Ina Garten's Go-To Method For Roasting Filet Of Beef

Perfect for holidays and special events, a filet of beef makes for an impressive centerpiece at a family table. Providing an easy way to serve large groups, this elegant cut of meat is a showstopper. However, it's also pricey, which means you need to roast it right. Luckily, Ina Garten's go-to method for roasting filet of beef, detailed in an episode of "Barefoot Contessa," makes the process super-simple and guarantees that the meat stays moist. And all you need to do is ask your butcher to tie up the filet into a cylindrical shape with twine, tucking any ends under, so it has rounded edges.

Filet of beef is a very lean cut of meat with tender muscle fibers, a low amount of fat, and little connective tissue. Unlike other fattier cuts of meat, like a porterhouse or T-bone that can retain their succulence when cooked, a filet of beef can be tricky to keep moist and juicy. It's important to tie up the beef when cooking it because it ensures that the dimensions of the filet are even across its breadth from edge to edge. This guarantees that the beef cooks at an even rate throughout its length instead of being dry or undercooked at one end. Trussing the meat also keeps the beef tender and prevents it spreading out when cooking so it retains its tube-like shape, which can be effortlessly sliced into rounds and served with a punchy sauce.

The twine creates a visual guide for slicing the filet of beef evenly

Once Ina Garten's beef is cooked to her liking, she tents it under some kitchen foil so it can rest, before snipping through the string with a pair of kitchen scissors. The marks that the string leaves behind on the surface of the meat prove useful because they act like a visual guide for slicing evenly through the succulent filet.

Garten's recipe itself is very simple, which allows for the natural flavor of the beef to come to the fore. She begins by drying the outside of the filet with a paper towel to create the perfect foundation for some room temperature butter, which she smears over the surface to keep it moist as it roasts. Then she sprinkles salt and pepper over the butter, making sure to use plenty of salt to duly season such a large cut. While the meat roasts to her liking, she makes a sauce to dip the slices of tender beef into by mixing mayo with Dijon mustard, coarse grained mustard, horseradish, salt, and sour cream. Finally, Garten advises changing up the sauce each time to give the dish a different twist, recommending a strongly-flavored blue cheese sauce or a gentle basil parmesan mayo, with a little extra effort.