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Please share meat suggestions for Christmas

Please give me a few ideas of delicious meats I can serve since I'm hosting Christmas, I desire to serve 2. I will be serving about 10 to 12 adults as of date.The last 2 Christmas I served pork crown roast. One year with prime rib and last year with turkey. The prime rib I allowed the company I purchased it from to season it. It was just Ok. I dropped it from the menu the following year. The pork crown roast was delish.

Thank you in advance!
P.S. I don't want to break the bank.

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    1. re: hotoynoodle

      Nothing is more Christmassy than goose. A Dickens Christmas Carol meal.

      1. re: ratgirlagogo

        One goose is not going to feed many people. There is less meat there than you would imagine by the size of the goose.

        I think I'd stick to the crown roast of pork and maybe a beef tenderloin with béarnaise sauce. Just a hint about the sauce. You can make it the AM of the dinner and keep it hot in a thermal container...thermos. Make sure it has a large mouth to make it easier to get all of that delicious sauce out of it.

      2. re: hotoynoodle

        Goose is expensive to feed 12 people and considering the OP wants two meats, that adds to the grocery bill. I'd go with two less expensive but flavorful meats. I second the lamb from down thread and maybe either a country ham or go with the whole prime rib again but season and cook it yourself. And if you can find the prime rib with the bones still attached, you'll be in for a treat.

        1. re: Cherylptw

          with 2 meats, you won't need a giant goose and at least in my part of the world goose is cheaper than prime rib.

          i love lamb, but many people do not.

          1. re: hotoynoodle

            I guess it depends where you live; they don't even sell goose where I live, the closest thing is duck so it has to be ordered. Prime rib is everywhere, which makes it cheaper.

      3. Lamb is nice, especially a crown roast if you can afford it. But my favorite is a bone in leg.

        4 Replies
        1. re: coll

          Thank you Coll. So I can order a crown roast in lamb?

          1. re: hair12

            If you have a real butcher, you can order anything your heart desires! Scary that they're getting so hard to find. This was a specialty of my MIL, not me (as I said I prefer a bone in leg). Here is a visual:


            She really loved those doily things too.

            1. re: coll

              Thank you! Looks just like my pork crown roast. I do have a place I order my meats from for the holidays. Although it's 1.5 hour drive one way, it's worth it. Just make a day of it.

              1. re: hair12

                I love to do that too; I'll be hitting Arthur Ave in the Bronx for all our Italian supplies sometime before the holidays. About the same distance for us, we'll go to see the train layout at the Botanical Gardens just to get in a festive mood, and then definitely lunch somewhere too. Worth it, to the max!

        2. Turducken.... A symphony of fowl....

          1. Where I am in the world, few families stray from turkey on Christmas Day.

            Personally, I would love to have something else - anything else - but it just isnt acceptable.

            17 Replies
              1. re: magiesmom

                No. I don't know anyone who would have ham for Christmas Day. In fact, I don't know anyone who doesnt have turkey, with the exception of one guy who has goose.

                1. re: Harters

                  Well, I don't celebrate Christmas so what do I know, but that is what several of our friends serve.

                  1. re: Harters

                    ...and the girl here so has anything but turkey! :-)

                    1. re: Harters

                      Oh my, ham is very popular for Christmas.

                      1. re: Harters

                        A few people I know is tired of turkey by Christmas and tend to cook something other then. And just the opposite with ham.

                        1. re: Harters


                          Is there a law? Can't you cook whatever you want?

                          1. re: sandylc

                            sandylc - there is pretty much a law. Turkey is so embedded in the culture of Xmas lunch that it's impossible to make any changes. Food magazines only touch on other meats very much as afterthoughts - almost because they feel they have to mention them in passing.

                            It's the sister-in-law's turn to cook the family lunch this year and I can pretty much tell you exactly what we'll be eating.

                            It's not something I fuss about. It's the only celebration meal of the year and perhaps there's a place for tradition. it's just that it's a meal I'm not really fond of (if I never ate turkey again it would cause me no problems)

                            1. re: Harters


                              I guess it's somewhat the same here at Thanksgiving, although our family rebels and do something else, anyway.

                              So, my kid has booked his Christmas lunch at a pub in London and has chosen beef - will he be banned from England shortly thereafter?

                              1. re: sandylc


                                Pubs and restaurants always have to offer something of a choice -if only to justify the extortionate prices. I would dearly love to persuade the family to eat out on Xmas Day but the cost is prohibitive. I bet your lad has commented on it. A pub near me (north west England) is charging £89 for lunch. No, that's not a typo, eighty nine fecking pounds. Full payment required in advance! And it's just a pub, not one of the area's "good" restaurants.

                                1. re: Harters

                                  OUCH, that's pricey. No, he's withholding that sort of $$$ information, no doubt so as not to worry us.

                          2. re: Harters

                            Turkey for Thanksgiving and pork for Christmas

                            1. re: Candy

                              Turkey for Thanksgiving, and Italian for Christmas, around here ;-)

                              1. re: Candy

                                I'd love to have pork, especially as it goes so well with all the side dishes normally served with turkey, even bread sauce.

