6 Creative Ways to Reinvent Your Classic Christmas Roast

Christmas roasts are a longstanding holiday tradition for many families. If you’re hoping to add a little flair to your feast this year, a great way to do so is by switching your roast recipe. By presenting your entrée in a unique way, using spices and sauces that you normally wouldn’t use, you can create mouthwatering dishes such as the Ultimate Pork Crown Roast, Holiday Roast Goose, and Moroccan-Style Roast Chicken. Read on to discover six recipes that reinvest a classic roast.

Source: iStock

1. Holiday Roast Goose

Better Homes and Gardens offers two delicious ways to spice up your Christmas goose: an herb glaze or a ginger-honey glaze. There’s no wrong choice here: Both glazes will give your dish vibrant and aromatic flavors. The recipe yields 12 servings.

Ingredients:

Goose

  • 1 (10-pound) domestic goose
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 recipe herb glaze or ginger honey glaze

Herb glaze

  • ¾ cup orange marmalade
  • ¼ cup snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar

Ginger honey glaze

  • 1 cup honey
  • ¼ cup Dijon-style mustard
  • 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoons chicken broth

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. To make the herb glaze, in a small bowl, stir together orange marmalade, parsley, and black pepper. After glazing goose, stir white vinegar into remaining mixture before passing as a sauce. To make the ginger honey glaze, in a small saucepan, stir together honey, mustard, and ginger. Heat through. After glazing goose, stir chicken broth into remaining glaze before passing as a sauce. Rinse goose; pat dry with paper towels. Remove excess fat from cavity and neck.

Sprinkle body cavity and rub the outside of the skin with marjoram and pepper. Skewer neck skin to back; tie legs to tail using 100% cotton kitchen string. Twist wings under back. Prick entire surface of bird with a fork. Place goose, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer into thigh meat. Roast, uncovered, for 3 to 3¾ hours, or until the thermometer registers 180 degrees, drumsticks move easily in sockets, and juices run clear.

Using a basting bulb, carefully remove and discard the hot, liquid fat as it accumulates during roasting. Baste goose with about ⅓ cup of the herb glaze or ginger-honey glaze during the last 15 minutes of roasting. Add vinegar or broth to remaining glaze as directed. Reheat glaze to serve as a sauce. Cover goose; let stand for 15 minutes before carving. To serve, carve goose; pass remaining glaze to drizzle over sliced goose. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Source: iStock

2. The Ultimate Pork Crown Roast

With Food Network’s Ultimate Pork Crown Roast, presentation is everything. To create a crown shape, you’ll wrap your rib roast around itself so the ends meet, using kitchen twine to hold it in place. Fresh seasonings and apple pecan stuffing add fantastic flavors to this recipe, which yields 12 to 14 servings.

Ingredients:

  • ½ bunch thyme, leaves only
  • ½ bunch fresh sage, leaves only
  • 2 cloves garlic, gently smashed and paper removed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 10 pounds pork rib roast (about 12 to 14 ribs)
  • Apple pecan stuffing
  • Gravy
  • Watercress, for garnish, optional
  • Special equipment: roasting pan fitted with roasting rack

Directions: Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Set rack on the bottom third of the oven so the roast will fit completely inside. In a small mixing bowl or mortar and pestle, combine thyme, sage, garlic, and salt and pepper, to taste, and mash to break up herbs and garlic. Add oil, about 1 cup, and combine with pestle. Take crown roast of pork, and if your butcher hasn’t already prepared it, clean the bones of meat with a boning knife and make a small cut into the meat in between each rib so you can wrap it into a circle easily; save the scraps.

Rub the pork all over with the herb mixture. With the ribs on the outside, wrap the rack around onto itself so the ends meet and secure with kitchen twine so it holds its crown shape. Place in a roasting pan. Add the scraps into the bottom of the pan alongside the roast. This will help add flavor to your sauce. Set aside to bring the pork to room temperature prior to cooking. Fill the cavity with apple pecan stuffing.

Cover the stuffing and the tips of the rib bones with foil, then place the whole roast in the oven and bake for 2 hours and 20 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted near the bone should register 150 degrees Fahrenheit when done. About 30 to 45 minutes prior to doneness, remove the foil to brown the stuffing and create a crust. Remove from the oven, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 30 minutes before cutting. Serve with apple pecan stuffing and gravy. Garnish with watercress, if desired.

Source: iStock

3. Moroccan-Style Roast Chicken

Honey, ground cinnamon, and turmeric transform a plain chicken into a zesty dish that will please any palate. If you’re looking for a way to add flavor to your roast without spending too much additional time in the kitchen, Bon Appétit’s recipe is perfect for you! Simple ingredients and straightforward directions make this roast a breeze to prepare.

