No time of the year is more magical than the holiday season from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day. The appreciation you share with family and friends, the joy and excitement of children, the fulfillment of picking the perfect gift for a loved one, and the promise of new beginnings make all the celebrations a little more special.
But what really brings people together during the holidays is sitting down for an exceptional meal. Whether it's grandma's secret pumpkin pie recipe or a longstanding tradition of dad carving the Christmas beef roast, food is the foundation of many memories. Continue reading this article to learn more about choosing the best meat for holiday dinners and pairing your roasts, briskets, steaks, and rib cuts with the perfect side dishes and drinks for your festive meal.
What Are the Best Meats for Holiday Dinner?
Holiday roasts are a go-to for everything from Friendsgiving parties to Hanukkah celebrations. While you may have established certain traditions and entrees over the years, there's always room for a new crowd-pleasing dish on the holiday table.
Let's look at some standard and less common cuts you can use to prepare the best meat for holiday dinner.
Meat for Christmas Dinner
Times have changed since the days of serving roast goose on Christmas Day. America's love of beef has taken over with large holiday roasts like prime rib, whole beef tenderloins, tri-tips, and even show-stopping Beef Wellington.
Not only are holiday roasts a delicious main course, but they're also a nearly fail-proof dish for home cooks. All you need to make the best meal for a holiday dinner is high-quality beef, a roasting pan, salt, black pepper, an oven, and a meat thermometer to track the internal temp of your holiday roast. If you want to up the flavor factor, garlic and rosemary are also tried and true companions.
Consider a pot roast if you're looking for a main course as satisfying as a Christmas beef roast but less substantial. For smaller gatherings, individual steaks like tomahawks, filet mignons, bone-in ribeyes, NY strips, and hangers are all better than anything waiting under the tree for true meat lovers.
Side Dishes and Drink Pairings
Whatever you choose as the meat for your Christmas dinner, it needs complementary sides to bring the meal together. Garlicky mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, cheesy casseroles, and freshly baked bread are reliable sidekicks for any holiday roast.
If you're like most people, the holidays are a time to splurge. Pairing your holiday roast with a few nice bottles of bold, tannin-rich red wine, aged whiskey, or artisanally crafted stout beers can take your meal from delicious to irresistible.
Beef for Hanukkah Dinner
Jewish culture is steeped in proud traditions, and one of those traditions is serving braised beef brisket during holiday celebrations. Your family probably has a recipe perfected decades ago that we won't try to stray you from. But we can offer some advice on sides to serve your guests.
Sides and Drinks
Latkes, matzo ball soup, and braided challah are staples that are hard to beat. A Jerusalem noodle kugel adds visual and taste appeal. Salad dressed with a citrus vinaigrette is a light option that helps cut through the richness of the beef.
Bourbon pairs beautifully with brisket and latkes. Each brings out the best in the other. Cabernet and Shiraz stand up to the savory unctuousness of braised beef. And if you're snacking on sufganiyot, what could be better than a cold stout or porter?
Beef With Thanksgiving Dinner
We know what you're thinking: “Don't you mean turkey?” Sure, turkey is the obvious choice, but that doesn't mean you can't make a holiday roast. Other than at lunch cafes, you don't see turkey on many menus. That's mainly because it isn’t a robust, flavorful main course like many beef options are. Now's your chance to please the crowd by transforming a classic Christmas roast into your new Thanksgiving tradition.
Beef as a Side
If you're afraid of being shunned for not serving turkey but you want to include beef, a hearty beef stew or soup is ideal. A rich broth developed with aromatics and enhanced by savory, melt-in-your-mouth steak tips is the compromise you need. Just don't be surprised if it outshines the main course.
Meat for New Year’s Dinner
Before you take up your resolution, a celebratory feast on New Year's Eve should be as important to the festivities as champagne toasts and midnight kisses. There's no question that the best meat for a holiday dinner is an indulgent piece of beef. Whether it's a holiday roast sliced at the table or a perfectly cooked steak with a medium-rare internal temperature, we can't think of a better way to say farewell to the year that was and hello to what the future holds.
If you're hosting a more casual and festive affair, you and your guests will surely love a taco or fajita bar bolstered by margaritas and Mexican-style lagers. You can keep things as simple as generously seasoned ground beef, cheese, chopped onions, and cilantro or kick up the fun and flavor with skirt or flank steak fajitas with grilled onions, tomatoes, jalapenos, bell peppers, and any other proteins you enjoy.
Give the Gift of Good Silver's American Wagyu Beef This Holiday Season
No matter what you're serving, Good Silver Steak Co.'s premium American Wagyu Beef is the best meat for holiday dinners. When it comes to a Christmas beef roast, Hanukkah brisket, or turkey alternative for Thanksgiving, you can't beat the marvelously marbled, sensationally savory, and terrifically tender qualities of our hormone- and steroid-free beef.
Make your holiday roasts or entrees with our selection of American Wagyu to give yourself and your loved ones the ultimate culinary gift this year.