This gorgeous beef tenderloin recipe with winter vegetables is sure to steal the show on Christmas Day. Using the reverse sear method, the whole beef tenderloin is slow roasted in a low oven then seared on the stove top. Paired with oven roasted vegetables and finished with a sage brown butter sauce, this beef tenderloin is a holiday meal to remember.
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Safeway. All opinions are 100% mine.
Christmas Roast Beef with Vegetables
Our traditional Christmas dinner typically includes a more expensive cut of meat but it’s usually something different year to year. Unlike my classic Thanksgiving menu, Christmas is my chance to let my creative instincts run while I embrace the flavors of the season.
Christmases past have been the inspiration for this rack of lamb, these roasted root vegetables, and my eggnog creme brulee. They all require a little bit of effort, but the amazing taste is always a worthwhile reward.
This year’s choice spares nothing on flavor, but it’s much more simple than it appears. It’s a beef tenderloin roast recipe but it’s also a sheet pan dinner with the meat and vegetables both built into one recipe. Add a fancy sauce and you’ll have an amazing holiday dinner that takes a lot less effort than you would expect.
What You’ll Need
- Whole Beef Tenderloin – Trimmed and tied. You can do it yourself with butcher’s twine or have the butcher do it for you. Plan for 6 – 8 ounces per person.
- Avocado oil – My preferred oil for general cooking, any vegetable oil of your choice will be fine. You’ll use it on the beef tenderloin and for roasting the vegetables.
- Yukon Gold Potatoes – Makes the best roast potatoes.
- Beets – Whole red or golden beets.
- Brussels Sprouts – Look for sprouts of similar sizes.
- Tarragon – Adds a flavor punch to the potatoes.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – Helps temper the bitterness of the brussels sprouts and adds a brightness to the beets.
- Salted Butter – The main ingredient in the brown butter sauce.
- Sage Leaves – Fresh sage flavors the brown butter sauce.
- Kosher Salt – Enhances all the flavors in each component of the dish.
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper – A universal seasoning, added to taste.
Recommended Kitchen Tools
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- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Vegetable peeler
- Medium pot
- Metal colander
- Rimmed Baking Sheet
- Large oven safe skillet – I prefer cast iron, but stainless steel works well too.
- Small saucepan
- Instant read thermometer
- In-oven probe thermometer (optional, but nice to have)
How to Make Roast Beef Tenderloin with Sage Brown Butter Sauce and Winter Vegetables
This recipe is not just a beef tenderloin recipe, but a recipe for an entire roast beef dinner. It’s put together so that you can have everything on the table at the same time, while it’s still hot.
- Preheat oven to 250ºF with an oven rack in the middle. The initial low temperature allows the beef roast slowly without overcooking the inside. It’s the best way to get a perfect medium rare – or temperature of choice – with the smallest possible gray band.
- Prep the beef tenderloin. Generously season with salt and pepper (which can be done 24 hours in advance) then tie tenderloin with butcher’s twine. With the instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part (if using) place the roast in an oven proof skillet. Roast in the oven until it’s 20º less than your desired final serving temperature. (Check the chart below for specific temperatures.)
- While the beef tenderloin roasts, par boil the potatoes. Peel, chop, and boil just enough to soften. Drain, shake in the colander to rough up the edges, coat with cooking oil, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and set aside.
- Prepare the beets and brussels sprouts – Peel, quarter, then slice the beets. Halve or quarter the brussels sprouts. Toss all the vegetables with olive oil, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
- Once the beef reaches its desired internal temperature (115ºF for medium rare), verify the internal temperature with an instant read thermometer, again in the thickest part, then remove tenderloin from the oven. Cover with aluminum foil and allow to rest. Adjust the oven racks to have them split the middle and turn the oven up to 400ºF.
- While the meat rests, roast the vegetables in the preheated oven in 15 minute increments. Start with the potatoes, 15 minutes later add the beets, 15 minutes after that add the brussels sprouts.
- While the vegetables roast, make the brown butter sauce with fresh sage.
- When the brussels sprouts go in the oven, transfer beef to a carving board. Wipe out the pan then heat it over a medium high heat before searing the beef tenderloin on all sides.
- Move finished tenderloin to a carving board then let the beef stand to rest 5 minutes before slicing, while you toss the vegetables with 2/3 of the brown butter sauce.
- Remove the butchers twine, then slice the beef. Drizzle with the remaining brown butter sauce and serve with a generous portion of vegetables.
Using the Reverse Sear to Roast Beef Tenderloin
While it’s not the most traditional way to cook beef tenderloin, the reverse sear method is not new. From filet mignon to prime rib, it’s the only way I prepare red meat in my kitchen anymore.