                                However, celebrating what is essentially a Jewish birth with pork just seems wrong!

                          3. re: Harters

                            Most people here make Turkey the Thanksgiving Day meat; that's not to say that people don't have it for Christmas but usually if they have it for Thanksgiving, they don't have it for Christmas.

                            1. re: Harters

                              Same here. Turkey is my family's traditional Christmas. Though there have been a few years whem prime rib was served.

                              I happen to love turkey and we had a turkey farm around the corner, so the turkey was fresh.

                              Ham was always served on New Years Day.

                              1. re: Harters

                                I did a smoked turkey breast a few years ago. It was well-received and out-of-the-ordinary for the guests we had.

                              2. My favourite Christmas meats are duck, goose, lamb, venison and wild boar.

                                1. Last year my family had a beef wellington and cornish game hens (half per person) and that combo was a big hit

                                  7 Replies
                                  1. re: Ttrockwood

                                    +2 with the cornish game hens...and they're so cute!

                                    1. re: Ttrockwood

                                      I've done beef wellington for Xmas before - it was a big hit. Beautiful presentation and it just feels special.

                                      1. re: Ttrockwood

                                        Never heard of beef wellington. Tell me more.

                                        1. re: hair12

                                          I've had great luck with Wellington, too. It's basically beef filet that is browned, then wrapped in puff pastry, usually along with some type of flavorful accompaniment such as duxelles or pate. This is then baked to a golden brown (the filet cooks to MR), then served sliced. Rich and yummy. I haven't made it in years; maybe its time has come again!

                                          1. re: hair12

                                            "Never heard of beef wellington."

                                            So you've never watched Hell's Kitchen? Lucky you:)

                                            1. re: hair12

                                              This chow recipe is the most traditional- there are also verions using pork tenderloin. Fairly dramatic table presentation

                                              1. re: Ttrockwood

                                                The pork tenderloin version is a favorite at our house. Little prosciutto, some dried fruits, some onion and garlic -- delicious!

                                          2. We're having prime rib with neighbors this year but if I were cooking, it would be bone-in leg of lamb or a ham. Goose sounds wonderful but I've never cooked one.

                                            1. Beef is traditional for Christmas. If you don't want to do a prime rib you could get a tenderloin roast and serve it with some creamed horseradish.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: jpc8015

                                                Growing up we somehow had prime rib every Christmas, even when times were pretty lean.

                                                I have almost always done a prime rib. One key is that if the roast is not well aged, age it in your fridge -- we generally do it for a week or so. I learned the method from Alton Brown (it's on the web) and I love it.I may just do a small tenderloin roast this year unless we have guests.

                                                A good friend did goose. He harvested them himself and marinated them. They were pretty good, but I must admit that I prefer duck or turkey to wild goose.

                                                A crown roast of pork is magnificent. I did one, but I had to order it a while in advance. I think I'd have to find a specialty market to get a crown roast of lamb around here, but I'll bet it would be awesome.

                                                1. re: jpc8015

                                                  I like the idea of a tenderloin cooked to medium rare, with a horseradish cream sauce and a couple of perfectly roasted chickens or cornish hens. Could make a lemon enhanced gravy for the chicken. Hits the notes of traditional turkey and prime rib, but are a bit easier and less expensive.

                                                2. Medium rare beef pairs well with thinly sliced salty Virginia ham. IMHO this honey baked ham you encounter everywhere is a step down from olive loaf. Another good companion to most anything is oysters, now in season. Tenderloin and oysters Rockefeller?

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: tim irvine

                                                    Sauerbraten has become a tradition for me.

                                                  2. I've done an apricot glazed ham and a roast beef most Christmases. Ham is boneless and goes in the crockpot in the late morning and roast beef gets seasoned the night before and taken out of the fridge 30 - 40 minutes before placing in the oven.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Hopefulone

                                                      Apricot glazed ham sounds terrific!

                                                    2. A good roast needs nothing more than Kosher Salt and Fresh Cracked Black Pepper. Anything else is really just for show, as the aromatics cannot penetrate the meat.

                                                      Steamship Fresh Ham
                                                      Colorado Leg of Lamb
                                                      Rack of Veal



                                                      Prime Rib


                                                      Inexpensive Beef Roast

                                                      Shoulder Clod
                                                      Cross Rib Shoulder
                                                      Top Butt Sirloin


                                                      If you like your meat well done.


                                                      1. Surf and turf.

                                                        Do the prime rib yourself.

                                                        For easier prep, I would do a baked shrimp scampi type thing. When the meat comes out to rest, turn the oven to 400 and bake until just pink (10 minutes or less). Comes with it's own sauce.

                                                        My MIL always does pork crown roast, which is pretty good if she doesn't over cook it.

                                                        9 Replies
                                                        1. re: autumm

                                                          OK, I think you are on to something here!!! Baked shrimp scampi sounds like heaven on earth. Thank you.

