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Tuesday, Dec. 14, 2021

Roasts For The Holidays

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The holidays are time to show up and show out on the dining table.

The holidays are time to show up and show out on the dining table.

From Thanksgiving through the New Year (and that inevitable resolution to eat better and work out more), it’s time to chow down. It’s the perfect season, as Cindy Lou Who knows, for roast beast.

Roasted Turkey

We start off, much like the holiday season, with roasted turkey. Turkeys are a New World food and were eaten by ancient peoples in the Americas for centuries before European conquerors brought turkeys back home with them. Turkey was eaten in England as early as the 16th century, and, during the 17th century, turkey became a common Christmastide food in Britain. In the U.S., turkey was a common Thanksgiving dish as early as the 1800s. Ham The word ham comes from the Old English “ham,” or “hom,” meaning the bend of the knee, fitting since it refers to a leg of pork. People have been eating ham almost as long as there have been people and pigs; even the ancient Romans had a recipe. Hams can be dry cured in salt, wet cured in a brine or smoked. Usually, in the U.S., hams for holiday consumption are baked in a sweet outer coating, sometimes of honey or brown sugar.

Prime Rib

This is a cut of beef from the primal rib containing anywhere from two to seven ribs. Ribeye steaks are also cut from the standing ribs. Prime rib is a traditional Christmas roast among the Irish, as beef was dear, and it was a holiday treat. Prime rib is made by slow-roasting the meat on the primal rib and then portioning it after cooking, whereas ribeye steaks are what you get when you cut it before cooking.

Roasted Goose

In Germany, roasted geese often sit on the Christmas table, and the birds are also popular in England. They are usually seasoned with apples, sweet chestnuts, prunes and onions, along with mugwort or marjoram. They can be served alongside potatoes and other root vegetables roasted in the goose fat, which has a high smoking point and, thus, makes these veggies nice and crisp.

Goose itself is a dark meat with an intense flavor that’s not akin to turkey or chicken.

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