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Serves 8

Meltingly tender slices of beef with roasted potatoes are a classic special-occasion combination, especially when you have a crowd to feed over the holidays. The meat is so good that salt and pepper alone suffice as seasonings, but I like to add plenty of herbs and a little garlic. Tangy, tart, and creamy horseradish sauce is just the right refreshing accompaniment. This meal is relatively easy to pull off, as long as you have a reliable meat thermometer. To cook the meat and potatoes at the same time, you'll need to juggle the timing. For most menus, I find it helpful to read through all the recipes carefully and make a timeline to stay on track, so I can keep my wits about me when inevitable distractions arise. Season the tenderloin the night before or early on the day you plan to cook it, and allow about two hours for it to come to room temperature before it goes into the oven. A four-pound tenderloin is unwieldy to cook whole, so to cut it in half to make two smaller roasts that will fit in the same pan. This also allows you to cook one piece a little longer for those who like their meat well done. Start cooking the potatoes before you brown the meat -- the oven temperature is the same for both. The meat needs to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing (add that to your timeline) to allow the juices that rush to the surface during roasting to retreat into the center of the roast. Reheat the potatoes in the hot oven while you slice and arrange it on a serving platter. Add Charred Broccoli with Toasted Parmesan Crumbs and Individual Chocolate-Peppermint Trifles, and you'll need some mental gymnastics to pull it all off, but it's a smashing holiday menu.

BEEF

4pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
Salt and pepper, to taste
2cloves garlic
2tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
2tablespoons olive oil
Fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme (for garnish)

1. Cut the roast in half to make 2 pieces that will both fit in a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan. Sprinkle generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Finely chop the garlic and rosemary together until it almost turns into a paste. Spread the mixture over the meat, massaging it in. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

2. About 2 hours before you are ready to cook the meat, remove it from the refrigerator.

3. Set the oven at 450 degrees. (When the oven is hot, you can start cooking the potatoes; see below.)

4. Set a large cast iron skillet or heavy roasting pan over high heat. Add the oil and when it is hot, brown the tenderloins, turning every 3 minutes, until the meat is golden all over; this should take 8 to 10 minutes total.

5. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 10 to 20 minutes (the exact time depends upon the thickness of your roast and the desired doneness.) Check after 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 120 degrees (for rare), 130 degrees (medium-rare) or 140 degrees (medium-well). The temperature will tick up a few degrees when the meat rests out of the oven.

6. Remove the meat from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

7. Slice the roast, removing the twine as you slice it. Arrange the meat on a large platter. Surround with potatoes, garnish with herb sprigs, and serve with horseradish sauce.

POTATOES

8 medium (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes, each cut into 6 lengthwise wedges
6tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1. In the center of a rimmed baking sheet, mound the potatoes and drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. Toss with your hands to coat the potatoes. Spread them on the baking sheet in one layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and continue roasting for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. (Total roasting time is 20 to 25 minutes.) Remove from the oven.

2. Just before you slice the meat, place the potatoes in the skillet or roasting pan in which you cooked the meat. Stir to coat them in the meat juices, and return the pan to the oven to reheat for 5 to 10 minutes.

SAUCE

cups creme fraiche or sour cream
3tablespoons prepared horseradish, or more to taste
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a small bowl, mix the creme fraiche or sour cream, horseradish, and lemon rind.

2. Add salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with the tenderloin and roast potatoes.

Sally Pasley Vargas

Serves 8

Meltingly tender slices of beef with roasted potatoes are a classic special-occasion combination, especially when you have a crowd to feed over the holidays. The meat is so good that salt and pepper alone suffice as seasonings, but I like to add plenty of herbs and a little garlic. Tangy, tart, and creamy horseradish sauce is just the right refreshing accompaniment. This meal is relatively easy to pull off, as long as you have a reliable meat thermometer. To cook the meat and potatoes at the same time, you'll need to juggle the timing. For most menus, I find it helpful to read through all the recipes carefully and make a timeline to stay on track, so I can keep my wits about me when inevitable distractions arise. Season the tenderloin the night before or early on the day you plan to cook it, and allow about two hours for it to come to room temperature before it goes into the oven. A four-pound tenderloin is unwieldy to cook whole, so to cut it in half to make two smaller roasts that will fit in the same pan. This also allows you to cook one piece a little longer for those who like their meat well done. Start cooking the potatoes before you brown the meat -- the oven temperature is the same for both. The meat needs to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing (add that to your timeline) to allow the juices that rush to the surface during roasting to retreat into the center of the roast. Reheat the potatoes in the hot oven while you slice and arrange it on a serving platter. Add Charred Broccoli with Toasted Parmesan Crumbs and Individual Chocolate-Peppermint Trifles, and you'll need some mental gymnastics to pull it all off, but it's a smashing holiday menu.

BEEF

4pounds beef tenderloin, trimmed and tied
Salt and pepper, to taste
2cloves garlic
2tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
2tablespoons olive oil
Fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme (for garnish)

1. Cut the roast in half to make 2 pieces that will both fit in a large ovenproof skillet or roasting pan. Sprinkle generously on all sides with salt and pepper. Finely chop the garlic and rosemary together until it almost turns into a paste. Spread the mixture over the meat, massaging it in. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

2. About 2 hours before you are ready to cook the meat, remove it from the refrigerator.

3. Set the oven at 450 degrees. (When the oven is hot, you can start cooking the potatoes; see below.)

4. Set a large cast iron skillet or heavy roasting pan over high heat. Add the oil and when it is hot, brown the tenderloins, turning every 3 minutes, until the meat is golden all over; this should take 8 to 10 minutes total.

5. Transfer the pan to the oven and roast for 10 to 20 minutes (the exact time depends upon the thickness of your roast and the desired doneness.) Check after 10 minutes and then every 5 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 120 degrees (for rare), 130 degrees (medium-rare) or 140 degrees (medium-well). The temperature will tick up a few degrees when the meat rests out of the oven.

6. Remove the meat from the pan and place it on a cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes.

7. Slice the roast, removing the twine as you slice it. Arrange the meat on a large platter. Surround with potatoes, garnish with herb sprigs, and serve with horseradish sauce.

POTATOES

8 medium (2 1/2 to 3 pounds) Yukon Gold or Yellow Finn potatoes, each cut into 6 lengthwise wedges
6tablespoons olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
2tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2tablespoons chopped fresh sage

1. In the center of a rimmed baking sheet, mound the potatoes and drizzle with the oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme, and sage. Toss with your hands to coat the potatoes. Spread them on the baking sheet in one layer. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes over and continue roasting for 5 to 10 minutes, or until golden and tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. (Total roasting time is 20 to 25 minutes.) Remove from the oven.

2. Just before you slice the meat, place the potatoes in the skillet or roasting pan in which you cooked the meat. Stir to coat them in the meat juices, and return the pan to the oven to reheat for 5 to 10 minutes.

SAUCE

cups creme fraiche or sour cream
3tablespoons prepared horseradish, or more to taste
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. In a small bowl, mix the creme fraiche or sour cream, horseradish, and lemon rind.

2. Add salt and pepper and transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with the tenderloin and roast potatoes.Sally Pasley Vargas