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The Hood Magazine

Beef Holiday Roast – Memorably Delicious – and Healthy

Nov 28, 2016 11:45AM ● By Hood Magazine
By Holly Swee, RN, LN 


Welcoming family or friends into your home with the comforting aroma of a traditional mouthwatering meal – like a flavorful beef roast – doesn’t have to mean spending all day in the kitchen, or the next week working off the calories. Holiday meals can have plenty of flavor and offer healthy nutrient-rich offerings that are tasty and satisfying. 

Beef is a naturally nutrient-rich source of 10 essential ingredients. On average, a 3-ounce serving of lean beef is only 154 calories, yet it’s a naturally rich source of 10 essential nutrients – including protein, zinc, iron and B-vitamins.

Keep these helpful tips in mind when choosing lean beef as part of your holiday meal.

When shopping:

  • Choose the lean beef cuts. More than 29 beef cuts 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.

When in the kitchen:

  • When purchasing your holiday roast, plan for 6-ounces of cooked beef per person. In general, a boneless beef roast yields 1-1/2 to 2 (6-ounce) cooked servings per pound. A bone-in beef roast yields about 1 to 1-1/2 (6-ounce) cooked servings per pound. 
  • Place the roast on the rack directly from refrigerator. If roasting a rib roast be sure to have fat side up.
  • Do not add water or cover the roast unless the recipe specifies to.
  • When using a meat thermometer, insert the thermometer into the thickest part of the roast. Make sure the thermometer is not touching the bone or fat.
  • Roast meat until the thermometer reaches 5 to 10 degrees below desired doneness. Medium rare is 145 degrees and medium is 160 degrees.
  • After roasting, transfer the roast to a carving board and tent the roast loosely with foil.
  • Let the roast rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The beef will continue to cook while it’s resting. This allows the juices to re-distribute more evenly throughout the roast.
  • When carving your roast, always slice the meat across the grain. 

Treat holiday guests to something new this season with this delicious lean beef roast recipe:

Herb Crusted Top Loin Roast


  • 1 beef top loin petite roast (1-1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounces fingerling potatoes, cut lengthwise in half
  • 12 ounces potatoes, cut in half
  • 4 large shallots, peeled, cut lengthwise into quarters
  • Coarse salt, as needed


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine basil, thyme, parsley and pepper; stir in 1 tablespoon oil. Press evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast.

Place roast, fat-side up, 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. Set aside.

Toss potatoes and shallots with remaining 2 tablespoons oil on rimmed baking sheet; season with salt and ground black pepper, as desired. Turn vegetables, cut-side down. Roast beef in 325 degree oven 55 to 70 minutes for medium rare to medium doneness; roast vegetables 55 to 60 minutes or until potatoes are almost tender.

Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135 degrees for medium rare; 150 degrees for medium. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with aluminum foil. Let stand 10 minutes. (Temperature will continue to rise about 10 degrees to reach 145 degrees for medium rare; 160 degrees for medium.) Meanwhile, increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Stir vegetables; continue roasting 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and browned.

Carve roast into slices, season with coarse salt, as desired. Serve with roasted vegetables.

Nutrition information per serving: 347 calories; 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 8 g monounsaturated fat); 69 mg cholesterol; 12 mg sodium; 28 g carbohydrate; 2.7 g fiber; 27 g protein; 9.3 mg niacin; 0.9 mg vitamin B6; 3.5 mcg vitamin B12; 3.5 mg iron; 29.6 mcg selenium; 5.2 mg zinc; 0.3 mg choline.

This recipe is an excellent source of protein, niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, iron, selenium and zinc; and a good source of fiber.