Ingredients:

  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  •  1 (4¾- to 5-pound) whole chicken, rinsed, patted dry

Directions: Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk butter, honey, cinnamon, and turmeric in small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer ¼ cup honey butter to small bowl; reserve. Place chicken on rack in roasting pan. Brush with some of remaining honey butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast chicken until thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 165 degrees to 170 degrees, brushing occasionally with honey butter and covering loosely with foil if browning too quickly, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Transfer to platter. Serve with reserved honey butter.

Source: iStock

4. Pork Roast With Crispy Crackling

A perfectly seasoned, crispy pork roast is worthy of any Christmas dinner. Kidspot’s recipe only requires 20 minutes of prep time and yields 6 servings. For the perfect pairing, we recommend serving this dish with AllRecipes.com’s Roasted Vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-pound) pork loin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 onions, peeled and thickly sliced
  • 2 apples, sliced thickly in rounds
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 2 ounces white balsamic vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the pork from the fridge and use a sharp knife to score the skin of the pork. Rub the oil into the skin and then the sea salt and black pepper. Make sure you push some salt into the slits. Place the onion rounds in the middle of a large baking dish and place the pork on top. Roast for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for another 30 minutes. Remove roast from oven, baste pork, and arrange apple slices around pork. Roast for another 20 minutes until apples are tender.

At this point, if the crackling has not crackled, increase the oven temperature or turn on the grill and crisp for 5 minutes. Remove pork and apples from oven and rest on a plate for 10 minutes before carving. Use an oven mitt to tilt the baking dish so the fat runs to one corner, and spoon off most of the fat, leaving only 2 tablespoons. Heat the dish over a hot plate, stir in plain flour and use a wooden spoon to dislodge the roasted bits. Pour in white balsamic vinegar, chicken stock, and any juices that have collected under the pork. Stir until thickened. Serve.

Source: iStock

5. Crock Pot Roast

Simplify your Christmas cooking by making Food.com’s Crock Pot Roast. After you spend 5 minutes preparing this dish, your slow cooker will take it from there. The recipe must be cooked on low for 7 to 9 hours, so be sure to give yourself plenty of time.

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) beef roast, any kind
  • 1 (1¼ ounces) package brown gravy mix, dry
  • 1 (1¼ ounces) package dried Italian salad dressing mix
  • 1 (1¼ ounces) package ranch dressing mix, dry
  • ½ cup water

Directions: Place beef roast in crock pot. Mix the dried mixes together in a bowl and sprinkle over the roast. Pour the water around the roast. Cook on low for 7 to 9 hours.

Source: iStock

6. Bacon-Roasted Turkey With Sweet-Onion Gravy

Turkey shouldn’t only be enjoyed on Thanksgiving. Food & Wine’s recipe calls for a heavenly bacon-herb paste, which is stuffed under the turkey skin. The end result? A moist Christmas dinner roast that’s filled with smoky and complex flavors.

Ingredients:

  • ½ pound bacon (not too lean), chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1½ tablespoons thyme leaves, plus 1 thyme sprig
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 (16- to 18-pound) turkey
  • 6 celery ribs, coarsely chopped
  • 4 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large white onions, chopped
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, smashed
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 quart turkey stock, chicken stock or low-sodium broth

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a food processor, combine the bacon, parsley, thyme leaves, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper; process to a paste. Using your fingers, gently separate the turkey skin from the breast and legs. Season the turkey cavities with salt and pepper. Carefully spread the bacon paste under the loosened skin and press gently on the outside of the skin to evenly distribute. Season the outside of the turkey with salt and pepper and tie the legs together tightly with kitchen string.

Scatter the celery, carrots, and white onions in a large roasting pan and set the turkey on top. Tightly cover the bird with 2 sheets of oiled foil and roast on the lowest rack of the oven for 2½ hours. Remove the foil and continue to roast for 1 hour, or until the turkey is browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the inner thigh registers 170 degrees. Transfer the turkey to a carving board, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes or for up to 1 hour. Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a bowl. Skim off the fat; pour ¼ cup of the fat into a large, deep skillet.

Add the sweet onion and thyme sprig, and cook over moderately high heat until the onion is browned, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, then stir in the flour. Gradually add the stock, whisking constantly, until smooth. Whisk in the reserved pan juices and simmer the gravy over low heat, whisking often, until no floury taste remains, about 15 minutes. Discard the thyme and garlic. Season the gravy with salt and pepper and transfer to a warmed gravy boat. Cut the string from the turkey legs and carve the bird. Serve with the onion gravy.

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