This holiday-worthy meal is such a special treat! While my mom’s Southern Bourbon-Glazed Beef Tenderloin Recipe will impress your guests, it’s a simple, easy dinner that any home cook can prepare on the grill or in the oven. Treat yourself and your loved ones to a true Christmas gift with this tender, mouthwatering, and flavorful entree!
Well, today is December 1! That means that Christmas is less than a month away (crazy!), and you might be starting to think about your decorations, your shopping list, your cookie baking, and your special holiday menu.
What does your family typically serve for Christmas dinner? We do ham for Easter, turkey for Thanksgiving, and always Mom’s Southern Bourbon-Glazed Beef Tenderloin recipe for Christmas! The dish never fails, it disappears fast, and it feels a bit more decadent than your average weeknight dinner!
But let’s not get crazy, here — I’m certainly not sharing some complicated, stressful, or difficult beef tenderloin recipe that’s going to suck up hours of your valuable time on Christmas day. Oh, heck no! This only looks fancy! In standard fashion, I’ve managed to bring you a holiday meal that will WOW! your guests, without requiring too much effort on your part. In other words…the best of both worlds!
In fact, most of the work is done the day before, so you can prepare the meal in advance and then just enjoy your special holiday dinner the next day — no stress necessary. I nagged my mom for her “secret” recipe, which is no longer very secret (Hah! That’s what happens when I splash it across the internet!). The truth is, Mom just adapted a beef tenderloin recipe that originally came from Weber’s Big Book of Grilling. Over the years, Mom’s tweaks have made the recipe even easier, which is perfect for impatient, busy home cooks like me!
There are a few keys to the rich, flavorful, tender, and juicy meat. First, it marinates in a sauce for about 24 hours and soaks up so much flavor. See? Like I said, most of the work is done in advance, so your task is simple on the day of the big meal!
After the meat marinates for 24 hours, it gets another layer of flavor from a dry garlic rub…and it’s finishes with a sweet bourbon glaze on the grill! Holy cow, that glaze is good! And it doesn’t have a strong bourbon (or booz-y) flavor, so even my 4, 6, and 8-year-olds devour their “steak.”
I asked Keith to do the grilling for this meal, since he’s BY FAR the best grill master in our house. This is a great way to free up the oven for side dishes at a big holiday feast; however, if you prefer to cook your meat in the oven, that’s also an option. I’ve included both sets of instructions in the beef tenderloin recipe below.
Enjoy, have a wonderful holiday season, and treat yourself to a decadent Southern Bourbon-Glazed Beef Tenderloin. It’s the highlight of our Christmas dinner each year, and I hope that you’ll give it a try for your own celebration as well!
SOUTHERN BOURBON-GLAZED BEEF TENDERLOIN RECIPE
Southern Bourbon-Glazed Beef Tenderloin Recipe
- For the Marinade:
- ¼ cup of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 1 center-cut beef tenderloin 2 ½ - 3 lbs.*
- For the Rub:
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- For the Glaze:
- ¼ cup bourbon
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- ¼ cup packed light brown sugar
- Olive oil
- Prepare the marinade: In a small bowl, whisk together Worcestershire sauce, molasses, and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard.
- Trim the tenderloin of any excess fat or silver skin. Place the tenderloin in a large zip-top plastic bag and pour marinade over top. Squeeze air out of the bag and seal to close. Gently toss to coat the beef in the marinade. Set the bag on a plate and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours.
- Prepare the Rub: In a small bowl, stir together garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Prepare the Glaze: In a small bowl, whisk together bourbon, ¼ cup Dijon mustard, and brown sugar until sugar dissolves.
- After 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator, remove the tenderloin from the bag and discard the marinade.
- Wipe excess marinade off of the tenderloin by patting it with paper towels.
- Press the garlic rub into the tenderloin on all sides and allow to stand at room temperature for 20-30 minutes before grilling.
- Lightly brush or spray the tenderloin with olive oil.
- On the Grill: Sear tenderloin over medium direct heat until well marked (about 20 minutes), turning ¼ every 5 minutes. Continue grilling over medium indirect heat until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees F for medium rare (10-20 minutes). During the final 10 minutes of grilling time, turn and baste with the glaze.
- Remove the tenderloin from the grill and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes (the internal temperature will continue to rise a bit during this time). Cut beef into 1-inch slices and serve warm.
- Alternatively, you can prepare the beef tenderloin in the oven: Prepare tenderloin according to instructions above (through Step 7). After rubbing the tenderloin with seasoning, allow to sit at room temperature while you preheat the oven to 475 degrees F.
- Place tenderloin on a roasting rack and insert a meat thermometer. Roast in the oven until the beef registers and internal temperature of 135 degrees F for medium rare (about 20-30 minutes). Baste with glaze during the final 10 minutes of baking time.
- Allow meat to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
*We often use a larger beef tenderloin that we buy at Costco, which weighs between 7 and 8 lbs. When cooking a larger tenderloin, the same instructions apply; however, I like to double all of the ingredients for the marinade, rub, and glaze. It also takes closer to 1 hour to cook on the grill.
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