Holiday How To – Easy Beef Tenderloin Roast with Root Veggies

Holiday Roast Tips -‘Tis the season for eating well and enjoying the experience with family and friends. Serving a perfectly prepared beef roast is always a showstopper at holiday celebrations and dinner parties. It can be our little secret, but roasting beef actually requires very little time and effort! I learned everything I need to know from my dad (who does a tenderloin roast every Christmas) and my friends at the Texas Beef Council.

With my easy-to-follow tips that follow, you can transform a large hunk of beef into a delicious roast ready to be carved into succulent slices — there probably won’t be a leftover morsel in sight, so consider making two roasts! Also, if you’d like to test out your skills and don’t have a recipe, try the mouth-watering recipe for Garlic and Rosemary Rubbed Tenderloin Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables featured at the bottom of this post.

BTW, if you are on the Beef Team and are still in possession of your holiday Chateau Loin (which is center cut sirloin), it will easily substitute without modifications in this roast recipe.  

Tips for the Perfect Roast Beef:

1) Choose the right cut. We’re demonstrating roasting tips with a beef tenderloin roast, but the same process will work with other cuts including ribeye and tri tip roasts and more economical cuts like sirloin and round roasts. The way to ensure perfect outcomes when preparing beef is to pair a cut with the appropriate cooking method – and also your budget. The Interactive Butcher Counter  helps take the uncertainty out of selecting the right cut of beef to roast – check it out!

garlic rosemary rubbed tenderloin - pick cut and ingredients - jennifer fisher

2) You can’t flub a rub. Dry rubs are an easy way to add flavor to a roast and can be as simple as salt and pepper or as complex and spicy as you want to get – chili powder, herbs, brown sugar and even ground coffee beans are all ingredients I’ve seen used in rubs.  Really, the only must-do for a rub is to apply it generously – rub in the mixture thickly on the top, bottom and every side (including the ends) and your reward will be a crusty, caramelized exterior that adds flavor and helps to hold in juices. A variant of dry rubs is to massage olive oil, spices and even fresh aromatic herbs into the beef – that’s what we’re doing with the recipe below.

Seasoning beef tenderloin with salt and olive oil.

3) Use the proper roasting gear. Actually, very little gear is required for roasting beef in the oven. When it comes to cookware, choose a metal pan with an approximate 2 to 3-inch rim. Metal conducts heat better than other materials and yields a more evenly browned roast. You won’t need a lid, as oven roasting is a dry heat cooking method.  Also, use a roasting rack to elevate the meat above the pan so that the heat can circulate underneath. If you don’t have a roasting rack or fancy silicon roasting laurel, simply substitute heavy-duty aluminum foil that has been scrunched up and twisted into a figure-8 shape.  A reliable meat thermometer is also needed to ensure you cook your roast to perfect doneness – those inexpensive instant-read thermometers found at most grocery stores will do the job fine.

Tale your beef roast out at 135F degrees and let rest for 10 minutes for medium-rare doneness

4) Learn how to tell when your roast is done. If you’re not following a recipe, get familiar with the suggested cooking times and oven temperatures for your selected cut of beef.  I like to reference this useful chart on Beef Roast Table Times. Abiding by this chart will ensure you rule the roast every time; however, remember that temperatures vary from oven to oven making cooking times approximate. You’ll know when your roast is “done” for your taste preferences when the thermometer is stuck into the center, thickest part of the roast (but not near a bone) and reads 10 degrees LESS than the time indicated for medium-rare, medium, or well-done. When you take a roast out of the oven early like this, the temperature will continue to rise and cook the roast for a few more minutes out of the oven.For example, a medium-rare roast is finished at 145 F degrees, but should be removed at 135 F degrees. See the chart below for more details.

Temperature guidelines for beef roasts.

5) Give it a rest. As tempting as it is to cut into a roast or steak right as it comes off the heat, you must let it rest on the countertop for at least 10 minutes as just mentioned. This allows the juices time to redistribute between the relaxing muscle fibers and ultimately create a more tender and enjoyable eating experience. If you’re not sure if the roast has rested long enough, it should be ready to carve when the temperature drops to 120 F degrees or below.



