FENNEL AND ROSEMARY ROASTED BEEF TENDERLOIN WITH CREAMY MUSTARD SAUCE (for six to eight)
For the beef:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
1-1/2 tablespoons ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
a 2-1/2 to 3 pound butt end beef tenderloin roast, excess fat trimmed
For the mustard sauce:
½ cup crème fraiche
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1. Position a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 375*.
2. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, rosemary, fennel seed, salt and pepper. Stir to make a paste. Pat the beef dry with paper towels and rub the paste all over the surface of the meat. If necessary, tie the roast at 1-1/2 inch intervals (The roast can be seasoned and refrigerated up to 4 hours before roasting).
3. Put the roast on a rack on a small, rimmed baking sheet or in a shallow roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reads 120*F for rare, 125*F to 130*F for medium rare, or 135*F for medium, 40 to 50 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the crème fraiche, mustard and lemon juice. Season lightly with salt to taste.
5. Transfer the roast to a carving board (preferably with a well for collecting juices) and let it rest, uncovered, for 10 to 15 minutes before carving it into 1/3 to ½ inch slices. Serve the beef, passing the mustard sauce at the table.
CREAMY MUSTARD SAUCE
from Molly Stevens, Fine Cooking Magazine, issue 89