Best Beef For Christmas Dinner

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Are you wondering, “What’s the best cut of beef for Christmas dinner?” I know, it’s easy to get overwhelmed when shopping for beef. We’ve talked about selecting the best cut of meat based on how you’re going to prepare it and we’ve also looked at a few different cuts of beef that would be good for your easy beef roast recipe to make for christmas dinner holiday meal.

The Christmas dinner is the most important meal of the year for many people. It is even bigger than Thanksgiving dinner for some families, especially in other countries such as England. Many of us love to eat meat on Christmas day. In this article we have included a beef tenderloin roast recipe with the health benefits of beef.

Beef Tenderloin Roast Recipe

Christmas Dinner Beef Tenderloin Roast is a one pot meal that’s BIG ON FLAVOR with tender beef and buttery baby potatoes.

With gratitude and appreciation, this recipe is adapted from our Friends at America’s Test Kitchen

a cooked roast tenderloin on a cutting board, with a knife

Christmas Dinner Beef Tenderloin Roast

All traditions have to start somewhere.

The formality that is Christmas Eve, and a beautiful beef tenderloin, roasted low and slow to a perfect medium rare temperature, has Santa wishing he was getting more than just a plate of cookies…

I guess you could say that I started it based on something my grandmother told me about her childhood and growing up.

That despite the Depression, her dad, my great grandfather, always managed to provide the family with a beef roast for great grandma to prepare for Christmas.

When she told me, it made me a little sad and a lot of happy all at the same time.

To think that there was a time that it was that hard to get, but to also know that now it is so easy for me to do for her, just clicked.

So, it was then, about ten years before her death that I began the Christmas Dinner Beef Tenderloin Roast tradition.

a raw beef roast in a pan, with ties

Do You Have What’s Needed to Make This Christmas Dinner Beef Tenderloin Roast? Check The List!

  • 3-lb highest quality cut beef tenderloin roast
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • Baking soda
  • Olive oil
  • Baby red potatoes
  • Scallions
  • Fresh garlic cloves
  • Smoked paprika

Optional Ingredient: Aleppo pepper

How This Recipe Came About…

Christmas Day is all about a big old pancake, bacon and scrambled eggs breakfast while still in pajamas, and an early, less formal dinner consisting of some types of fishes and seafood, and almost always a pasta.

In between, the snacking endures, cookie pilfering behind my mother’s back being the biggest misdeed.

It is an unorganized day, spent largely searching for correct sized batteries for new gizmos to operate, naps, reminiscing, and lots of good food.

But the formality that is Christmas Eve, and a beautiful beef tenderloin, roasted low and slow to a perfect medium rare temperature, has Santa wishing he was getting more than just a plate of cookies…

Starting with a great cut of beef, the addition of a few simple seasonings, and allowing for a one-hour room temperature pre-cook rest, will yield an outcome so incredible, you will earn bragging rights even before you know how you did it. 

Beef tenderloin roasts are a near perfect solution for a crowd who would otherwise all want their steaks cooked differently.

Tenderloins are typically uneven in shape and weight from end to center to end.

Despite requiring a few ‘alterations’ to promote even cooking, the ends usually finish a firm medium, an inner cut a medium rare, and the center of the roast rare.

Allowing the meat to rest tented tightly under foil for 20 minutes following the cook, allows the juices to redistribute and the meat to be delicately fork tender.

Top with some of the pan sauce in the pan and a dollop of Whipped Horseradish Cream when you get ready to serve.

a cooked roast tenderloin on a cutting board, with a knife

How To Make A Beef Tenderloin Roast?

The flavor of horseradish will absolutely elevate the roast.

Starting with a great cut of beef, the addition of a few simple seasonings, and a one-hour room temperature pre-cook rest, will yield an outcome so incredible.

This Christmas Dinner Beef Tenderloin Roast will earn you bragging rights even before you know how you did it.