Garlic & Rosemary Rubbed Tenderloin and Roasted Root Vegetables -


Are you a roast-cooking newbie — or do you have well seasoned skills? Do you like the food pun?  Feel free to share a “funny,” too!  A steak pun is a rare medium well done — heehee, another pun!  XOXO, Jennifer 

Garlic & Rosemary Rubbed Tenderloin and Roasted Root Vegetables -
Garlic and Rosemary Tenderloin Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe
Print Recipe
• 2 to 3 lbs. assorted root vegetables (like sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, onions, beets, parsnips) • 1 large sweet yellow onion • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
Servings Prep Time
6 to 8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 to 8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Garlic & Rosemary Rubbed Tenderloin and Roasted Root Vegetables -
Garlic and Rosemary Tenderloin Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables Recipe
Print Recipe
• 2 to 3 lbs. assorted root vegetables (like sweet potatoes, fingerling potatoes, onions, beets, parsnips) • 1 large sweet yellow onion • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 teaspoons coarse sea salt • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper • 1 tablespoon fresh or dried parsley
Servings Prep Time
6 to 8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6 to 8 servings 10 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
for roast beef
for roast vegetables
Servings: servings
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F. Massage beef with olive oil and then rub rosemary springs enthusiastically onto entire surface to release aromatic oils. Next, rub garlic paste over tenderloin and then rub in salt and pepper to entire surface. Place rosemary spring on top of roast.
  2. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water or cover.
  3. Cut vegetables into 1 to 2-inch chunks and place on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Chop up remaining rosemary and toss with vegetables along with salt, pepper, and parsley. Spread out vegetables into a single layer. Roast vegetables for approximately 45 minutes in 425F degree oven, stirring and rearranging halfway through cooking.
  4. Roast tenderloin in 425°F oven for approximately 40 – 45 minutes for medium rare (pull out at 135F degrees and will rise to 145F degrees) or 45 to 55 minutes for medium doneness (pull out at 145F degrees and will rise to 160F degrees). Tent with foil. Let stand 10 - 20 minutes until temperature has dropped to 120 F degrees or below. Slice roast across the grain and serve with roasted vegetables.
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YOU Can Help Change Dietary Guidelines + Low Carb Beef Dinners

First of all, God bless America, land of the free. That being said, I feel free to state my opinion that I don’t like where the nutritional guidance dished up by the U.S. government, by way of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is taking us. For 30 years we have all dutifully listened to these recommendations about what to eat, first with the Food Pyramid and, more recently, with MyPlate and soon with updated 2015 Dietary Guidelines.

Things are always changing, and I’m really questioning the quality of science all this hootenanny – and I’m not the only one, right now we can all sign a petition to demand that quality science determine the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines.

Eat Real Food

You butter believe it! Funny, but for realz.

You butter believe it! Funny, but for realz.

Remember how butter was the bad guy over margarine? Oops. Eggs are not awesome, no wait – we decided eggs are okay after all. How about the mandate to eat low fat, fat is making you fat, saturated fats are completely evil – a federal finger shaking that made most Americans run out and load up on overly process foods full of sugar and starchy carbs instead. Obesity and diabetes jumped through the roof. Apparently the science on that study was questionable. Oops.

Most recently the Advisory Council contributing to the upcoming 2015 Dietary Guidelines is pushing a dietary pattern that is higher in plant-based foods and lower in animal-based foods, citing sustainability, environmental impact and lower saturated fat. You can read their recommendations for yourself, I don’t like them.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE plant-based foods. I can’t imagine going a day, even a meal, without Mother Nature’s bounty of fresh fruits, vegetables and grains. Heck, I’ll make a dinner that features plant-based protein every once in a while because I just love variety. But, don’t go messing with my butter, my beef, my full-fat Greek yogurt. You’re really going to piss me off.

jennifer fisher fit foodie run beefSee this picture to the left? I’m not obese. I eat butter, beef, eggs, a rainbow of whole foods and a low-carb diet in general. I was even having a quote-unquote fat day, that morning. Guess what, I also exercise, care about my health and fitness and I don’t like the government telling me what to do.  Thirty years of federal nutrition “guidance” has made us fatter and sicker, lets take a stand and do something about it because #NutritionMatters.

