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What is your Christmas Meal Main Entree?

I know some people who do turkey again (really??), for so many years growing up my mom made an amazing Crown Pork Roast with an Apple Sausage Stuffing. The past few has been a simple, elegant Marinated Filet of Beef Tenderloin (recipe on my blog) http://cookwithcare.blogspot.com/2009....
I'm curious what other Chowhounds make as "the main event"...(recipes welcomed)

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    1. re: care11

      A Full Prime/Standing Rib Roast slow roasted @ 225*.....also a Full Rack of Pork slow roasted @ 225* as well.


    2. We do Entrees since variety is the spice of life.

      Thanksgiving was a Thai themed event this year and we haven’t decided about Christmas yet but I am leaning towards

      Goat (if I can sneak it in by my wife – we used to have milking goats and since then she hasn’t been very happy about eating poor old Mille.) If the goat gets nixed it will probably be lamb.

      1. In the past we have done beef wellington, paella, cornish game hens, standing rib etc...

        This year we're going to have rack of lamb with a coarse grain mustard and herbed crust and red wine reduction.

        1. I'm leaning towards ham, although prime rib is not out of the question either.

          1. The main most one? ~~~ A Double Smoked Ham

                1. re: JEN10

                  Similar, but not--I hope my main entree is penne with vodka sauce and I can make my own without leaving the comfort of my own home. Let's hear it for the pasta people! I am all set with turkey, thank you. ;)

                2. Freaking turkey AGAIN. Can't get my in-laws to let it go... I really like turkey, but we just had one three weeks ago. I would LOVE to do a crown roast. But I already retaliated over the HUGE Christmas Eve dinner (tenderloin, Yorkshire pudding) followed by the HUGE Christmas Day dinner, so I can't pitch too many fits ;) LOL Maybe some day when we're able to host the holiday.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Procrastibaker

                    I'm stuck doing turkey too because my husband and mother-in-law really look forward to it. I've been hinting around that I want to do beef but so far no one is interested! I think turkey is pretty common for Christmas here in Canada because our Thanksgiving was in early October but it still doesn't seem that long ago! Maybe beef next year...

                  2. An Edwards of Virginia ham (or a similar one from a smaller producer in the Tidewater region, if we've been "home" recently enough to have bought one directly.).

                    That's a great Christmas Eve or Day entree AND you have plenty of "Oh, I'm too tired to cook anymore" snacks and leftovers.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: Beckyleach

                      Hit reply too soon: here's the link http://virginiatraditions.com/Smoked-...

                      After soaking it for about 24-36 hours (with a change of water after 24), I usually do a half-roast/half "boil" thing in my ham roaster, with water about halfway up and add some Dr. Pepper or ginger ale (Southern Thang ;-) to the water. Cook for the recommended time per pound. Cool a little, then remove the skin. Then I glaze: scores the the fat in a diamond pattern, smear with dijon mustard, and then pat on a good quantity of dark brown sugar.

                      1. re: Beckyleach

                        Two things I miss about not living in the Tidewater area any more: real Virginia ham and peanut soup. I've tried making the soup and somehow it always comes out tasting like a drowned sandwich. I think I even used what claimed to be the recipe from the Williamsburg Inn and was disappointed. Maybe I'm remembering the way it tasted with my 24 year old taste buds, now long gone.

                        1. re: mandycat

                          You may need those extraordinary blanched (and bubbled!) white, skinless peanuts that they make around there. We get them from Hubs http://www.hubspeanuts.com/
                          because my husband grew up next door to that town. The Virginia Diner, in Wakefield, sells the same kind: http://www.vadiner.com/default.aspx

                          The best peanut soup I've ever had is from the Surrey House Restaurant, near the Jamestown Ferry. That one isn't as heavy as some, and, yes, I think most versions are something that Youth prefers. <g>

                          I can't find the recipe, exactly--closely guarded secret for over 60 years!--but this seems to be the best bet: http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid...