I’d be remiss if I did not mention the secret ingredient behind how a cut of beef of this size cooked low and slow, can actually achieve browning.

Baking soda.

a raw beef roast in a pan, with ties

Coupled with a salt rub and a pre-cook hour long rest, the beef has time to uniformly allocate moisture throughout and to retain that moisture during the cook.

If not allowed the hour-long pre-cook rest and roasting too soon after salting, the results will assuredly offer a dry piece of meat, so planning ahead to give the salt enough time to work its magic is crucial.

The preparation for this roast could not be easier – bloom the aromatics, sauté the potatoes in those aromatics for a few minutes, then lay your trimmed and tied tenderloin atop.

A low and slow uncovered roast is ready for a crowd in not so many hours…

Easy Beef Roast Recipe

This Christmas Beef Chuck Roast Recipe is juicy, tender, and packed with great flavor thanks to the rub and brown gravy made with the pan drippings. It serves 8 people and costs $26.35. For more holiday-inspired meals, we recommend our Instant Pot Turkey Breast and our Copycat Instant Pot Honey Baked Ham. 

Finished Beef Roast with text overlay for Pinterest.

Beef Chuck Roast

Life is so busy, right? Especially this time of year. We are entering the busiest time of the year. With all the school parties, work parties, neighbor gifts, teacher gifts, family parties, etc. The list goes on and on.

When do we get time actually to enjoy the season? What can we do to help make things a little easier? With dinner, of course! This beef chuck roast recipe is the perfect solution. 

After cooking in the oven for a few hours, the roast comes out so juicy and tender. To top it off, you make the gravy from the drippings from the roast. It is literally the perfect flavor! Not only does it taste amazing, but it is also so simple to make, and another bonus, it will not break the bank.

It is definitely the perfect meal for Christmas dinner. However, this beef chuck recipe is one we serve throughout the year for Sunday dinner with the family.

Overhead picture of the sliced beef roast.

What is the best roast?

The tougher meats make for the best roasts because they get very tender the longer they cook (on a lower heat, of course). Three main cuts will make the best roast. The three cuts are chuck, brisket, and round. 

What is the most tender cut of roast?

The most tender cut of the roast is the cuts with the fattest marbling. This type of meat typically comes from the least-exercised parts of the cow. The roasts that are tender and moist are usually the least healthy and the most expensive. That’s negative in our book!

All of the ingredients needed to make Christmas Roast.

How much will this Christmas Roast cost:

This time of the year, there are usually really great deals on beef roasts. Keep an eye out for these deals, and the recipe cost below will be substantially less! 

RECIPE COST: $26.35

PER SERVING COST: $3.30

  • 5 pounds Beef Chuck Roast – $24.85
  • 1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil – $0.13
  • 2 teaspoons salt – $0.02
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar – $0.03
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper – $0.04
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary – $0.08
  • 1/4 cup beef drippings from the roasting pan – $0
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder – $0.03
  • 2 cups beef broth – $0.96
  • 1 Tablespoon paprika – $0.10
  • 1/4 cup flour – $0.05
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce – $0.02
  • salt and pepper to taste – $0.01
  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil – $0.03

Cook’s Tools:

  • prep bowl
  • roasting pan
  • large cast-iron skillet
  • tongs
  • instant-read thermometer
  • medium saucepan
  • whisk

The flavor and Recipe Variations:

  • With this recipe, the type of cut of meat is extremely important as different cuts cook differently. 
  • It is also important to know your oven and if it holds heat well or not. All ovens are different and not all ovens retain heat, as well as others, do. If your oven does not retain heat well, then you may need to leave the oven on at 500 degrees F and cook until it reaches the internal temperature of 130 degrees F. We recommend checking the temperature every 20 minutes.
  • Instead of a beef chuck roast, you can use a more expensive cut of meat like a prime beef eye round roast. 

