What is on the menu for your big holiday dinner?

Xmas, Hanukkah, festivus, whatever is your meal of the season. What are you going to serve? I’m looking for some inspiration.


Cassoulet made from a kit purchased from D’Artagnan. We love cassoulet and pair it with Cahors or Malbecs from Mendoza. This year we have the good fortune of having it prepared by the mother of a friend who has come all the way from La Rochelle, France to make it for us. A few years ago, she prepared it for us using the D’Artagnan kit. As any good cook would, she used a little more of this and a little less of that in the preparation. She also made other modifications to the cooking techniques. We could never duplicate what she did but I will say that even following the recipe provided by D’Artagnan, the cassoulet is great. I suspect it tastes a little better when our French friend makes it because it is made with love and a wealth of experience.

Flannery Cali Reserve Rib Roast [cheers.gif]

Any go to salad recipes people can share? Serving lamb, mashed potatoes and roasted carrots and wanted something bright and delicious.

Hi, first post!

Surf & Turf. Getting whole filet and frozen lobster tails from costco. I will sous vide the tails and reverse sear the filets using the Slow 'N Sear device in my Weber Kettle.

If you are into grilling and don’t know what a Slow 'n Sear is, see video below. I don’t sell them, I’m not associated with them, I just use it. Basically it gets you a similar steak to using a sous vide, and will leave my sous vide cooker free for the tails. This particular youtuber does a great job showing how to clean up a whole tenderloin. You can get them cleaned, but they are cheaper if you get the whole thing and trim it yourself.

I like sauces with filet mignon, but because the lobster has such a delicate flavor, I’ll just finish the steaks with a pat of herb butter, I think. Can’t wait!

Same as Thanksgiving. We do one or the other each year, so there’s no repetition. Heritage turkey in the wood burning oven and the traditional sides.

Our regular salad:

Field greens and arugula
Diced shallot
Tomato’s cut and salted just before adding to bowl
Goat cheese or blue cheese crumbles
Craisins or other dried fruit
Ground pepper
Italian seasoning
Dress with a little balsamic, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

Tajima wagyu standing rib roast, using reverse sear technique, mashed potatoes, and jus.

Probably serve w a nice Rhône of some sort.

I would do something simple and bitter as a cleansing foil. A classic tri-colore (arugula, raddichio, endive) plus some pickled red onions, dressed with a bright mustard, shallot, lemon juice, red wine vinegar. I would avoid repeating sweet and savory notes already in your main. If you want to dress it up a bit, some sauteed shitake mushrooms and shaved parm would suit well.

This is perfect! Maybe some toasted nuts but that salad is the perfect prelude to lamb.

we’re doing cassoulet as well.
Starting the duck confit today.

Thank you!

Looks great, thanks for posting! BTW, no reason not to use actual wood charcoal in place of crappy briquettes, you’ll get much better wood flavor (if you want that), and none of the petroleum residue.

We’re probably not doing any big thing for the 25th, but I have a dinner party planned for the 1st where I’m making cassoulet and serving a vertical of La Conseillante: 1982, 1998, 2005.

Christmas Eve, Calf’s liver and onion, don’t ask me how we got there but I am o.k with that Christmas dinner Standing rib roast. Haven’t decided on wines yet as wife and I are the only wine drinkers.

Still pondering.

I like the cassoulet idea!

Regarding roasted carrots, we pseudo-invented a dish last night to go with some lamb and risotto…

I’ve done the sous vide 185 degree thing with carrots, but it was a pain.

So, I got some small organic carrots and trimmed the tops and sealed them in a boil-in bag like I was going to sous vide them but simply simmered them in the bag with some brown sugar for about an hour.

At the last moment, took them out, along with the small amount of ‘carrot juice’ they sweated and glazed them in a pan over medium heat…3 minutes or less.

Delish and easy.

My wife commented on enjoying the texture and they were not overly sweet I will do this again. Nice al dente feel and concentrated carrot flavors!

Well, last night was cassoulet night.

I grabbed local herbed sausage, some pork belly, duck, bacon, deep dark ham that a neighbor cured…that was fed on acorns!

Some local beans.

Soaked the beans for 2 days…they were a little small.

Prepared each ingredient ahead of time, “confit-ed the duck a day ahead,” braised the pork belly in some brown sugar and herbs, deglazed every pan I used. I spent 8 hours doing this and that. Even made my own tomato paste and ground our own home grown chilies.

Did the every 15 minute punch down during over time.

It sucked.

The beans were soft, but never meshed with the dish, if you know what I mean.

My wife and kids and our guest were very pleased, my son said, “Best ever, dad,” but it left me so cold, I may never do it again. It was a texture thing for me…and I gently prepared those beans for hours and hours!

Hard to explain, but when each bean remains a separate entity from the dish, it’s sad. Might just be me.

To rub salt into my wounds, my retired partner gave me a cassoulet kit today! A beautiful deep red/bordeaux dark aged ham, some beautiful sausage and bacon…but I am sad.

Tonight, making lobster bisque and cacio de pepe to go with some king crab and drawn butter. (Kerery Gold makes good drawn butter, by the way.)

Drinking 2016 Rentareia Brown Ranch chard and Alpha Omega 2016 Reserve chard.

Thanks for letting me opine my cassoulet failure. I love this place.

You’d rather your family shuns you? Take em all to SW France to learn what a real cassoulet tastes like and then come back here and complain.
BTW, the way I’m guessing it was a wine pairing problem.

Spare ribs, shumai and an eggroll.

Sous vide a 8lb prime rib and finished it on the Weber Kettle. The charcoal flared up as the fat rendered off the prime rib so it was a bit more char than I would prefer. But, otherwise it was great.

Doing pizza on the Kettle Pizza tomorrow.