                                                          If you or anyone here have a tested and tried recipe for shrimp scampi, please share!!!

                                                          1. re: hair12

                                                            I really like Ina Garten's recipe.

                                                            1. re: hheath9h

                                                              I just bookmarked Ina's recipe. I had never heard of baked shrimp scampi before, and this sounds wonderful! Thanks for the suggestion.

                                                              1. re: Springhaze2

                                                                I've used that recipe and it's always come out really well. Definitely recommend.

                                                            2. re: hair12

                                                              I second the baked shrimp scampi and some type of beef such as prime rib. Yum.

                                                              1. re: hair12

                                                                I used to make scampi very plain, but then I came across this recipe and won't make it any other way. Looks complicated but it's not at all.

                                                                HAHA, just looked up Ina Garten and this is basically her recipe too......I didn't remember where I got it in the first place!

                                                                SHRIMP SCAMPI (can add or sub scallops too)

                                                                2 # shrimp, peeled and deveined
                                                                3 Tbsp good olive oil
                                                                2 Tbsp white wine, vermouth or sherry
                                                                salt and pepper, dash of tabasco

                                                                Preheat oven to 425.
                                                                Place shrimp and all else in a bowl and allow to sit while preparing the following:

                                                                1 stick butter, room temp
                                                                2 cloves garlic, minced
                                                                1 shallot, minced
                                                                crushed red pepper flakes to taste
                                                                1 tsp lemon zest
                                                                2 Tbsp lemon juice
                                                                asst herbs of your choice (parsley, rosemary, thyme etc)
                                                                1 egg yolk
                                                                2/3 cup panko

                                                                Mash or whip softened butter with all else.
                                                                Arrange shrimp in single layer, pour marinade over and sprinkle with paprika.
                                                                Spread butter mix evenly over.
                                                                Bake 10 minutes until bubbly and browned.

                                                                1. re: coll

                                                                  Another reason to love Ms. Garten!

                                                                  1. re: Berheenia

                                                                    I don't love her, but I am developing a grudging respect!

                                                                    1. re: coll

                                                                      I like her cooking style and her recipes for me usually come out great.

                                                            3. I am doing prime rib again this year or maybe beef tenderloin. In the south, ham and turkey are traditional, and I will probably have that at a Christmas Eve get together. I rarely see goose, but think that is an interesting option. I would like to try a capon.

                                                              1. Prime rib roast!! It is always on sale around here the week before Christmas. I've been using Anne Burrell's recipe for years and it is delish!

                                                                1. This year we are doing ham because it is most forgiving. There is a grandson and nap times so I want flexibility. In the past we usually had Roast Beef or a fancy pork roast. Two family members "hate" lamb and the year I made a capon everyone thought it was to much like Thanksgiving.
                                                                  I grew up eating turkey for Christmas and ham on New Years Day.

                                                                  1. I like to roast a nice, bit filet of beef and serve a pesto and a madeira sauce on the side. Very simple and always a crowd pleaser.

                                                                    1. I know someone has suggested crown roast of lamb...let me suggest another lamb option...marinated butterflied leg of lamb...grilled if you can possibly manage it...very yummy and using the grill frees up the oven for other things...also easy clean up...one of my favourite things quick to cook as well....

                                                                      1. well, it's hard to beat the price of turkey to feed 12 adult appetites. You could always do a trio of pounded, rolled and stuffed breasts; you can get creative with fillings and flavorings, glazes, etc.

                                                                        Prime rib roast, cooked low and slow to rare (then it 'ages' to medium rare as it sits resting, awaiting carving) is a delicious splurge. Simple peeled crusted roasted potatoes are a delicious yet simple foil to the richness of the meat. Add blanched super-fresh green beans, a root veg (roast or mash) and you've got a classic elegant meal without hours of drudgery that fussier dishes can create. A purchased fruit tarte, cheese and fruit or a premium ice cream or sorbet could be dessert.

                                                                        Take extra care with your seating comfort, good wine, and carefully chosen music to create a special evening.

                                                                        1. We always had ham for Christmas growing up, and I've kept that tradition, but with a twist: I order a country ham from Kentucky, and I look forward to it all year! It may be an acquired taste, though: funky and salty. Love at first bite to me.

                                                                          1. Big Big Al was justifiably renowned for his scalloped oysters. Get a few jars of medium oysters, lots of butter, cream, and real common crackers (can be ordered from Vermont Country Store) and even oyster haters will come around. I follow the tradition.
                                                                            At about $6 a jar, it won't break the bank.

                                                                            1. Prime rib roast is a perfect Christmas dinner. It is often on sale during the holidays. I did one last Christmas and it was a hit. I used an Emeril Lagasse recipe from Food Network. Simple yet sooo delicious. Season it yourself with salt and pepper.

                                                                              1 Reply
                                                                              1. re: MamasCooking

                                                                                a whole roasted fish, usually striped bass, is always on the dinner table at my home. it's not "meat" but its damn good.

                                                                                I've always wanted do a porchetta, but swine eaters are plenty in my family.