We know how busy the Christmas season gets. First we make the lists, then we buy the presents, and then wrap them. We have to decorate the house and tree. We have to be in a good mood for an entire month or something is wrong with us. But all the work, all the prep — it all comes down to Christmas dinner. It’s the elaborate meal that either kicks off your Christmas Eve celebration or is the culmination of the Christmas Day extravaganza. The Christmas meal itself should be special, featuring only the best! To help you plan, we’re offering 10 delectable Christmas main dishes for your consideration this year.
1. Sweet and spicy Coca-Cola glazed turkey chops
Where flavor meets interesting is where you’ll find us this Christmas. And this recipe from Divas Can Cook for sweet and spicy Coca-Cola glazed turkey chops will satisfy your Christmas dinner needs.
Turkey chops are not easy to find. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry them — and quite honestly, they are an unusual cut — seek them out from your local butcher. They turkey chop is a recent addition to the chops list, not found until the late 1990s in restaurants. A New York Times article credits the creation of the turkey chop to Todd English of Olives in Boston fame. The story goes that in the late 1980s, he was butchering a veal next to a turkey and realized the carcasses were very similarly shaped.
The turkey breast bone is notoriously difficult to cut and the skin is tough. One must have a bandsaw to even attempt it, and then, the process needs perfecting to your own tastes. If you find the turkey chop a tad bit to undertake, you can substitute in pork chops. Pork is not quite Christmas dinner caliber, but this tasty glaze dresses up even the most ordinary of meats.
We don’t know here Divas Can Cook got her turkey chops, but we do know that the flavors of this meal are superb. The Coca-Cola perfectly accents the saltiness of the soy sauce and balances out the smoked paprika. Cola is a terrific ingredient for marinades and glazes as the acid breaks down the connective tissue of the meat, tenderizing and infusing flavor into each molecule.
The glaze is made from Coca-Cola, brown sugar, soy sauce, smoked paprika, white vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, pepper, and cayenne. You’ll want to glaze everything with this mouthwatering concoction.
For your Christmas main dish this year, try something new like these sweet and spicy Coca-Cola glazed turkey chops.
2. Spicy honey-glazed ham
If you’re looking for traditional offerings with flair, check out this recipe for spicy honey-glazed ham from Rasa Malaysia. Rasa Malaysia adds an ethnic panache to all of her dishes. Her Malaysian background brings new dishes to the culinary scene, while also spicing up traditional American dishes. Just like with this ham recipe.
Instead of the traditional spiral ham, kick it up a bit with this spicy honey glaze. Start with baking the ham in the oven and then prepare the glaze. The glaze is made of honey, brown sugar, Dijon mustard, whole-grain mustard, apple cider vinegar, hot sauce, parsley, and red pepper flakes. Stir the seasonings together and divide in half, reserving one half for when the ham is out of the oven.
The glaze is so good you’ll want to put it on all the meats. Try it on chicken breasts, turkey legs, or pork loin. We imagine it would also be tasty on grilled shrimp skewers.
Ham is one of the more traditional Christmas dinner main dishes, but it can be overwhelming to pick the perfect ham for Christmas dinner. With so many varieties, it is hard to know what to go with. However, with this glaze, picking the perfect ham is no problem. All the hams will taste amazing with the sweet and spicy sauce.
3. Prime rib
Christmas dinner is a time to be indulgent, right? For some of us, Christmas dinner is right up there with gift expenses. Pour the wine, have the mushroom puffs, and serve up this garlic butter herb prime rib from The Recipe Critic.
Christmas is made all the more special when you serve a prime rib roast. When you buy your prime rib, make sure to buy a standing rib roast with the bones attached. The ribs will provide the meat with a natural roasting rack, not to mention when the roast is done you will have the bones for soups and stocks.