                          1. re: mandycat

                            Aw Mandy - I'm in Norfolk, I'll send you some :) Was the Williamsburg Inn recipe from the actual Colonial Williamsburg website? There's one on there from the Kings Arm Tavern.

                        2. re: Beckyleach

                          To Becky:

                          Your last point is *exactly* why I love to do a ham at Christmas. I always make at least one more entree, too, and those change year-to-year, but the ham...well, everybody seems to love it, but, secretly, the ham is really for *me*. I figure that with all the cooking/baking I do from Thanksgiving week through Christmas, I deserve at least a couple of nights off in the weeks that follow. ;-) Plus, it's really an easy thing to prepare so that Christmas Day isn't a cooking marathon for me.

                        3. A beautiful, high-quality tenderloin roast. Turkey once a year is enough for me.

                          1. The Turkey ones crack me up because I just picture a bunch of frustrated Chowhounds at the will of their Mother-in-Laws! Turkey once a year is good for me too!

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: care11

                              Don't get me started on m/laws. Last year we went to my mother in law's house for Christmas dinner. She told us all the extended family would be there. My wife and I showed up, as did her brother, only to find that we were the only people attending. Mom had her dates wrong.

                              So for dinner she served us sweet bologna sandwiches with chips.
                              We watched "A Christmas Story" on her new 14" LCD tv, from across the room.
                              What a nightmare.

                              1. re: pacheeseguy

                                I have to ask - how can you get your dates wrong, at Christmas?

                                1. re: greedygirl

                                  The big family gathering was later in Jan.
                                  She frequently "mis-understands" things.
                                  I think she just wanted us to show up so she could make us miserable.

                                  1. re: pacheeseguy

                                    That's so sad. I myself have learned to not feel guilty avoiding miserable (aka depressed) people, life is getting too short.

                                    1. re: pacheeseguy

                                      "She frequently "mis-understands" things.
                                      I think she just wanted us to show up so she could make us miserable."

                                      That's hilarious!

                                  2. re: pacheeseguy

                                    oh my. that's just so wrong. i'm raising a glass of the lovely rose champagne i'm now drinking in your honor. so sorry.....

                                2. We're having capon. Probably this recipe.


                                  Then on Boxing Day I'll cook a ham.

                                  1. Every year that I've been home, the family has had me internally debone a chicken and marinate it in soy sauce and citrus. After sitting in the mixture overnight, the bird is filled with pork, raisins, egg, relish and sausage, regaining its shape. After baking for an hour, it is sliced and served with gravy as the piece de resistance of Christmas dinner. If, however, I'm not there to do the surgical work, the family gets a Virginia ham and calls it a night.

                                    1. cooking Christmas for the first time in years, and making goose for the first time. Stuffing will be rye bread, figs soaked in Cognac, chestnuts. Looking forward to the experience, and also the leftover fat! ;)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: ChefJune

                                        Hi ChefJune,
                                        I would love to hear chapter and verse on your goose dinner.

                                      2. I have really been back and forth on this; I am considering a ham if I can find a small one. If that doesn't work out, then it'll probably be some cut of beef.

                                        1. Smithfield spiral cut ham bought today at MacGruders on wicked sale. Might not get to it on the 25th however as that day has been designated as a "sherlock holmes and pho" day. In that order.

                                          Ham and scalloped potatoes on Saturday the 26th for sure.

                                          1. Holiday cooking is a two-headed monster.

                                            I'll prepare the lobsters, shuck the oysters and bake the clams on Christmas Eve. Deb will prepare the standing rib roast, bleu cheese popovers, etc. Christmas Day.

                                            My favorite part is Christmas Night after everyone is snoozing. I clean up the kitchen, dial in some music and pour a self-indulgent glass of port to the background thrum of the dishwasher.

                                            Happy Christmas.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: steve h.

                                              I'm with you, I love the holiday but love it more when they all leave, and I can dwell on all my many accomplishments! I do both days too so it's a marathon. I have major plans this weekend to just sit on my a**. Merry Christmas to all....

