Planning your Christmas dinner? Odds are, you’ll need to figure out your main dish, sides and dessert. With the variety of changing tastes and food trends, the 21st century Christmas table is not confined to the ever-revered Christmas ham. How about a succulent leg of lamb? A show-stopping rib roast? A healthy vegetarian main dish, with meat as a side?
We aren’t here to tell you how to eat. But, if you do choose to serve meat to your family and friends this holiday season – it better be juicy, succulent, delicious and memorable. That’s where we come in, with these five must-have tips on cooking your holiday meat.
Photo c/o feedfeed
1. Cook your meat with care
Carefully cook your meat after you’ve brought it to room temperature. When you put an ice cold slab of meat in the oven or on the grill, you risk cooking the outside too quickly and drying it out before the inside has time to cook. This is especially true with pasture raised meats not finished on grain. They have less fat (therefore less of a “buffer”) and cook about 30% faster. Let your leg of lamb take a lunch on the counter. Pour yourself a glass of Pinot and look forward to evenly cooked deliciousness. Simple garlic and rosemary recipe and in depth lamb discussion here.
2. Let meat rest before cutting into it.
This allows juices to re-absorb into the meat. For roasts, this also gives the center more time to fully cook.
3. Know your cuts and how they are prepared.
Grill your butcher on this (yes, that pun was intended). They have the knowledge that will help you treat your meat right.
Loin muscles, for example, generally go “hot and fast” where shoulder and leg muscles are “slow and low.”
4. Don’t let salt sit on the meat.
Too much salt will dry it right out. If you’re using a dry rub or marinade, allow only up to an hour of exposure.
5. Buy whole chickens whenever possible.
This is truly the most sustainable way to eat chicken. Roast it whole, eat some of the meat for dinner and put the rest in a soup tomorrow.
Photo c/o The New York Times
The carcass will produce the richest of stocks, that have the added benefit of freezing super easily. Or, ask your butcher to cut it for you — they’ll typically do it for free (we do)! Try this easy recipe. Sometimes simple is best.
We’re proud to offer the best price in town for grass-fed rib roast and grass-fed lamb, raised less than 25 miles from our store at Reister Farms. Of course, we also carry the traditional delicious holiday ham.
If you want to do some homemade but still want to relax and enjoy this festive occasion, we offer outstanding pre-made sides (and they won’t know the difference!) Our holiday pre-ordering is available here or (duh) use Instacart.
From our holiday table to yours, we wish you love, light, family, togetherness, and if it’s your bag, perfectly cooked, seasoned, scrumptious meat. Have a holly jolly (delivered) holiday feast.
This post was written by Green Zebra Grocery in Portland, OR.