For many, if not most of us, our choice of holiday meat is determined by one thing: Tradition.
Who among us is brave enough to defy years, or even decades, of family tradition by saying, “Eh…we’re not doing ham this Christmas.” Not us! But just because ham (or turkey or roast beef) is ALWAYS the main dish, doesn’t mean it has to be exactly the same every year. So while we might not be brave enough to surprise our families with a totally different holiday meat choice this year, we’ve got a whole bunch of ideas for you to add a little variety to your go-to holiday main course.
Pick the holiday meat you always eat (hey, that rhymes!) and enjoy these tips and suggestions that will help make THIS year’s version the best one yet.
Your preferred meat is…HAM!
Ham is a host or hostess’s best friend. Why? Because it usually comes pre-cooked and can be served either hot OR cold. Ham is a great choice if you’re feeding a large crowd. The fact that it’s pre-cooked frees you up to focus on whipping up other parts of the meal or to take a break from the kitchen and just enjoy your guests’ company. Spiral cut hams make carving and serving, especially if you’re going buffet-style, even easier.
Or, if you really want to wow the crowd, how about our fabulous Black Forest Ham? This is fully cooked, and is between a standard ham and prosciutto. Can be easily sliced for an appetizer platter or warmed to impress even your “old school” relatives. This definitely moves you into the gourmet holiday category!
Your preferred meat is…TURKEY!
One of the trickiest parts of roasting a turkey is getting the dark meat (thighs, drumsticks) fully cooked without allowing the white meat, which cooks faster, to dry out. We’ve got an answer to this eternal dilemma: Try “spatchcocking” your turkey.
Spatchcocking is considered the latest, greatest method for serving your bird. Check out this video from Mark Bittman on how to do it in 45 minutes!
Do you lose the big presentation moment of walking into the dining room toting a huge, golden bird on a platter? Well, yes, but if you typically carve your bird in the kitchen and just bring a platter of turkey slices into the dining room, you may want to give this method a try. As this will give you the juiciest, crispiest skin, most perfectly cooked and shortest cooking time EVER!!!!
Your preferred meat is…ROAST BEEF!
What goes with roast beef? Um, what DOESN’T go with roast beef? Classic pairings are; rosemary, pepper, garlic rubs, horseradish and of course, don’t forget the mashed potatoes!
There is nothing more of a show stopper than a standing rib roast for your most special occasion. Fortunately, there is nothing easier to prepare and healthier than our 100% grass-fed Wagyu Beef Standing Rib Roast.
Rub a basic herb rub into the meat, particularly into the spaces between the meat and the bones. Cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours prior to cooking.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Remove the plastic wrap and place the roast, fat side up, in a large roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into the larger end, away from the bone (or use an instant read thermometer). Cook your roast until the thermometer reads 115-120 degrees for rare, 125-130 degrees for medium. Temperature is the key, not time.
Remove the roast from the oven, tent loosely with foil, and let rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving. During this time, the meat will continue cooking (the internal temperature will increase about 10 degrees).
Your preferred meat is…PORK!
The rack of pork includes the loin and the rib bones, which makes it great for a party. We’ve found that local chefs are using them on their special “tasting menus,” to impresses the most discriminating friends and family. Check out our Berkshire Pork French Rack Roast! And here are some tasty recipes to get you started:
also, Pork Tenderloin – our newest offering:
These approximate 1 pound beauties have the same calories as boneless, skinless chicken breasts and are “oh so juicy and flavorful.” Bargain priced too!
Your preferred meat is…MEATLESS! (Wait, what?)
Hey, it happens. Maybe you go meatless on Christmas Eve for religious reasons. In that case, if fish is allowed, we love this Roasted Salmon with Dill, Capers, and Horseradish that will knock everyone’s socks off. And you can make up for your no-meat sacrifice on Christmas Day by wowing everyone again with your culinary versatility on NEW YEARS with an amazing ham/turkey/roast beef or tenderloin.
Whatever your choice of holiday meat this year, we hope it’s delicious and enjoyed in the company of family and good friends.
From our farm to your home, happy holidays from Pasture Prime!