                                            2. I *think* we decided on baked ham, cooked with some kind of glaze, today. Probably with scalloped or Hasselbeck roasted potatoes (http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recip...), salad, asparagus ... and something else, lol. Not so organized this year.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Chocolatechipkt

                                                Ok, so I wasn't the one shopping and now we're having beef tenderloin and mashed potatoes, along with the vegetables mentioned above. Tiramisu for dessert.

                                              2. Cioppino with fresh cracked crab.

                                                1. Tamales. Beans. Huevos rancheros. Extra red chile on the side. Yum.

                                                  5 Replies
                                                  1. re: jencounter

                                                    We celebrate Christmas on Xmas Eve. Dinner @ my house WAS going to be Martha Stewarts rolled brioche pecan/sausage stuffed turkey breast BUT I'm stranded in Bermuuda b/c of the New England storm. Won't get home until late Thursday. If I can't get to a supermkt in time, we're eating pb and j's on Xmas!

                                                    1. re: shaebones

                                                      Hoping you get out of here today shaebones!

                                                      I agree on turkey once a year - and as we don't have Thanksgiving here - that's what we have on Christmas Day. As much as I love the big dinner, I love Boxing Day and leftovers even more - Christmas pudding for breakfast :-)

                                                        1. re: shaebones

                                                          Welcome home and cheers to your nicer dinner plans, which have won out over PBJs!

                                                          1. re: kattyeyes

                                                            For sure. Grocery shopped last night and back to work today. Hubs is prepping at home for me; making the cranberry chutney, the stuffing, prepping the turkey. Tomorrow he'll make apple crisp. After all these years maybe he will finally realize how much work and how much fun it is! :) Merry Christmas all.

                                                  2. Tamales (goat) and mondongo (tripe).

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                      Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner - in my book anyway. It's probably too late to book a flight to Cali, huh?

                                                      We've decided on beef marrow bones and a gorgonzola dolce pistachio risotto with a simple salad of local arugula.

                                                      1. re: c oliver

                                                        Your dinner sounds great. We have to share virtually.

                                                        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

                                                          Okey dokey. How about the mondongo for breakfast? I really need to find a source for goat. We love it.

                                                    2. This year I'm doing a 3# Elk tenderloin
                                                      with a variety of spicy sauces, mustards and blue cheese on the side.
                                                      And scalloped potatoes.

                                                      1. I've done beef tenderloin the last few years. Tonight I found prime-grade rib roasts at Costco, so that's what I am making. We decided to avoid family this year, so it's a big hunk of meat for just 3 of us!

                                                        1. It's pineapple and brown sugar glazed ham again for the fourth year in a row but my hostess gets better at it with every passing year. Three years ago we had "burned" ham.
                                                          To go with: potato salad, smothered cabbage, green beans with mushrooms, marinated black eyed pea salad, mac 'n cheese, chocolate cake, cheesecake, and sweet potato pie.
                                                          Then Santabushwickgirl takes a long winter nap.

                                                          1. care11 - we are having roast goose with stuffed peppers for the non-meat eaters. Asparagus soup to start. Sides will be creamed onions, roasted squash with black walnuts and blue cheese, brussels sprouts with orange sauce, potato latkes and cranberry sauce. Dessert will be a chestnut and chocolate thing form Julia Child.

                                                            1. Crisp Roast Pork Shoulder - the recipe is from Saveur.

                                                              1. we are going to have pork racks roasted in spiced salt crust, never done this before so i'm hoping it comes out good. my sister is also making two rather large cornish hens, just for kicks. we are brining them briefly and roasting them in spices and glazing them with some sweet and spicy jam. sides will be chorizo sausage stuffing and roasted baby carrots, fennel gratin.

                                                                1. Small group again - 3 adults for Christmas Eve, and 3 adults and 3 kids for Christmas. Mains are a mango chutney/Dijon/brown sugar/orange glazed ham for 12/24 and red and green chile tamales for Christmas Day.

