The first time I tried to make a roast, I had heart palpitations just thinking about the number of ways I could screw it up.

But this was before I stumbled upon my most favourite cookbook of all time, Eat, Shrink and Be Merry. I saw it at my mom’s house while we were house-sitting, started using it there and she ended up giving me her copy to keep!

Anyway, in this book, they have a TON of recipes which are not only healthy, but really delicious and hard to mess up! So without further ado, I give you, The Great Pretenderloin (with a few of my own modifications):

Seasoning Rub
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Dijon mustard (if you don’t have dijon, regular will do all right)
1 tbsp brown sugar (if you don’t like the sugar, leave it out!)
1 tbsp steak sauce
1 tbsp minced fresh rosemary (I have NEVER used this, let alone have any on hand! Italian seasoning or oregano works well as a substitute)
1 tbsp minced fresh thyme (1 tsp dried – which is what I use since I never have fresh thyme unless I’ve grown it!)
2 tsp minced garlic (about 2-4 cloves)
1 1/2 tsp salt 
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp grated lemon zest (or 1/2 tsp lemon juice)

1 whole beef tenderloin (about 3 lbs / 1.4kg), trimmed of visible fat. 

(If you’re anything like me and you’re running out of minutes before supper time, leave the fat on :D Plus, it just is so great to chomp down into a nice, big, juicy bite of roast and discover you’ve hit the fat-pot…on second though, better trim off the fat.)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Move rack to bottom 3rd of oven.

Mix together rub ingredients in a small bowl. 
Rub all over beef.

If you have leftover rub, reserve to baste again in the last few minutes of cooking. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. (I’m not sure WHY the preheating instruction is before this, since most ovens don’t take 30 minutes to heat up, nor do you want to waste the hydro by having your oven on for an extra 20 minutes. But just preheat however far in advance you need for it to be ready when you are.)

Place beef on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Place pan in oven and reduce temperature to 400 degrees F.

Roast meat, uncovered, for 45 to 60 minutes (depending on the thickness of your roast. The one pictured took about an hour, sliced in half), or until meat thermometer inserted in the center registers 140 degrees F for medium-rare. Remove roast from oven and let stand, uncovered, for 10 minutes before slicing.

BE CAREFUL: The meat will continue to cook as it rests, so if you like it the way you pulled it out, serve as soon as possible!