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Make the most of your meal with this beef holiday roast

This Beef Tenderloin with Easy Cranberry Balsamic Sauce will add protein to any holiday meal. (Photo courtesy of S.D. Beef Industry Council)

By Holly Swee

South Dakota Beef Industry Council

The holiday season is here; welcome friends and family with the comforting aroma of a traditional mouthwatering meal — like a flavorful beef roast. Traditional meals don’t have to be calorie laden. Holiday meals can offer plenty of flavor, yet provide healthy nutrientrich offerings that are tasty and satisfying.

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Beef is a naturally nutrient-rich source of 10 essential nutrients. On average, a 3-ounce serving of lean beef is only 154 calories. When beef is paired with healthy sides, it essentially becomes a tasty multivitamin that is way more enjoyable to swallow than any supplement.

Here’s a tip to help avoid overindulging at your holiday gatherings. Always include lean protein appropriately portioned throughout the day. The reason is protein promotes satiety. Eating a protein-rich meal or snack before your next holiday get-together can help you feel fuller longer and satisfy cravings, giving you the power to resist tempting treats.

Here are a few other helpful tips when shopping for lean beef for your holiday meal.

• Choose the lean beef cuts. There are more than 29 lean beef cuts that meet the government guidelines for leanness. Many of these cuts are holiday favorites like tenderloin roast, top loin and top sirloin roast.

• Choose cuts with the word “loin” or “round” on the label. These cuts usually are lean choices.

This Beef Tenderloin with Easy Cranberry Balsamic Sauce recipe is a delicious meal for any festive table. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy holiday season.

Beef Tenderloin with Easy Cranberry Balsamic Sauce

Total Recipe Time: 1 to 1-1/4 hours

Makes 8 to 10 servings


1 whole beef tenderloin roast (about 4 to 5 pounds)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon pepper

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

3 tablespoons finely chopped shallots

1 can (16 ounces) whole berry cranberry sauce

1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Heat oven to 425°F. Combine thyme and pepper; reserve 1 teaspoon seasoning mixture for sauce. Press remaining seasoning mixture evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast.

2. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef. Do not add water or cover. Roast in 425°F oven 45 to 55 minutes for medium rare; 55 to 65 minutes for medium doneness.

3. Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135°F for medium rare; 145°F for medium. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10° to 15°F to reach 145°F for medium rare; 160°F for medium.)

4. Meanwhile, prepare sauce. Combine vinegar and shallots in small saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 3 minutes. Stir in cranberry sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 6 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in reserved seasoning and salt.

5. Carve roast into slices; serve with sauce.

Contact Holly Swee at