Some families serve the same meal every single holiday. These holiday recipes get passed down generation to generation. They’re classics. And with good reason. Holiday classics are also the good reason butchers have cut off dates for holiday orders! We need time to prep all of your standing rib roasts, prime rib roasts, whole beef tenderloins, leg of lambs, and racks of lambs. Depending on which holiday is approaching, we may also be cutting a lot of brisket, tying roasts, or prepping chickens.

Sometimes as we cut and tie, we’re thinking about recipes. We’re imagining what goes with those lamb chops or those porterhouses. We’re remembering our own family holiday recipes — good and bad. We’re thinking about how to preserve traditions, but also how to make room for new cooking methods and flavors. We’re thinking of the holiday recipes we want to share with our kids, our nieces, our friends.

Pork Loin Roast

Currently we have bone-in pork loin roast on the brain; it’s a thing of beauty, which makes it a solid roast for a celebration. Think of it as bone-in pork chops, not individually cut. It’s lean as well as low fat, so you are going to want to add some flavor. A lot of holiday recipes suggest trying a rub. But we’ve been really interested in this Martha Stewart recipe that calls for cutting small slits in the roast. Then you season those cuts with chopped fresh herbs and thinly sliced garlic. You can either roast in the oven or start a new holiday tradition and try your hand at smoking. Cooking time will depend on the size of the roast. To serve, cut into individual chops. 

Leg of Lamb

We’re also thinking about an Ottolenghi recipe for leg of lamb with orange flower water and almonds. Orange flower water sounds fancy, but you can get it at any store that has a well-stocked baking section — check your supermarket. Or you can buy it online. It’s affordable stuff, but if you want to substitute it, try using orange zest.

Lasagna with Bolognese

Not all holiday recipes need to be large roasts, though. It’s hard to dream up a holiday meal more celebratory, cozy, and satisfying than Chef Barbara Lynch’s lasagna with bolognese.

What will you be serving this year? We’re all ears.