Foolproof Holiday Beef Roast and Cranberry Goat Cheese Spread

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The pandemic continues to influence how and why we entertain. The “why” is easy — that’s called nurturing and we all need that. The “how” is the harder part — following guidelines so we stay healthy. 

Maybe you’ll celebrate the New Year like we are doing, another smaller gathering.

No matter, entertaining will still go on. So I’m sharing 2 tried & true recipes again.

First, a simple cranberry and goat cheese spread that makes a nice appetizer or a spread for bagels.

Then, a favorite and fairly fancy roast for the holiday. Sirloin tip beef roast is less expensive than tenderloin, but if roasted correctly (the method I’m sharing is unusual) it’s a stellar entree. 

I’m hopeful for the year ahead and that’s my wish for you, too.

Here’s a little truism apropos for these still challenging times: 

Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.

Cranberry goat cheese spread

Try dried cherries or apricots. 


1/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped coarsely

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup goat cheese

2 tablespoons yogurt or to taste

Honey to taste – start with a couple teaspoons

1/4 cup or so finely chopped toasted walnuts or other nuts – optional


Put everything in bowl and mix until blended. 

Keeps several days in refrigerator. 

Foolproof sirloin tip roast beef

Buy a roast labeled “choice” which has more fat running through it for flavor and tenderness. Beef marked “select” will be too lean for this recipe. 


2-1/2 to 3 pounds sirloin tip roast, tied 

Red wine or beef broth – 1 cup or so

Ingredients herb paste
Mix together:

1 teaspoon each: salt and pepper 

2 teaspoons each: dried oregano and dried basil

1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 generous tablespoon garlic, minced

Bit of olive oil to bring it together


Beef broth or red wine (a generous cup) 

Take the roast out an hour before roasting and leave it wrapped.  After that hour, unwrap and pat dry. 

Preheat oven to 250. (No, that’s not a mistake!). 

While oven preheats, film bottom of oven proof, heavy pan with olive oil. (I used my Le Creuset enameled cast iron braiser pan). Heat on medium high until oil shimmers. Put roast in pan, sear on all sides to brown. 

Smear roast with herb paste. Pour broth or wine around it. 

Roast uncovered until it reaches 130 degrees. This takes usually 1 hour and 30 minutes, but check toward the end of roasting time to give you an idea.

Turn off oven and leave roast inside and don’t open door

After 25-40 minutes, check temperature. It should read about 135 after about 25 minutes for a rarer roast; up to 40 minutes for medium. 

Remove from oven, let rest 10-15 minutes. Remove string. Slice thin. Drizzle with juices.


Too rare? 

Put slices in single layer on pan and broil until desired doneness. Keep an eye on it. Broiler cooks meat fast! 

What’s a braiser pan?

Dutch ovens and braisers are both made from enamel coated cast iron. The Dutch oven has high sides for casseroles, soups, and stews but can also fry, roast and bake. The braiser has a wider base with lower sides and is used for shallow frying, roasting, and other dishes that do not require a large amount of liquid.

Dutch oven with stuffed peppers
Braised beef roast with vegetables

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