Beef Tenderloin with Three-herb Chimichurri


March 28, 2012

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This Beef Tenderloin with Three-herb Chimichurri recipe is an ideal family party food.The original recipe, adapted from Bon Appétit, July 2006, calls for the beef to be grilled, but cleaning and firing up the grill can be a hassle. We opt to roast it instead.

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To save time on party day, the spice rub can be made up to two days ahead. The chimichurri sauce can be made up to 4 hours before serving, stored in the refrigerator. If you want to make this recipe even faster (and less expensive) to cook, use steaks or even chicken instead of a pricey tenderloin.

Serves 8 to 10


For the spice rub:

  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarse salt, such as Maldon
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

For the chimichurri sauce:

  • 150 ml olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons sherry wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 60 g stemmed fresh parsley
  • 40 g stemmed fresh coriander
  • 30 g stemmed fresh mint
  • 1 x 2 kg beef tenderloin


  1. To make the spice rub, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. To make the chimichurri sauce, combine the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, shallot, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until almost smooth. Add one-quarter of each of the herbs and blend until incorporated.
  3. Add the remaining herbs in three more additions, pureeing until almost smooth after each addition. Add in a little more olive oil if you think it needs it – you want it to have a pesto-like consistency, not a paste.
  4. Let the beef stand at room temperature 1 hour before roasting. Position a rack in the centre of the oven and preheat it to 220°C. Pat the beef dry with paper towels, then brush with oil. Sprinkle all over with the spice rub, using all of the mixture (the coating will be thick).
  5. Heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat and sear the beef for 1 minute on all sides. Transfer the beef to a foil-lined baking sheet (for easier clean-up) and roast for about 30 to 40 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 52°C to 54°C for medium-rare.
  6. Transfer to a platter, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Thinly slice the beef crosswise and serve with the chimichurri sauce.

Related Recipes: Beef Stroganoff & More Party Food ideas here

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