfect Barefoot Contessa filet of beef. 

In this video I also show you how to create the Ina’s basil parmesan mayonnaise sauce and her mustard horseradish sauce.

I also have a short clip showing how to tie a beef tenderloin.

Part 1 – Which Ina Garten Beef Tenderloin Recipe Should You Choose

There are 2 original Ina Garten beef tenderloin recipes (and many other imitations online).

Both of the original Barefoot Contessa beef tenderloin recipes are simple and use few ingredients.

In both cases the beef is seasoned generously, tied with cooking twine and cooked in the oven until medium.

Recipe 1 - The Ina Garten no fail filet of beef.

4 ingredients: beef, unsalted butter, salt and pepper. 
Recipe 2 - Ina Garten slow roasted filet of beef.

A slower roasting option, using 5 ingredients: beef, olive oil, salt, pepper and branches of fresh tarragon. 

The beef is covered in the fresh tarragon leaves before being tied with twine.

This is my version of Recipe 1 – not tied because I had run out of twine.

It looks great and turned out perfectly.

Which Ina Garten Beef Tenderloin Recipe Is Best

Both recipes are relatively simple and will deliver a tender, juicy beef tenderloin.

I recommend Recipe 1 because:

1. Its easier: it is (slightly) easier to tie the beef without the tarragon leaves.

2. The beef flavor dominates: the simple seasoning enhances the natural flavors of the beef. 

The outside of the beef is more likely to caramelize without the tarragon wrap, enhancing the rich and savory flavors & smells of the beef.

Some people might find the taste and aroma from the tarragon takes away from the beef, introducing licorice type notes – think fennel and anise.

The ingredients and instructions for Recipe 1 are outlined in detail below.

If you prefer to make recipe 2, read my notes below the main recipe for extra details.

Part 2 – Which Ina Garten Beef Tenderloin Sauce Recipe Should You Choose

I have listed 3 of Ina’s most popular beef tenderloin sauce recipes in the recipe section below.

Each of these recipes are simple to make at home.

I recommend making at least 2 sauces so you can enjoy your filet of beef with different flavor combinations.

1. Ina Garten filet of beef with basil parmesan mayonnaise

The sauce is made with fresh basil, mixed with parmesan cheese.

It is a classic flavor combination. 

Despite the name there is no mayonnaise in this sauce.

Sweet, slightly spicy basil, with the nutty and saltiness of parmesan.

The sauce has a runny consistency due to the olive and vegetable oils.

The flavors combine perfectly with the beef.

Full recipe details in the recipe card below.

The smell from this sauce is amazing, so is the color – see the picture below.

2. Ina Garten filet of beef with mustard mayonnaise horseradish sauce

This sauce combines the sharp and slightly bitter taste from mustard, with mayonnaise to create a rich, creamy blend. 

The horseradish adds a bolder, slightly spicy touch. 

Together they add a touch of kick and contrast to the beef.

This sauce has a thicker consistency and is less likely to run all over your plate.

3. Ina Garten filet of beef with gorgonzola sauce

For this sauce you heat and thicken heavy cream, remove from the heat and then add gorgonzola cheese (and a couple of other things).

The result is a thick sauce with a velvety texture.

The cream reduces the intensity of the cheese, while still leaving its distinct taste.

The umami flavors from the beef combine perfectly with the sharpness from the gorgonzola. 

Their flavors compliment each other, with no single flavor overpowering.

Even people who don’t usually like strong cheese may be surprised at how well these go together.

This Ina Garten gorgonzola sauce goes perfectly with roast beef, like the tomahawk steak in the photo below.

Part 3 – 5 Tips To Prepare And Cook The Perfect Ina Garten Beef Tenderloin

Use these tips as a guide and keep them in mind whether you are cooking an Ina Garten beef tenderloin or any other tenderloin recipe.

1 minute scroll time.

1. Do you need to tie beef tenderloin before cooking?

The short answer is no, you do not need to tie your beef tenderloin.

It is optional.

The tied version does look a little more ‘fancy’.

The tie helps keep a uniform shape to the beef.

A more uniform shape can help with more even cooking. 