Of course, all these federal guidelines must be well-intentioned, although woefully misguided. Who would purposely want to create a population where obesity rates have doubled over the last 30 years and are projected to rise to 50 percent by 2030, according to The Trust for American’s Health Report. Yup, that’s right ONE HALF of Americans will not just be pleasantly plump, but will be medically obese. The upsurge in obesity rates is equally as staggering with our kids. We are in a major health crisis here in the USA.

In a nutshell, it’s time for all of us to look beyond MyPlate and begin demanding dietary guidelines based on quality science that encompasses a range of different approaches.  We also need dietary guidelines that eliminate the one-size-fits-all eating plan and focuses on the needs of a very diverse group of people.  Newer, better, and more credible science needs to be backing up our food choices, we shouldn’t just be eating “what we’re told” without better proof. Rising rates obesity, diabetes and other health concerns isn’t the proof I’m looking for.

You can help shakeup the status quo and demanding scientific scrutiny in our dietary guidelines by signing this petition — in the process you may save millions of lives. I signed because I care about what I eat, what my family eats and the health and well-being of American’s in general.

Also, in the name of wholesome family meals that WON’T make you fat or unhealthy, I’ve rounded up a week of my favorite Low-Carb Beef Dinners. I enjoy all of these on a regular basis with a nice side of roasted veggies or a big green salad.

A Week of Low Carb Beef Dinners


Recipes from top, moving clockwise:

What are you doing to help your health? Do you think it is sometimes confusing to know what IS and what ISN’T healthy to eat? Please share you thoughts in the comments below and please consider signing the petition to demand that quality science determine the 2015 U.S. Dietary Guidelines. Thank you, XOXO — Jennifer


No-Fail Holiday Roast Plan! Tips & Recipes

Are you expecting a herd of carnivores for Christmas and aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to making a holiday roast? Don’t fret, it’s super easy to roast a hunk of meat that will make a jaw-dropping, mouth-watering, plate-licking impression with your guests. I’m sharing tips for beef roasting success and some delicious roast recipes that may make you even more popular than jolly old St. Nick.

Holiday Roast Tips -

Select the proper cut. Personally, I love a beef tenderloin roast, but other cuts that are easy to roast in the oven include rib eye, tri tip, sirloin and even the economical round roast. Check out the Interactive Butcher Counter  before you head to the market it helps you match the right cut of beef for your recipe and budget.

beef tenderloin spice rubRub in flavor. Dry rubs are a simple way to elevate the flavor of your roast and – often salt and pepper is all you need! But it can be fun to experiment with different herbs and spices to make a roast suit your personal taste preferences – one of my favorite easy rubs is my Countdown Rub.  There’s not much to remember when it comes to applying a rub other than do so liberally on all sides of the meat – this makes a nice crust when it caramelizes that not only adds flavor but locks in juices.

Use the right roasting gear. You’ll need a metal pan with an approximate 2 to 3-inch rim, no lid needed as roasting is a dry heat cooking method.  Also, a roasting rack helps to raise the meat above the pan so that the heat can get around to the underneath side. You can make a makeshift rack in a pinch simply by twisting heavy-duty aluminum foil up into a figure-8 shape and placing it under the roast.   A reliable meat thermometer will ensure your roast is cooked to your expectations  – instant-read thermometers are only a couple bucks at the grocery store.

Know when it’s done. I like my beef medium rare (which is 145 F degrees), so that means I pull it out of the oven about 10 degrees earlier. Why? Because a roast continues to cook on the counter as it rests! If you like your beef cooked to a lesser or greater degree of doneness, please visit the  Beef Roast Table Times to determine the finish temperature and approximate cook time.

garlic rosemary rubbed tenderloing - resting 120F - jennifer fisherLet your roast rest.  Do NOT cut into a roast or steak immediately after removing from the heat! All the flavorful juices will come flowing out and pool around your roast – what you’ll have left is a tough mess of meat. A short rest period (about 10 minutes) allows juices to redistribute around the relaxing muscle fibers and create the tender, succulent bit of meat you were dreaming of. By the time the thermometer has dropped back down to 120 F degrees, your roast should be ready to enjoy.

