Holiday dinners are kind of a funny thing. Don’t get us wrong; we LOVE a beautifully prepared turkey dinner with all the fixins’ at Christmas time. It’s a classic, traditional approach to Christmas dinner and it brings a lot of people joy, so we’re all for it. Many of us have collectively agreed that turkey dinner is the default meal for major holidays, and many of us have never really questioned that – because it just makes sense. A big turkey can feed a lot of people, and most of the typical side dishes are generally pretty simple and easy to whip up. But (hear us out), what if this year you tried something different? We’ve come up with a few ideas that might give you the courage to mix things up a little bit in the kitchen this holiday season.
Beef ribs are indeed a unique cut of meat. They are best cooked using “low and slow” methods (braising, smoking, or roasting), which means they take a long time to prepare – but the results are worth it. Low and slow is a great way to cook food on a busy holiday, and braising a cut of meat like short ribs also *mostly* removes the risk over overcooking. Remember that time you accidentally overcooked the turkey?
What better way to enhance the comfortable, cozy feeling of Christmas Day than by making one of the best comfort foods out there? A lot of people think to make a stew with the leftovers from their Christmas turkey, which is excellent. Many people don’t think of having the stew FOR Christmas dinner, so maybe it’s time to start!
Pasta sounds pretty broad, but we’re going with a bit of a theme here. Hearty, comforting sauces that stick to your ribs and pack some delicious flavours are real crowd-pleasers for dinner parties and gatherings. So why not for Christmas, too? A slow-simmered Bolognese or a delightfully rich Rosé sauce served over your favourite type of pasta sounds great, doesn’t it?
Perhaps our most unorthodox suggestion. Tacos. Are. Fun. There is no other way to put it. It’s fun building your taco; it’s fun seeing what everyone else is making and it’s the kind of meal that brings everyone together. Let’s face it, almost every family has a “taco night” periodically, and everyone gets excited about it. You can step up your taco game and use a cut of meat like pork shoulder or brisket, cooked/braised low and slow for a taco experience, unlike anything you’ve had before if you’re typically a taco-kit family.
New Spins on the Classics
If you’re going to stick with the traditional Christmas dinner, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that – you can still find ways to try new things with the classics. Instead of boiling your potatoes before you mash them, roast them – you’ll get some deep caramelization and flavour from them (same goes for your other veggies, too). You can also brine your turkey for up to a few days, in a solution of water, salt and sugar. This helps keep the bird moist while cooking and can seriously enhance the flavour.
Ultimately, whatever you choose to serve family and friends for Christmas dinner will be special, because you put time, effort and love into making it. But, if you’re willing to try something new and fun – these ideas might make you the Christmas Dinner champion this year!