                                                                  Christmas Eve
                                                                  Egg Nog & white chocolate "martinis" from Camelback Inn recipe
                                                                  Poached shrimp with cocktail sauce and cilantro/jalapeno/almond dipping sauce
                                                                  Ham, mashed potatoes, and biscuits
                                                                  Roasted asparagus with rosemary and orange/citrus butter

                                                                  Christmas Day is a new tradition for us as it's difficult to get good tamales in Boston, but not here in Phoenix! Picked up 2 dozen from La Purisima bakery in Glendale, AZ with
                                                                  Cranberry margaritas
                                                                  Mexican rice
                                                                  Refritos with chipotle and queso
                                                                  Topolobampo Caesar salad (Bayless recipe).

                                                                  Still considering desserts...

                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: Rubee

                                                                    I made Rick Bayless' chocoflan for a birthday party last month and it was a big hit.

                                                                    1. re: Mimi

                                                                      Oh nice idea and I have a jar of cajeta. Did you make it from a book (I have all of his) or the Twitter recipe? Thanks!

                                                                  2. We are doing our traditional crab dinner from Swan for Xmas eve. So delicious and sooo easy.
                                                                    Christmas dinner this year will be Prime Rib with Yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach and a mixed chicory salad to help cut the fat-yeah, right.
                                                                    We haven't had beef for Christmas for years because of a certain sisters white-meat only diet. Luckily she has embraced the cow, and for that we love her boyfriend.
                                                                    My parents are stoked!

                                                                    1. Shrimp cocktail, french onion soup, roast sirloin of beef, roasted garlic smashed potatoes, carrots, and chocolate mousse.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: sunflwrsdh

                                                                        Ah, retro, in the finest sense of the word. Sounds great!

                                                                      2. I've always wanted to do a 7 fish thing...but with the mother-in-law and all...

                                                                        I also say it should be a CELEBRATION with foods that you LOVE and CHERISH and SPLURGE on...why for the love of god does it have to be dried out turkey?
                                                                        Tradition, tradition, tradition.
                                                                        Well, I want somebody else's tradition!

                                                                        steve h. doing lobster, clams, and oysters...I'm envious.
                                                                        ola's ciopinno with fresh cracked crab! I just can't get enough crab!
                                                                        Sam's mondongo...they'd lock me out on the porch with the snow drifts.

                                                                        So we kinda compromised. Xmas dinner at our house, we're doing Italian. So the mother-in-law says "spaghetti on Christmas?"
                                                                        No; porketta, osso bucco (cheaped out and purchased beef shank), lasagna with homemade pasta, baked eggplant, and homemade italian sausage.

                                                                        1. My mother figured out that she simply can't host Christmas this year. And she is right. Her life has gotten harder over the past year. So with 8 days notice, I am hosting two Christmas meals on two consecutive days [to account for work schedules.] Christmas Day is easy. Breakfast of pancakes, pork products, fresh fruit and lots of coffee.

                                                                          Boxing Day dinner, which is the "official" dinner of the holiday I have decided to throw all our New England/Puritan traditions out the window. I am serving an Indian feast. The menu is as follows:

                                                                          Samosa, both meat and vegetarian
                                                                          Shrimp Tandoor
                                                                          several chutneys

                                                                          Roasted Leg of Lamb in Spicy Yogurt Sauce
                                                                          Salmon Tandoor
                                                                          Lentils with Garlic
                                                                          Royal Palace Eggplant
                                                                          Chana Marsala
                                                                          Mataar Paneer
                                                                          Basmati Rice

                                                                          Garlic Naan

                                                                          And my sister is bringing an apple pie.

                                                                          1 Reply
                                                                          1. Three cheese baked oysters, ok maybe it's not the main course but I had to have a good opener. Having lived in Canada most of my life the main course will be turkey once again, along with a spiral cut ham. But boy oh boy are those three cheese baked oysters ever so good.

                                                                            Also kudos to those who mentioned Boxing Day since no one I know here in the States knows what Boxing Day is. I began to think I was imagining the day myself.