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Alternate meat for Thanksgiving

Hi all, I know it is only September but I am already planning Thanksgiving. I am having a slightly larger crowd this year than that last year and last year we really had no leftover turkey. I was thinking of roasting a turkey but also doing another type of meat. Does anyone have a favorite recipe? I have had somone suggest goose, though I have never made a goose before. Would love some suggestions.

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  1. I often include a stuffed pork loin along with the turkey. I have a Fig/Balsamic Vinegar from Bistro Blends (http://www.spenger.com/) the makes a very nice dipping sauce for the pork and provides another level of flavor to the meal as a whole.

    1. I usually do 2 turkeys for large Thanksgiving crowd (sometimes one the day before, one the day of, depending on timing.) We have also done a spiral ham along with turkey, which was a big hit.

      1. we often prepare a crown roast of pork along with the turkey. it gives me an excuse to make two different kinds of stuffing, too--one traditional sage, the other maple cornbread and sausage.

        3 Replies
        1. re: silverhawk

          I was just thinking of a crown roast of pork- is there a particular recipe you follow?

          1. re: cassoulady

            in recent years, i've cooked the stuffing completely outboard. the roast cooks more evenly and more quickly. i rub the whole shabang with a slurry of olive oil, salt/pepper, garlic, and thyme. if serving the pork as the only meat, i use sage, too. for thanksgiving, i let the turkey hog the sage. cover the frenched ends with foil, toss some sliced apples loosely into the cavity and cook to an internal temp of--well, i say 145. pour a half cup of white wine and/or stock over the roast each hour. for a full double rack crown it'll take perhaps 2,5 hrs, but the temp will define the end. for thanksgiving i will the apples and put some cooked dressing in the cavity before presenting at table.

            cooks mag makes a cogent case for never cooking a crown roast--just two pork rib roasts. i'm a sucker for the crown presentation, though, and find that keeping the dressing outside the roast limits the need to overcook the roast to get it done evenly.

            1. re: silverhawk

              outside dressing (opposed to stuffing) does avoid some safety issues.

              although even with my family's lackadaisical manner it was never an issue.

        2. Fry the turkey, and roast/smoke some ducks........

          Fun!

          1. goose is ok, but the grease released in cooking is a bit overwhelming. I l prefer a nice pheasant which has the opposite problem, you have to bard it before roasting, generally smaller than a turkey, larger than a duck.

            I like the crown roast of pork suggestion.

            1. I suggest bison. As with turkey, it's native to the Americas, which would be appropriate for this American holiday.

              Goose is great, but a 12lb goose barely feeds 8 people due to the enormous amount of fat (although the goose fat rendered is excellent for flavouring anything and could be jarred as gifts for the guests--you really will have that much left over).

              3 Replies
              1. re: Caralien

                Caralien: amen. hope your guests like rendered fat as much as I do. (have a jar of duck in the fridge and some real lard)

                1. re: Caralien

                  bison! I have never made it or tasted it, that could be fun!

                  1. re: cassoulady

                    bison is like very lean beef. It can be roasted slowly or even put into a crock pot (best over a bed of sliced red onions--the stock makes for an incredible onion soup, which may be well received after a night of overindulging).

                2. My dad and husband aren't too fond of turkey, so we always do ham for Thanksgiving.

                  1. I do a large turkey, plus 8 extra turkey wings, and 4 extra turkey necks. That way every one can get their favorite parts.
                    We also make a large poached salmon for the non meat eaters, A brisket for those who prefer beef to fowl and what goes the fastest: A LARGE TRAY OF LASAGNA

                    1. we do smoked spares and a roast beef along with our birds

                      1. Roast leg of lamb. I buy it frozen, already marinated with rosemary and garlic. All I have to do is thaw it out in the fridge for 2 days, then throw it into the oven. I enjoy the taste.

                        1. How about a pot pie - with rabbit or lamb - something you could serve more like a casserole with meat? You could prepare in advance and just warm before serving.

                          1. Many people don't particularly like goose, and it's pretty redundant with turkey on the menu.

                            I'd go with red meat, and love the suggestion Caralien makes about bison. It would certainly set you back a few sheckels, but can you imagine what a stunner a standing bison rib roast would be at the holiday table? I bet a lot of people would forgo the turkey.

                            Something festive and unusual in many parts of the nation: A country ham. Lots of people have never tried it, so it's quite a revelation to many. But it's NOT for low-sodium diets, so beware if you have guests with dietary restrictions.

                            1. Three suggestions.
                              A nice Elk tenderloin, grilled medium rare, plated and then cut at the table into small medallions.
                              Add a variety of dipping sauces. They run around 2.5-3 lbs. in weight.
                              Much smaller than a beef t/l. From the large head to the tip, you'll have a nice choice of rare - med - med/rare cuts to please everyone at the table.

                              The second choice would be a leg of lamb. Fill with fresh herbs, sear and roast.
                              Plate and slice at the table. Again, giving you a nice selection of meat for everyone.

                              If you want to keep it all poultry, get a large amount of quail. Marinate in herbed olive oil.
                              Then grill till crispy, plate and serve. Makes a great quick dish.

                              1. How tempting! If you have an oven that would hold, or can build an adobe one using Kikko Denzer's plans from his book, I'd suggest you go for a roast sucking pig. If that is not possible, at least try cooking a pork roast in the Tuscan "arista" fashion.

                                My second choice would be a deboned lamb shoulder stuffed with tapenade and slowly braised in red wine, served with rosemary roasted potatoes.

                                  1. I'd go with a pork roast because the traditional turkey stuffing and sides like sweet potatoes go better with pork than with beef, lamb, bison, or seafood.