4 Holiday Main Dishes Made the Right Way

With so many different holidays being celebrated for different reasons, we think there is one thing that brings them altogether: Food! Each and every major winter holiday is capped with a sultry meal that’s highlighted with turkey, pies, hams, casseroles, desserts, beef — every type of food that people could ever have on their “nice” list.

Ham

Oh, the Christmas ham! Every year during the holiday season, the pigs defy all the odds and fly — right off the shelves, that is. People rush to the supermarket and pick up a thick, juicy ham for their Christmas feast because that sweet, juicy meat is the tradition they’ve been craving.

One of the things that’s great about the honey-glazed ham is the variety of glazes you can drizzle over your ham. If you’re looking for a Polynesian-inspired ham, try this recipe for Tangy Honey Glazed Ham. It’s got the honey and the brown sugar for the sweet, but the recipe also calls for pineapples and oranges to round out the tangy flavor. This ham recipe will have your taste buds doing the Hula!

Maybe you’re looking for a hint of sugary, a hint of sweet and a tinge of savory. Here’s a recipe for a Honey-Mustard Glazed Ham. It’s still got the sweet taste and the crunchy texture you’re looking for in a holiday ham, but with the sweet comes the savory, and it does deliciously well for a subdued sweet and a balanced savor.

What if you want to stick with the classic honey glaze for your ham? We’ve got you (and your ham!) covered with this Honey Glazed Ham recipe.

It’s something people wait 364 days for, but once that Christmas ham is pulled from the oven and fills your home with a sweet, sweet aroma, they remember immediately how worth it the wait was.

Turkey

Some people reserve the turkey dinner specifically for the Thanksgiving Day feast, but if you prepare your bird just like Chef Robert does, you’d be a scrooge to eat it only once a year! Chef Robert takes his turkey dish very seriously, so he doesn’t wait until the last second to cook his bird. Twenty-four hours before the big feast, Robert starts soaking the turkey in a brine.

After the 24 hours has passed, he lets the turkey air out so that the fresh air can open up the fibers in the meat and really let the flavor soak in. With a butter-soaked cheesecloth, Robert covers the turkey and cooks it on low heat so the meat will retain all its moisture and all its flavor.

Instead of using the pop-up timer, he opts for the food thermometer. Pop-up timers aren’t all that reliable and sometimes signal that your bird is done cooking a little too late, so you may end up with a dry, stringy texture instead of a mouthwatering meat.

Beef

Unlike Christmas hams and holiday turkeys, beef can be packaged in so many different ways and still be included as part of the quintessential holiday cuisine. You can serve you and your guests a beef tenderloin, a roast beef or if you’re from Texas like we are, Beef Brisket.

What sets the Beef Tenderloin apart from the other cuts is, well, its tenderness. While beef is prepared and aged, it hangs upside down, and because of the location of the cut, the tenderloin stretches because of the weight. The fibers of the tenderloin meat are pulled apart, so you end up with an extremely tender cut of beef.

On the other hand, the you’ve got the option of serving up a Rump Roast. Rump roasts make for a great cut of beef because they’ve got a bit of marbling throughout.

With the rump roast, there’s one thing you’ve got to always keep in mind: take things slowly. Slow roasting at a low temperature makes everything oh-so tasty, and it’s no different for the roast! You can either cook the roast in a crock pot with this slow cooker recipe, or you can use this recipe for an oven-baked roast.

Tamales

We’d be ignoring some of our Tex heritage if we left out the Mex this holiday season! Homemade Tamales are quite popular during the holiday season, especially as the main entree.

Head to the Hispanic food aisle at the grocery store and pick up some dried corn husks, masa harina (flour lard) and some red chili sauce for your tamales. With a little bit of patience and a lotta bit of hunger, the entire table is going to be filled with goodness and sonrisas!

You can also use salsa verde in your tamales if you like a little more of a spicy kick. Here’s a great recipe for Tamales with Chile Verde.

Whether you opt for the turkey or the tamales, what it all comes down to is goodness — goodness in the form of food and goodness in the form of family. We hope you have a wonderful holiday, but don’t forget about us because we’d love to see you at your local Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen soon!

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