Black Pepper Beef Filet with Horseradish Cream

We’ve been eating dinner outdoors nearly every evening – now that the spring rains have let up – making the most of June weather, with its light breezes and warm temperatures.

The intense heat and humidity is starting, but I’ve still been able to turn on the oven to bake a rhubarb galette or roast a slab of beef and not cook us completely out of house and home.

Today’s recipe is a fantastic do-ahead main dish for a weekend picnic, backyard gathering or a Father’s Day spread this coming Sunday. Just pair it with a salad or tray of roasted asparagus and call it lunch.

This Black Pepper Beef Filet with Horseradish Cream was inspired by a simple dinner we enjoyed at Ottolenghi Notting Hill during our recent London travels. After a long day of walking around the city (and consuming a lot of cake – oops!), that plate of meltingly tender seared beef and its zesty horseradish sauce tasted marvellous. And I instantly knew I wanted to recreate it at home.

The tenderloin is easy to cook and presents beautifully, but the prized cut of meat it is not hugely flavourful. This is why we pair it with a pungent horseradish cream. I used prepared horseradish, which is available in the condiments section of most grocery stores, but if you can find the root fresh, by all means use that instead.

Crème fraiche happens to be one of my favourite dairy products, but you could also use sour cream or Greek yogourt for the sauce. I like to garnish mine with chive blossoms, but you could use any mild fresh herb.

One more thing. Cream and rare meat: these are two foods that should not be left outdoors in the heat for more than an hour. Max. Be sure to to tuck in and serve up the dish shortly after you present it to the table – or else place it on a tray of ice to keep it cold.

Black Pepper Beef Filet with Horseradish Cream

A simple, do-ahead main dish that is loved by all.
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Course: Main Dishes
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10 people
Author: Aimee


  • 1 cup creme fraiche
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt divided
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 3 teaspoons prepared horseradish 2-3 teaspoons, depending on taste
  • 1 teaspoon dijon
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper divided
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 3.3 lbs beef filet 1.5 kg
  • chive blossoms to garnish


  • Preheat oven to 425F.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together creme fraiche, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon of horseradish, dijon, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and garlic. Taste and add additional horseradish if desired. Transfer to a jar and refrigerate until needed. Horseradish cream may keep for up to three days.
  • Rub the beef filet all over with olive oil. Sprinkle all over with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 3/4 teaspoon black pepper. Heat a large cast iron skillet on high until nearly smoking. Sear the beef filet all over until it gets a nice brown crust. It should take a about a minute per side.
  • Slide the skillet into the oven and roast the beef for about about 10 – 12 minutes. Start checking after 5 minutes with a probe meat thermometer. Remove from oven when the thermometer reads 130F. This may seem low, but the beef will keep cooking as it cools. Do not over cook!
  • If you are serving the beef hot, let rest for 10 minutes, then slice and serve with horseradish cream.
  • If you are serving the beef later, at room temperature, cool the beef completely on the counter. Then cover in plastic and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving. Bring the filet out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature. Slice in 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds, arrange on a platter and serve with horseradish cream on the side and a sprinkling of chive blossoms.


I like my beef very rare. There is not much fat on the tenderloin, so beware of overcooking as it will be dry.

Grilled Salads

Need a salad for the side? These are my current favourites that feature the grill:

Are you cooking outdoors this weekend?

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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  1. Yes, ma’am! We usually wait ’til the spirit moves us at the market or butcher… but it might be foil-wrapped lemon-fresh tarragon salmon with pan-seared crispy potatoes and grilled asparagus… or maybe ribs, yum. We’re also firing up the charcoal hibachi for our last Cub Pack bike’n’ hike meeting on Monday to make supper… and s’mores to finish, of course : )

  2. Any chance you could cook this over a campfire? (with a good grate). This looks fantastic, but we are trying to use our firpit as much as we can!

    • Oh yes, it would be delicious grilled. Start it over direct heat to sear it good, then move it to indirect heat to roast a bit. Enjoy!

  3. Sounds delicious. What if I felt like doing a cheaper version of this by using pork tenderloin instead. Would the great horseradish sauce still work with it?

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