How long is this good for:

  • Serve: You can keep the meat at room temperature for no longer than 2 hours before it will need to be refrigerated. 
  • Store: Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. 
  • Freeze: I like to freeze leftover pieces of meat with a little bit of the brown gravy. That way, the meat is less likely to dry out in the freezer. You can freeze the meat for up to 3 months. 

How to get the kids involved with this recipe:

  • Ages 2-3: Let them help you pat dry the roast and rub the dry rub on all sides of the roast. This is a great opportunity to teach young kids kitchen safety on handling raw meat. Teach concepts such as not eating raw meat and washing your hands really well before and after handling raw meat. 
  • Ages 4-5: Let them help measure and stir together the dry rub ingredients.  They can also help with rubbing the mix on the roast. 
  • Ages 6-8: Let them help whisk the gravy until it has thickened. You can also have your child help you plan the rest of the menu. Our kiddos love to be involved in menu planning. 
  • Ages 9-11: Supervise them while they prepare the entire recipe. Remember to have them read it twice before beginning the recipe. 
  • Ages 12+: Let them prepare the entire recipe, unsupervised, while you do the happy dance in the corner!

Dishes To Make for Christmas Dinner

‘Tis the season for large meats. Roast turkey, glazed ham, porchetta…this is a truly excellent time of year for meat lovers. Of course, here at Steak School we welcome the holidays in the best way we know: by cooking up a lot of beef.

If you’re hosting a big lunch or dinner this year and need a little inspiration, here are some of the best beef dishes to grace your holiday table.

The Slow Roast

First up, it’s a classic family favourite, the roast beef. Rub it, roll it, roast it and sauce it, roasts are a delicious centrepiece that will feed the whole family. (And if you’re lucky enough to have any leftovers, load it up the next day between two slices of bread for the ultimate roast beef sandwich).

When it comes to beef cuts, the options for a roast are endless, from cube roll to topside to tenderloin. If you’re not sure, ask your local butcher to make a great recommendation for you.

The beauty of a holiday roast is letting the oven do all the hard work for you, so you’re free to prepare other dishes or greet guests. Once you season the beef you can sear it off in a pan for a bit of colour and to help the cooking process along, but otherwise all you really need is a roasting pan and a meat thermometer to check once it reaches its desired temperature. 

Just remember the time and weight formula. If you’re looking for a nice medium doneness, cook it for 25 minutes for every 500g. (Want it medium rare? Go for 20 minutes. More on the well done side? Aim for 30…and so on.)

Carve your roast nice and thin, and serve it up alongside an assortment of seasonal veggies and homemade jus or gravy, made using all the leftover fat and juices from the pan. 

For those who prefer a traditional English take, these life changing roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings are the perfect side dish to accompany the beef.

The Show-Stopping Beef Wellington

If you’re looking to impress a crowd, Beef Wellington is guaranteed to do it every time. It’s basically a piece of beef fillet or tenderloin wrapped in many tasty things – Dijon mustard, prosciutto, a decadent mushroom filling and puff pastry. Plus, it makes for a pretty exciting presentation when it hits the table.

The dish is said to be named after the Duke of Wellington who, while known for his strategic skills in The Battle of Waterloo, had an incredibly picky palate and would only be satisfied with a “roast in crust”. Us too, Duke, us too.

We’ve taken the traditional Wellington and adapted it into an “each-to-their-own” dish, portioned individually using six smaller pieces of beef fillet. If you’re making a whole Wellington, look for a tenderloin that is even in thickness from one end to the other (trim the ends off if you need to). 

The Share Steak

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean a steak is off the table. But we’re not talking about cooking up fifteen rump steaks for everyone on the guest list. Consider buying one really good cut of meat – such as a tomahawk, Florentine or even a skirt steak – to feed the whole crowd.

Whether you smoke it, grill it or reverse sear it, if you’ve got a good quality piece of meat then all you really need to do is salt it first to help form a nice crust. Slice it into pieces and serve it on a wooden board, if you fancy, so everyone can help themselves. 

