View Full Version : Need meat suggestions for Christmas dinner

12-13-2016, 11:10 PM
I just found out I am having Christmas. (It was my sister's year but she doesn't want to have it.) She didn't want to have Thanksgiving either so I had 18 over for dinner. Christmas will only be ten or twelve.

We are vegetarian; my sister's family loves meat.
In the past I made pork tenderloin because it is pretty easy but my sister's kids don't care for it. They mostly like fillets, prime rib, and lamb. I don't feeling like grilling fillets and I've never made prime rib or lamb. So...any ideas for meat? Something that is easy and I cannot mess up?

I've made boneless turkey breast for them at Thanksgiving in past years but they only like the whole turkey and I think that is a PITA*. Last year for Xmas I went to our local meat mart and bought pre-made meat dishes and just heated them up (meatballs, pulled pork and Italian beef). I could do the same but I thought there might be better option.

I want to make the meal easy. My husband is a huge help when we have guests (not with cooking but with cleaning, running to the store, and absorbing my stress), but he will be working Xmas eve and day so he will not be around to help.


*This Thanksgiving my sister brought the turkey and prime rib! So I just had to do all the sides; it was nice.

12-13-2016, 11:27 PM
Good lord. A pre-cooked ham maybe? It's basically no work. Not super cheap, but if you are talking lamb or prime rib as the other options, it becomes more reasonable. OR, you can do turkey legs! Those are fun (but messy)

12-13-2016, 11:40 PM
Good lord. A pre-cooked ham maybe? It's basically no work. Not super cheap, but if you are talking lamb or prime rib as the other options, it becomes more reasonable. OR, you can do turkey legs! Those are fun (but messy)

Ham! I always think of that as an "Easter meat". Good idea. If it is pre-cooked, do you simply warm it up?
Can you buy just the turkey leg? I'm not sure I want the mess. I just cleaned the dining room chairs from the Thanksgiving meal. I swear, someone always uses the fabric seat as a napkin. I can actually see the finger marks :(

12-13-2016, 11:57 PM
We do ham at Christmas every year. So does my in-laws and my sisters in-laws. So, not simply for Easter. :-) And yes, just simply warm it up. We get ours spiral cut from the Honey Baked Ham store, and it's sooooo easy. You can warm it in the oven for an hour or so, (based on size), or just warm up some in the microwave. I haven't noticed a difference in texture OR flavor in microwave vs oven.

Turkey Legs, Walmart and Kroger carried them for a while. Don't know if they still do, or carry them where you live, but it's worth asking. They are messy as they are an "eat with your hands" food, so if you have fabric covered dining room chairs, I'd stick with the ham. :-)

12-14-2016, 12:08 AM
You do basically just warm the ham up. And glaze it. It comes with the glaze though. Or, nearly all of them do. If you want to make it even easier, get a Honey Baked Ham - those are already glazed.

The other really easy option - and I'm not sure if you'd think it's "special" enough for Christmas dinner - would be pot roast. You prep the meat (sear it, season it) and then put it in the oven to cook inside a big dutch oven (a type of pot) with potatoes and carrots and so forth. Most recipes are really simple. Cooks all day and it's hard to screw up - unlike something like a rib roast, which is a bit more fussy and time intensive.

If they'll be there for a few days, I might do both a ham and a pot roast. Pot roast with some special sides for the "big" dinner. Ham for Christmas Eve (or Christmas day, whichever one you don't do the big meal on).

12-14-2016, 12:53 AM
Thank you for the suggestions.
I don't care if it is 'special'. Tonight my kids said they want to have a casual dinner, skip the china and silverware - we just did all that on Thanksgiving. Last year I had a casual Christmas dinner.

I really miss my dad. He was a great cook and fantastic host. Growing up, on Christmas eve we had open house and many years he made food from other cultures. It was always so fun and everything tasted great. It was a lot of work for him, but he loved it. I didn't inherit the cooking/entertaining gene, but my brother did. My brother was here with his family for Thanksgiving; I hadn't seen him in ten years. It was wonderful. My brother is busy traveling the world whenever possible and coming back to Indiana is not high on his travel list. He is going to New Zealand for Christmas this year. It is one of his favorite places. Some times I think his 'traveling holiday' is a great idea.

Anyway...sorry to get off on a tangent, just missing the festive holidays of my childhood.

12-14-2016, 03:00 AM
You're nicer than me. We're a vegetarian household, too, and I love to cook, but if you want meat, you have to bring it yourself! Good luck.

12-14-2016, 11:44 AM
I realized last night that I may have posted something similar about my dad last year at this time.
ugh...I love the season but it does bring up emotions.

Anyway, the kids and I had an idea. (It blows my 'easy' holiday, but it will be fun.)
We are going to make dishes that my husband and I remember our families making for the holidays or that have a tie to our ethnic heritages. (We don't associate strongly with any background but it will be interesting.)

So, my mom's side is Slovak and my dad's is German with a bit of Bohemian. My husband's family is Polish, German and Swedish. Our families made some of the same/similar dishes.

These are some of the things we may make based upon our childhood (we haven't yet thought of other dishes based upon the countries.)

Soup & Pierogi - every year my grandmother made a mushroom, rice soup with a sauerkraut juice base for Christmas eve. (It sounds gross, and it was a bit bland but when I made it years ago I doctored it up a bit and it tasted good.) She also made pierogies. If we make them, we will make them her Slovak way but cook them my husband's Polish family way. My family boiled them and served with melted butter; my husband's family fried them in butter - yum! (We might buy them but the handmade pierogi are so expensive to buy.)

Glogg - Even though my dad was not Swedish, he liked to make a good Glogg. As I mentioned in a previous thread, he cooked from all cultures. I should make this the day my mom flies in. She is staying with me...I might want to keep her slightly tipsy so we don't get into discussions about religion or politics;)

Polish sausage and ham - My husband said they often had ham and Polish sausage for Christmas. I will take the suggestion above about the precooked ham. I'm going to look up how to make Polish sausage.

My husband wants us to make kruschiki; he talks about them every year. They look difficult. I've never fried anything!
My dad used to make rosettes. I have his old cast iron set; I think they are pretty easy to make.
Both of our families made kolacki's. My mom knows how to make those so I may have her teach the kids when she gets into town. We love the apricot filled.

We are going to come up with other ideas. I think it will be fun.

12-14-2016, 11:47 AM
Dbsam, That is a great idea. I may have to steal it one of these years. We're shooting for easy this year, though. Maybe I'm going to your house for Christmas dinner this year!!

DH is of bohemian/slovak background. I'm a good baker, but according to him, I'll never be able to replicate his grandmother's rye bread or kolacky cookies.

12-14-2016, 11:54 AM
DH is of bohemian/slovak background. I'm a good baker, but according to him, I'll never be able to replicate his grandmother's rye bread or kolacky cookies.

My son loves rye bread. If I learned how to make it from scratch, I don't think he would ever eat anything else! I tease him saying he is not a vegetarian, he is a carbatarian.

12-14-2016, 02:18 PM
we order a precooked/smoked turkey. very easy. heat it up for a few hours and done!

12-14-2016, 05:33 PM
Check your supermarket deli for cooked rotisserie chicken or turkey. You can get it ahead of time and warm it up in the oven on the day. If turkey legs are a highly desired item, you can get several of them instead of a whole bird.

I've had a rotisserie chicken that was warmed up this way, and it was delicious-nice and moist.