To better understand. When making steak or roasts the traditional way, a chef sears the outside of the meat first, then cooks the inside however long it needs to reach the desired level of doneness. The searing is often done in a skillet or using direct heat on a grill, while the finishing is done in an oven or over indirect heat on the grill.
When reverse searing, we take that method and flip it around. First you bring the inside temperature up to within 20º of desired doneness, then you sear the outside to create a great crust. This allows the meat to cook evenly, resulting in a thinner gray band (the part of the meat between the seared outside and perfectly cooked inside) and more perfectly cooked meat throughout the middle of your roast.
Like the traditional method, you must monitor the internal temperature while the roast is in the oven. Using a probe style meat thermometer and a 250º oven allows for the inside to cook low and slow. Once it comes up to your ideal temperature, then finish it off over medium high heat on the stovetop in a cast iron pan to get the perfect crusty exterior.
Don’t forget to pull the meat from the oven when it is 20º cooler than where you want it to finish. When we sear it the temperature will come up by approximately 20º, giving you delicious results. Check the chart below for meat temperatures based on your desired final results.
Tips for Success
There are always things to watch out for when trying a new recipes, but they are even more important when we are talking about an expensive cut of meat like this beef tenderloin recipe and for a special occasion like Christmas.
- Ask your butcher for help. If you see a beautiful whole tenderloin on display, you can ask the butcher to cut it down to the size you need, trim it if needed, and wrap it in kitchen twine for you.
- Don’t skip the step of tying up the meat. Tying the tenderloin not only helps it keep its shape, it allows you to fold over any thin parts to help make your roast the same thickness from end to end, meaning it will cook more evenly.
- Cook beef tenderloin to doneness based on who likes it the least cooked. When it’s time to serve you can easily sear slices of beef to get them up to medium well or well done, but you cannot reduce the beef from medium down to medium rare or rare.
- Medium rare is ideal for beef tenderloin. Beef tenderloin, the same cut of beef used for filet mignon, is the most tender cut of beef. It’s a lean cut without a lot of fat or marbling and does not benefit from longer cook times. That said, don’t force anyone to eat meat done under their preferred degree of doneness.
- Use an instant read meat thermometer. Also called a probe thermometer, it’s the only way to know for sure if your beef is medium rare or well done without slicing into it. When dealing with beef tenderloin it’s better to be sure than over cooked.
- Adjusting cooking times for the vegetables so that everything turns out just right according to YOUR preferences. Like your beets to be soft and brussels sprouts crisp? Put the beets in earlier and the brussels in later.
- Don’t crowd the sheet pans. It’s fine to let the veggies share the same sheet pans, but give enough room for air to circulate around the veggies so the edges can crisp up.
- Allow time for the searing pan to heat. If you are planning to start searing the beef 10 minutes before the vegetables are done, put the pan on the fire at least 5 minutes before that. A HOT pan gives the best sear.
- Don’t over handle the meat while searing. Put the beef down on one side and give it a couple minutes to cook before turning it. Once a proper sear has been obtained, the beef will release from the pan easily. If you have to scrape it off or fight to get it to lift you have either not allowed the pan to properly heat or you haven’t let it cook long enough.
- Don’t skimp on the brown butter. Make enough to drizzle both the veggies and the beef – the sauce is versatile and tastes good on most anything roasted.
This recipe for roasted beef tenderloin is one part method and another part recipe. You can easily take the methods and change things up to make it more uniquely your own.
- Try different vegetables – sweet potatoes, winter squash, parsnips, and turnips are all great winter vegetable options that would give a completely different flavor profile but still play nicely with the brown butter sauce.
- Use different herbs – fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, and fresh tarragon are all great choices for adding extra flavor to the brown butter sauce. I highly recommend fresh because the brown butter is frying the herbs. When you fry already dried herbs they can quickly taste burnt.
- Try a different cut of beef or lamb – the reverse sear method is solid and while it’s great for tenderloin it also works perfectly on cuts like prime rib or a rack of lamb.
This roast beef tenderloin recipe with winter vegetables and sage brown butter sauce is what happens when a Christmas roast gets together with a sheet pan dinner. Slow roast and reverse sear the beef tenderloin, roast the vegetables, then drizzle the whole thing with the sage brown butter sauce for a Christmas dinner your family will request every year.
With three types of vegetables, beef tenderloin, and a sauce already on your plate you don’t need to add much to make it a full blown meal worthy of a Christmas celebration. To round out the meal at my table, I like to add fresh dinner rolls with an orange honey butter and my favorite Christmas dessert Eggnog Crème Brûlée.
