The holidays present a wonderful excuse to show off in the kitchen. So at this time of year—for at least one night—why not pull out all the stops and make something really fancy: a stuffed crown roast of pork or a stuffed beef tenderloin, served with an elegant sauce. Though these roasts are sophisticated in both flavor and appearance, you don’t have to sacrifice your whole evening for the sake of a fabulous presentation. A few make-ahead strategies ensure that you can both impress your guests and enjoy the party.
A stuffed beef tenderloin comes together more easily than you’d think. I make a rich, earthy mushroom filling ahead of time and freeze it in a log shape. Then when I butterfly the tenderloin, all I have to do is lay the log down the center of the roast, fold the roast back up and tie it neatly. (For step-by-step how-tos, check out our video on butterflying and stuffing the tenderloin.) You can do this a day ahead. Cooking is simple, too. Instead of searing the meat on the stovetop, which is cumbersome, I oven-sear it by starting the roasting at a high temperature.