According to the USDA, most standing rib roasts are not labeled “prime” unless the retailer has paid to have it graded and even then most rib roasts are labeled “choice” or “select.” Actual “prime” rib has a higher fat content and more marbling — otherwise, the nutrition is identical across the gradings. Furthermore, only 2% of all standing rib roasts produced in the U.S. actually qualify as “prime.” Fret not if your rib roast says “choice”! It will still taste amazing and your family will be delighted.
There are several ways to cook a rib roast, but The Recipe Critic has found the fool-proof method. The day of cooking, remove the roast from the refrigerator and let it rest on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 450F. Then in a small bowl, combine the butter, garlic, thyme, rosemary, and oregano. Once the prime rib has reached room temperature, smear the butter all over the meat. When baked, this makes an incredibly delicious crust on the meat. You’ll barely be able to restrain yourself from eating this crust, we promise.
Roast the meat, fat side up, at 450F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 325F and cook for 15 minutes per pound additionally. Remove from the oven and cover with foil and let it rest for at least 20 minutes.
This prime rib will delight the palettes and the eyes as your guests feast. What a flavorful way to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year.
4. Mushroom Wellington with rosemary and pecans (vegan)
This recipe is a vegan tribute to the fancy beef Wellington dish made famous by the first Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, who, it is said, loved a dish of beef, mushrooms, Madeira, and pate cooked in a pastry. No one can validate the story, but the Waterloo hero of 1815 is considered the father of this dish.
In any case, the best part of beef Wellington is the mushrooms and puff pastry, so this dish is a must-serve for Christmas. As either a main dish for your vegan needs or as a delicious and unique side dish, your guests will enjoy the look and flavor of this mushroom Wellington.
Start with two pounds of mushrooms, any combination you prefer, stems and tops (except Shiitake stems). Some like to use portobellos, others a combination of portobellos with white button mushrooms. Slice up the mushrooms and saute with the garlic, onions, rosemary, and salt over medium-high heat, then turn to medium-low heat. You will need to go slow. Mushrooms reluctantly release their liquid.
When the mushrooms are dry-ish, add a splash of wine, pecans, pepper, truffle oil, and balsamic vinegar. Let the mixture cool for about 15 minutes.
Once the mushrooms are cool to the touch, lay inside one sheet of puff pastry. Fold over the other sheet, brush with an egg wash, score the pastry and bake for about 35 minutes at 400F. The pastry should be golden and delicious when cooked.
Your vegan guests will be delighted with mushroom Wellington for Christmas dinner, and we think your non-vegan guests will like it too.
5. Rosemary garlic oven roasted rack of lamb
Christmas dinner is a time to splurge. We buy the best wines, serve the finest sides, and find the choicest cuts for our Christmas main dish. For something impressive, try this rosemary garlic oven roasted rack of lamb from House of Nash Eats.
To the observant Christian, lamb represents the coming of the promised Messiah. The angels appeared to shepherds, Christ is called the Lamb of God, and lambs were sacrificed to atone for the sins of the nation of Israel. It seems fitting to serve lamb for Christmas dinner.
Even if you’re not observant and simply love the taste and flavor of lamb meat, then this is the dish for your Christmas dinner. This roasted rack of lamb looks as delicious as it tastes.
The key to perfect lamb is not to overcook it. Medium rare is the perfect serving temperature for lamb otherwise the meat becomes tough and gamey. Rack of lamb also looks beautiful — whether served as a rack on a dish or plated individually.
Another thing to keep in mind with lamb is that the flavor of the meat itself is pretty powerful, so go light on any seasonings you use. This recipe combines the perfect amount of rosemary and garlic to enhance the natural flavors of the lamb.
Start with salting and peppering the lamb roast generously and then combine the rosemary, garlic, zest of one lemon, and olive oil in a food processor and pulse until you have a paste. Spread the paste over the roast and let marinate for one hour at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator.
Bake the roast at 350F for 15 minutes, then rotate the pan and bake for another 10-15 minutes. Allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes and then slice between the ribs and serve.
This Christmas main dish is a special and rare treat and we hope your family will love it.
Want more? Check out these other Christmas main dishes