Also, for the adults at the table, beef tenderloin tastes great with most varieties of red wine, but it can be overpowering to most white wines. Some people prefer to serve it with a lighter pinot noir, but I love to pair it with a heavier bodied Napa cabernet sauvignon. Any wine you enjoy drinking will be worthy of this delicious roasted beef tenderloin.
How to Store and Reheat
Leftover beef tenderloin?! Whoever heard of such a thing? Well, when you are making a whole tenderloin for the holidays it’s easy to overestimate how much people will eat and there are bound to be leftovers. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 3 – 5 days (or longer) if stored in an airtight container.
You can thinly slice the beef and turn it into some of the best roast beef sandwiches you’ve ever tasted. You can also repurpose it into another meal. If you are planning in advance to have leftovers, you may want to stick to that medium rare doneness. That way you won’t end up with over cooked meat the second time around.
One of my favorite ways to use leftover beef tenderloin is to make a cottage pie, the beef version of a shepherd’s pie. While I don’t have a recipe posted yet, you can swap medium rare roast beef for the lamb in this shepherd’s pie without making any changes. Treat the medium rare beef the same as you would the raw lamb. Marinate it then searing it before making the gravy. In fact, that lamb shepherd’s pie makes a pretty great alternative Christmas dinner all on it’s own.
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- 1 1/2 - 2 pounds beef tenderloin - trimmed and tied
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Roast Beets and Brussels Sprouts
- 1 pound beets
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Sage Brown Butter Sauce
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 3 - 4 large sage leaves - thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 250º. Season all sides of your trimmed and tied beef tenderloin with salt and pepper. This can be done 24 hours in advance and stored in the fridge uncovered. Transfer beef to a large, oven safe skillet and beef in the oven. Roast until the internal temperature is 20º below the final desired temperature. (About 30 minutes to reach 105º for medium rare.)
- Meanwhile prepare the vegetables. Peel potatoes then chop into 1/2 inch chunks. Place in a medium saucepan and add enough cold water to cover by one inch. Cover, bring to a boil, uncover and boil for 4 - 6 minutes. Potatoes will begin to soften, but still retain their shape. Drain potatoes then rough up the edges by shaking in a metal colander. Place potatoes in a medium mixing bowl, drizzle with avocado oil, then add dried tarragon, salt, and pepper. Stir to coat then spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet.
- Peel, quarter, and slice the beets. Halve the brussels sprouts. In a medium mixing bowl combine avocado oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, and pepper. Add veggies and toss to coat. Spread the beets in a single layer on a baking sheet, retaining the Brussels sprouts in the bowl for later.
- When the beef reaches its initial, pre-searing cooking temperature remove it from the oven, cover with foil, and keep warm. Increase the oven temperature to 400º and adjust the racks so that you have one upper and one lower rack.
- Place the potatoes on the bottom rack and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes place the beets in the oven on the top rack and set a second 15 minute timer.
- At the end of the second 15 minute timer remove both pans from the oven. Flip the potatoes, rotate the pan, and place it back in on the top rack. Flip the beets then gather to one side of the sheet pan, adding the brussels sprouts to the now empty side. Return the beets pan to the oven on the bottom rack. Roast all together for the third and final 15 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, melt the salted butter over a medium low heat swirling occasionally. Butter will bubble and foam up. Once the foam subsides, monitor it closely. When the milk solids brown and start to smell nutty, remove from the heat and add in the julienned sage leaves. Swirl the pan. The butter will foam up again as it fries the sage. Set aside and keep warm.
- About 15 minutes before the vegetables are done, transfer the beef from the skillet to a carving board. Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel, then preheat it over medium high heat on the stove top. Add a couple tablespoons of avocado oil and allow to heat. Sear all sides of the beef tenderloin, then transfer back to the carving board to rest while you finish the vegetables.
- Remove vegetables from the oven, place in a large mixing bowl and stir with 2/3 of the brown butter mixture to lightly coat.
- Slice the beef tenderloin into 1/2" to 1" thick slices and serve drizzled with the remaining brown butter sauce.
Roast the Beef and Vegetables
*Avocado oil or any other high heat cooking oil will work. Look for something with a smoke point over 400º
Total cooking time for vegetables: potatoes - 45 minutes; beets - 30 minutes; brussels sprouts 15 minutes. Potatoes should be golden brown on the outside with pillowy soft centers. Beets and brussels sprouts should be tender but not soft. Adjust times as needed to get the texture you desire.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1097Total Fat: 73gSaturated Fat: 28gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 36gCholesterol: 199mgSodium: 623mgCarbohydrates: 56gFiber: 9gSugar: 13gProtein: 57g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix and is for general information purposes only. For the most accurate information, calculate using your select brands and exact measurements.
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