This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner., managed by NCBA, on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.
Beef tenderloin with cranberry balsamic compote makes for the perfect special occasion meal.
It's a delightful black pepper seared steak with fluffy mashed cauliflower and potatoes and crisp green beans with a fragrant cranberry balsamic relish.
About the Recipe
Most holidays will look a little different these days.
Many of us are staying home and having a small gathering with close family and are seeking ways to cook a special and especially delicious holiday meal for just a few people.
But no matter your plans or how you slice it, beef will make your holiday dinner feel special!
And boy do I have a delicious beef recipe to share that’ll make it a meal to remember! This beef Tenderloin with cranberry balsamic compote checks all the boxes.
It’s fancy but super easy to execute, it includes a smattering of holiday flavors and it’s nutritious and well-balanced (BONUS!).
Step-By-Step Cooking Instructions
- Start with a high-quality cut of beef. I chose Tenderloin Roast for this recipe because it’s quick cooking, lean and is naturally tender (hence why it doesn’t need to be slow cooked).
- Because Tenderloin carries these qualities, it’s a popular choice for a holiday meal.
- If you don’t see Tenderloin Roast out in the meat display at your supermarket, ask the butcher or meat counter if they have it available.
- Pat the roast dry. Excess moisture will make it difficult to get a good sear.
- Once it’s dried off, season it generously with kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Be sure to season all sides of the roast (even the ends!).
- Sear the roast. Heat a thin layer of olive oil in an oven-safe skillet or shallow cast iron pan.
- Once the oil is rippling, add the Tenderloin Roast and sear 2-3 minutes per side or until a light brown crust forms.
- Transfer it to a preheated 350 degree oven and roast until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
- Once removed from the oven, the beef will carryover cook about 5 degrees, allowing it to reach the desirable 145 degrees once it’s sliced.
- Let it sit about 5 or 10 minutes so the juices can redistribute. Slice into rounds.
- Make the cranberry compote. While the beef roasts, toss cranberries, apples, dried cranberries, ginger, cinnamon, sugar, balsamic vinegar, orange zest and juice (fresh from the orange!) and salt in a large saucepan and bring to a simmer.
- Stir it occasionally until it’s thickened like cranberry sauce.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
- Serve! Serve the beef Tenderloin rounds with a heaping side of green beans and a large dollop of cranberry balsamic compote (even throw in a mound of cauliflower mashed potatoes, if you’re in the mood!).
- Your family will thank you for the fancy pants dinner that takes less than an hour to prepare!
- Make leftovers! If you’re cooking for just a few people and have leftover beef, save it, slice it and give it a quick stir fry with loads of veggies in a skillet.
- Toss with soy sauce and sesame oil for an easy leftovers dinner.
Why should beef be the feature of your holiday meal?
- Makes a nourishing, balanced meal. The holiday is a time for indulgence, but it’s also a time to celebrate seasonal eats that are nourishing AND delicious!
- That’s where this beef Tenderloin Roast with cranberry balsamic compote comes in.
- It's full of beneficial nutrients. Beef contains high-quality protein, iron, zinc, choline and B vitamins.
- As a registered dietitian, the nutritional value of foods is super important to me, and beef fits the bill when it comes to being a nutritional powerhouse.
- It can help Americans avoid nutrient shortfalls across the lifespan, support healthy pregnancies; grow and develop throughout childhood; maintain strength, energy and vitality into adulthood; and age vibrantly and independently.
- It contains protein. Protein is important at every stage of the lifecycle, from childhood to older adulthood and just a 3-ounce portion of cooked lean beef (such a Tenderloin) provides about 51% of the daily value for protein.
- Supports a healthy weight. Beef can support a healthy weight because lean protein helps you feel full and satisfied long after your meal is over.
- It can support the immune system. Beef’s zinc content helps support a strong immune system, plus it’s a great source of heme iron, which is more easily absorbed in the body than plant foods (non-heme iron).
- And it’s an excellent source of vitamin B12.
- You can perfectly portion it. I suggest a 3-ounce portion paired with vegetables, fruits and complex carbohydrates, like whole grains.
- In this recipe, I paired beef tenderloin with a cranberry apple relish and sauteed green beans to make it a wholesome, nourishing meal!
- Find more ways to enjoy beef! Check out this guide from Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner for more holiday cooking tips and inspiration:
As you can see, this beef Tenderloin Roast with cranberry balsamic compote checks all the boxes (and has the stamp of approval from a chef AND dietitian!).
It’ll make for a special, unforgettable gathering with close family.Print
Beef Tenderloin with Cranberry Balsamic Compote
Seared and roasted beef tenderloin with a simple cranberry, balsamic, ginger and orange compote.
- Prep Time: 15-20 mins
- Cook Time: 25-30 mins
- Total Time: 35-50 mins
- Yield: Serves 8
- Category: Holiday, Main Dish
- Method: Stove-Top, Baking
- Cuisine: American
- 3-pound beef Tenderloin Roast, trimmed of excess fat
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt
- ¾ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
Cranberry Balsamic Compote:
- 3 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- 1 medium honey crisp apple, cored and diced
- ¼ cup unsweetened dried cranberries
- 1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons granulated sugar, brown sugar or honey
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Zest and juice of 3 medium oranges
- ¼ teaspoon coarse salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron or oven-safe skillet to medium-high. Season the Roast on all sides with salt and black pepper. Place the Roast in the skillet and cook 2-3 minute per side, until the entire exterior has a browned crust.
- Place the thyme and rosemary sprigs in the oil next to the Tenderloin Roast and transfer to the oven. Roast 10-15 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 140 degrees (the Tenderloin will carryover cook about 5 degrees to reach 145 degrees after being removed from the oven). Place aluminum foil over the pan and let rest 10-15 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and slice.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the cranberries, apple, dried cranberries, honey, balsamic vinegar, ginger, cinnamon, salt and orange zest and juice. Heat to medium and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until the cranberries burst and most of the liquid is evaporated. Remove from the heat and let slightly cool.
- Divide the Tenderloin Roast slices onto plates and spoon the herb-infused olive oil on top. Spoon cranberry balsamic chutney and serve with a side of cauliflower mashed potatoes and green beans. Serve immediately.
Cooking Tip: Leave the skin on the apple for easy prep.
- Serving Size: ⅛ of recipe
- Calories: 367
- Sugar: 19g
- Sodium: 380mg
- Fat: 12g
- Saturated Fat: 1g
- Unsaturated Fat: 11g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 23g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 38g
- Cholesterol: 89mg
Keywords: holiday, Christmas, entree, main dish, beef, cranberry