Ever find it hard to decide between serving seafood or steak when making a romantic dinner or special date night? I say, why deny – the marriage of meaty, mouthwatering steaks with delicate, succulent seafood is a bond that shouldn’t be broken. In fact, I’m pretty sure SURF AND TURF are those three little words your significant other wants to hear on Valentine’s Day. And, maybe “I LOVE YOU” later! Here are a few favorites from my personal recipe collection and from friends at Cooking Light and Texas Beef Council. Pair up one from the beef list and one from the seafood list for a memorable meal your love will LOVE!
FAVORITE STEAK RECIPES FOR DATE NIGHT:
Spice-Crusted Tenderloin Steaks – I don’t know how many times I’ve made this insanely good beef recipe – you just can’t go wrong with tenderloin. Slice up your beef into filet steaks (or ask the butcher) and get grilling. If it’s still cold outside, this simple recipe works well on an indoor grill pan like this one XOXOX.
Pan-Seared Strip Steak – Smoky, savory and seemingly sinful, this recipe is made with a strip steak which is actually quite lean. I’d be inclined to sprinkle some blue cheese on top for an umami one-two!
Mojo Flat Iron Steak – Flat iron is a very tender cut of beef, slice thin and serve with some grilled shrimp for a tasty tropics-inspired treat!
‘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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and Rosemary Tenderloin Roast with Roasted Root Vegetables 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
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.
Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Do not add water or cover.
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.
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.
I’d hard to imagine there would EVER be beef tenderloin left on the platter at my house – but there was this weekend! That’s because I cooked an extra hunk so that we’d have “leftovers on purpose” for a couple easy weeknight recipes that were floating around in my head. I had to threaten all the boys to keep their dirty meat-stealing mitts of this extra steak, and once they saw the More-eo Blondie Bars I made for dessert, they had moved on to new conquests.
So, the great thing about this Beef Tenderloin & Tomato Pizza with Ancho Crema is that you can use thin slices of any leftover steak like top sirloin, ribeye, flat iron — or even fajita meat! I also used naan bread for “let’s make dinner in five minutes” convenience, but feel free to do a homemade traditional crust or even a cauliflower crust if you prefer.
The toppings are fresh and healthy with a southwestern spin – cilantro, queso fresco, hatch green chilies and a trifecta of colorful tomatoes. Red, yellow and orange – they were almost too beautiful to eat! But gobble them up because I know how great the abundance of lycopene and vitamin B6 found in tomatoes is for athletes — you can learn more on the topic of tomatoes and working out in a post I wrote for CorePower.com.
Beef Tenderloin & Tomato Pizza with Ancho Crema Recipe
4 8-inch diameter pieces of naan bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 medium yellow tomato, seeded and sliced thinly
1 medium red tomato, seeded and sliced thinly
1 medium orange tomato, seeded and sliced thinly
½ cup chopped fire-roasted hatch green chilies (or can use canned)
1 cup of crumbled queso freco
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 8-ounce pre-cooked beef tenderloin steak (or other steak) sliced thinly across grain.
1/3 cup Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon ground ancho chili powder
Avocado for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 F degrees.
Lay naan bread on a baking sheet and brush tops with olive oil. Sprinkle with the garlic salt and pepper flakes.
Layer each crust with tomato slices and green chilies. Sprinkle with queso fresco cheese.
Bake in oven for approximately 10 minutes or until edges of bread turning golden brown and cheese beginning to bubble.
Remove from oven and top with thinly sliced steak that is room temperature or has been lightly warmed — taking care not to over reheat it and make tough.
To make crema, whisk together Greek yogurt, Worcestershire sauce and chili powder in small bowl. Drizzle on top of pizzas. Sprinkle with cilantro. Serve with avocado, if desired. Serves 4.
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.
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.
Rub 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.
Let 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.