Now, on to the recipes! Head over to to get my recipe for Garlic & Rosemary Rubbed Tenderloin with Roasted Root Vegetables. Soooo good and perfect for a Christmas feast!

Garlic & Rosemary Rubbed Tenderloin and Roasted Root Vegetables -

Nut Crusted Beef Roast with Radish Fennel SaladWhile this isn’t my own personal creation, I’m also fond of Nut Crusted Sirloin Roast with Radish Fennel Salad.



roast cooking light


Cooking Light also has a good Roasting 101 that will get you up to speed on this tried-and-true oven cooking technique that yields succulent meats and richly browned vegetables.

What type of main course do you make over the holidays? 

Easy Autumn Dinner! Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce

Fall weather is here! Fall flavors are here! Fall family togetherness is here! All I want to do through the end of the year is gather my family ‘round the dinner table for a hearty and healthy meal paired with productive, thought-provoking conversation with my three teens. After all, one is leaving the nest next year and the others aren’t far to follow.

Sometimes the dinner chatter is really deep – like the other night my middle son posed the question, “Do you believe that retaliation can ever be justified?”  I’m thinking, “oh no” what happened, who did what to whom? The good news is that these three brothers who usually get along so well, still do – the query was actually one asked in school. Apparently, my son was the only kid who vocalized that retaliation, in any form, is not okay. He said, “If everyone gave an eye for an eye, then the whole world would be blind.”  So true!  Although he paraphrased this wisdom from Ghandi, I still got that warm fuzzy feeling of good parenting — ahhh, I’m doing an awesome job.  Then, youngest son – “I will so smash your computer if you take that last dinner roll.”

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

This is what a boneless lamb shoulder looks like!

So, let me just say, there was no retaliation against mom after serving a (gasp) new food to the kids – lamb.  My husband and I have both had lamb in the past, served as chops or roasts with the nasty mint jelly – it’s not something I’ve ever thought to make myself. But, American Lamb sent me a big ole boneless shoulder roast and some votes of confidence that I could create something really delicious with this often overlooked meat.



So, I came up with a fall-inspired recipe for Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Glaze and I served it over some insanely mouth watering Caramalized Onion and Kale Sweet Potatoes – I will share this sweet potato recipe later this week (you do not want to miss it)!

Braised Lamb with Cranberry Ginger Sauce Caramalized Onion Kale Sweet Potatoes Jennifer Fisher

So, these are the things I learned from the lamb experiment. The lamb was delicious and braised up just like a beef chuck roast and shreds up really nicely to serve over sweet potatoes, rice, or even in a sandwich – my kids thought it was really great! I also realized you could easily make this recipe in a slow cooker rather than the Dutch oven – just set it on the low setting and slow cook for 8 – 10 hours.  Another thing I learned is that fresh cranberries lose their color when you cook them all day. That’s okay — I still needed to reduce the sauce down, just threw in some extra. Bam, there you go – meaty, sweet, tangy, total deliciousness.

braised lamb shoulder with cranberry ginger sauce title

Braised Lamb with Cranberry-Ginger Glaze Recipe

  • 1 3 – 4 lb. boneless American lamb shoulder roast
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 12 oz bag fresh cranberries (divided)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • ½ cup cranberry juice
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger (divided)
  • ¼ cup honey
  1.  In 6 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil to medium high.
  2. In small bowl, mix together pepper, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and thyme. Rub into lamb roast, coating evenly.
  3.  Add lamb shoulder roast to heated pot and sear for approximately 3 – 4 minutes on each side until browned nicely.
  4. Lower heat and add chopped onions, cranberries, wine, cranberry juice, garlic and 2 tablespoons of fresh ginger. Top with lid and simmer on medium to medium low for approximately 3 hours or until fork tender and easy to shred.
  5. Remove roast from pot and discard unwanted fat.  Pour off approximately ½ of cooking juices and add remaining fresh cranberries, remaining 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, and honey.
  6. Simmer this mixture for approximately 15 minutes until cranberries have popped and sauce reduced and thickening.
  7. Serves 8

The American Lamb Board provided me with product for this post, but all thoughts, comments, opinions and recipe are my own.

Just curious , have YOU ever cooked lamb at home before?