Both of Ina’s beef tenderloin recipes call for the beef to be tied.

I have cooked an Ina Garten beef tenderloin a few times, both tied and untied. 

I didn’t notice much difference in terms of uniformity of cooking.

Check out my side by side photos below – not tied on the left, tied on the right.

2. How to tie a beef tenderloin

I share 2 common ways to tie a beef tenderloin. 

The first is the easiest but takes longer. 

The second has a trick to it, but it is much quicker and looks more professional.

First, the easiest way to tie a beef tenderloin

This approach uses multiple pieces of cooking twine, tied around the beef at 1 to 2 inch intervals.

  • Measure and cut a piece of twine long enough to go around the thickest part of the belly of the filet 2 times.
  • Using this piece at a template, cut however many pieces of twine you need to tie around the beef in 1 to 2 inch intervals.
  • Starting at one end of the beef, get one piece of twine and wrap it once around the belly of the filet, pull it tight and tie.
  • Cut and discard excess twine.
  • Repeat this process at 1 – 2 inch intervals for the length of the filet.

The photo below shows this method with a pork tenderloin.

Second, the fastest (and most professional) way to tie a beef tenderloin

This method uses one continuous piece of twine, wrapped around the filet.

I will explain the steps but I also have a short video of me doing this linked below – it is probably easier to watch this method than to follow the steps. 

The video is less than 1 minute long and is linked below.

  • Unravel enough twine that is about 3 times the length of the beef filet – do not cut the twine. 
  • Starting at one end of the filet, run the twine lengthwise around the beef tenderloin one and a half times.(Do not tie or cut anything yet)
  • Holding the twine tight, start wrapping once around the belly of the fillet, about 1 inch from the end, and pull it firm. (The twine should squeeze and sink into the tenderloin). 
  • Now, continue to wrap the twine around the filet at 1 inch intervals – remembering to keep the twine tight. 
  • When you get to the end of the filet, tie the twine off. 
  • Cut any excess twine and you’re done.

Watch my video below where I show you how to use this continuous tie method.

How To Tie Beef Tenderloin

3. Should you sear beef tenderloin before roasting

Ina Garten beef tenderloin recipes do not ask you to sear the beef before roasting.

Searing beef tenderloin before roasting triggers reactions in the beef which help develop additional flavors and textures.

These reactions only happen at high searing temperatures. 

So the short story is, searing first is worth it.

It also only takes about 90 seconds so I recommend it.

4. Be careful not to overcook beef tenderloin

Ina Garten beef tenderloin recipes recommend cooking to rare or medium-rare.

If you overcook beef tenderloin you risk destroying its most prized quality - its extreme tenderness.

Advised internal cooked temperatures for beef tenderloin are:

- Rare: 125°F

- Medium-rare: 135°F 

If you overcook beef tenderloin you can end up with a piece of meat that is very dry, tough and generally unappealing.

This happens because beef tenderloin is a very lean cut of meat.

Other premium cuts, like ribeye, strip and flatiron, can be more forgiving because of their high degree of marbling (i.e. fats).

If you are unsure, consider investing in an instant read thermometer.

They are relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

5. Remove the beef from the oven early and let it rest before carving

The internal temperature of beef tenderloin will continue to rise after removing it from the oven.

The internal temperature could rise from anywhere between 5°F - 10°F.

Keep this in mind if you are using a thermometer to monitor your roast.

After removing from the oven, transfer the roast to a carving board and cover loosely with aluminium foil.

Allow the beef to rest for 15 - 20 minutes before carving. 

This is essential for the muscle fibers to relax and allow the juices to redistribute throughout the roast.

Other famous Ina Garten roast beef options

Check out some of my other posts if you are still looking for that special something.

They all have tips, photos and videos for you to make the perfect dish at home.

Ina Garten Beef Wellington

This Ina Garten beef wellington recipe is a show stopper 

It uses the same cut of beef as a traditional beef tenderloin recipe and wraps it in a combination of mushroom paste, parma ham and puff pastry. 

Ina Garten’s beef wellington is undoubtedly one of the most impressive meals to make and serve.