Remember, when it comes to holiday feasting, people like to grab a bit of everything. Aim for at least three sides (and don’t forget the sauce) to go with it for a heartier family-style meal. 

The Crowd Pleasers

A brisket for the holidays? Ask any Jewish family and they’ll tell you it just makes sense. 

Slow cooked brisket casseroles are great because they are affordable, feed a lot of people and are just soul-warmingly delicious. 

Though the technique is easy, braising a brisket does take time and patience so make sure you start early. The key to a good braised brisket is to make sure the beef is completely covered in a rich braising liquid and let it cook low and slow for hours.

At the end of the process, you will be rewarded with a juicy, tender piece of beef. 

Health Benefits of Eating Beef

1. Beef has an impressive nutrition profile

First of all, beef is an excellent source of essential nutrients. It contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals.

The following data shows the full nutritional values for beef per 100 grams, based on data from the USDA’s FoodCentral Database.

Although the exact nutrient values will depend on the precise cut of meat, the following data is based on 80% lean ground meat.

Calories/NutrientAmount
Calories254 kcal
Carbohydrate0 g
Fat16.17 g
  Saturated fat6.16 g
  Monounsaturated Fat7.19 g
  Polyunsaturated Fat0.47 g
Protein25.25 g

Vitamins

  • Vitamin B12: 104% DV
  • Niacin (vitamin B3): 29% DV
  • Vitamin B6: 19% DV
  • Choline: 15% DV
  • Riboflavin (vitamin B2): 13% DV
  • Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5): 11% DV
  • Thiamin (vitamin B1): 3% DV
  • Folate: 2% DV
  • Vitamin E: 1% DV
  • Vitamin K: 1% DV

Minerals

  • Zinc: 57% DV
  • Selenium: 37% DV
  • Phosphorus: 14% DV
  • Iron: 14% DV
  • Potassium: 6% DV
  • Magnesium: 5% DV
  • Copper: 9% DV
  • Sodium: 3% DV
  • Calcium: 2% DV
  • Manganese: 0.5% DV

Key Point: Beef is a rich source of protein, B vitamins, zinc, and selenium.

2. Beef provides a large source of L-Carnitine

L-carnitine is a health-promoting compound that the body synthesizes in the liver from the amino acids lysine and methionine.

Beef is the best dietary source, and other meat products also contain relatively high amounts.

In the table below, we can see the L-carnitine content of beef compared to some other animal foods and plant foods;

L-Carnitine Food Source Amount of L-Carnitine (mg)
Asparagus (1/2 cup) 0.1
Beef (4oz)  56 – 162
 Cheese  2
Chicken Breast (4oz)  3 – 5
Cod (4oz)  4 – 7
 Ice-Cream (1/2 cup) 3
Whole Milk (1 cup) 8
Whole Wheat Bread (1 slice) 0.2

Why is L-Carnitine Important?

Among its numerous functions, L-carnitine plays a role in fat metabolism.

As part of this, L-Carnitine does the job of transporting fats into our mitochondria where we burn them.

It’s important to clarify that our body can synthesize sufficient amounts of L-carnitine for general needs, and we don’t necessarily need an external intake.

As a result, deficiencies are rare.

However, research suggests that a higher dietary intake of L-Carnitine may have some positive health impacts.

3.Heart Health

A meta-analysis of randomized trials suggests that L-carnitine improves patient outcomes. Specifically, it exerts an effect on hypertension, oxidative stress, nitric oxide, and inflammation.

A further systematic review found that L-carnitine is associated with a 27% reduction in all-cause mortality in heart failure patients.

4.Diabetes

A systematic review shows that higher L-carnitine intake in type 2 diabetes patients improves fasting glucose levels and the overall cholesterol profile.

5.Weight Loss

According to a systematic review and meta-analysis of nine randomized controlled trials, subjects using L-carnitine supplementation lost “significantly more weight” than the control group.

However, it is important to note that each of these benefits was noted in participants taking supplementary carnitine.

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