Ina Garten Veal Osso Buco

This Ina Garten veal osso buco recipe is simple and can be fall off the bone ready in under 2 hours.

It is incredible and will be every bit as tender as beef fillet.

The perfect meal to serve on a cool day with creamy mash or Ina’s famous spinach gratin.

Ina Garten Pork Tenderloin

The pork equivalent of beef tenderloin.

Wrapped in parma ham to add an extra crispy & salty touch and to keep the loin from going dry.

An Ina Garten pork tenderloin with apply chutney sauce is perfect if you want something special at a lower price point than beef.

Final Notes

So there you have it.

A full guide to cooking the perfect beef tenderloin Ina Garten style.

See the full list of ingredients and directions below.

Happy cooking.

Special Occasion Beef Tenderloin With This Ina Garten Beef Tenderloin Recipe And 3 Sauces (Recipes, Tips & Video)

Recipe by Barbara HuntCourse: MainDifficulty: Moderate


Prep time


Cooking time





Beef tenderloin is the perfect special occasion meal. Follow these Ina Garten beef tenderloin recipes and cook the perfect filet of beef.


  • No Fail Filet Of Beef (Recipe 1)
  • 1 whole filet of beef (4 to 5 pounds)

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • 1 tbsp salt

  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper

  • Basil & Parmesan Mayonnaise (Makes About 1 Cup)
  • 1 large egg at room temperature

  • 1-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

  • ⅓ cup Parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

  • ½ tbsp dijon mustard

  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh basil leaves

  • 1 clove of garlic (minced)

  • ½ tsp salt

  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • Mustard Mayo Horseradish Sauce
  • 1 ½ cups mayonnaise

  • ⅓ cup sour cream

  • 3 tbsp dijon mustard

  • 1 ½ tbsp whole grain mustard

  • 1 tbsp horseradish

  • Bunch of fresh parsley for garnish

  • Gorgonzola Sauce (Makes around 3 Cups)
  • 4 cups heavy cream

  • 3 to 4 ounces crumbly Gorgonzola

  • 3 tbsp parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

  • 1 tsp salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 3 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)


  • No Fail Filet Of Beef (Recipe 1)
  • Tie beef with cooking twine (optional). Bring beef to room temperature.
  • Preheat oven to 500°F. Pat beef dry with paper with a paper towel. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  • In a large pan on medium to high heat, sear the beef on all sides – including the ends. (This should be a quick sear – 1 ½ – 2 minutes max)
  • Transfer beef to a baking tray. Bake until internal temperature is around 120°F for rare or 130°F for medium rare (the temperature will continue to rise).
  • Remove the beef from the oven, cover it loosely with aluminium foil. Allow to rest for 15-20 minutes.
  • Remove the twine and cut the filet in thick slices.
  • Basil & Parmesan Mayonnaise
  • Add all ingredients, except the vegetable oil and olive oil, to a blender fitted with a steel blade. Pulse until combined.
  • With the blender running, pour in the vegetable oil and olive oil and blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to a bowl, garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve.
  • Mustard Mayonnaise & Horseradish Sauce
  • Add all ingredients, except the parsley, to a medium sized bowl. Whisk until fully combined.
  • Transfer to a bowl, garnish with fresh parsley leaves and serve.
  • Gorgonzola Sauce
  • In a medium saucepan over low-medium heat, boil the cream until it is thickened, stirring regularly (like a white sauce). (Be careful not to burn the cream)
  • Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the cream to a medium bowl. Place the a bowl over simmering water and add the remaining ingredients. Whisk rapidly until the cheeses melt and then serve.
  • To reheat – warm the sauce over low heat until melted, then whisk until the sauce comes together.


  • Ina Garten slow roasted filet of beef recipe (Recipe 2)
  • 1 whole filet of beef tenderloin (4 -5 pounds)
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 10 to 15 branches fresh tarragon
  • Season the beef generously, then cover in the tarragon leaves before tying with cooking twine. Without searing, roast the beef using the same instructions as recipe 1 above.
Barbara Hunt


No Spam, just delicious recipes, cooking tips and quality kit for your kitchen!

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