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With Christmas coming soon you’re probably writing out long shopping lists as you plan holiday meals. And, while a perfectly-browned turkey is a popular choice, maybe you want to try something different this year.

There are so many alternative choices for holiday main courses and they range from beef, to seafood, poultry (not turkey) and even vegetarian dishes. Beautiful and memorable meals are a major part of holiday celebrations, so take a look at some of Ask Granny’s suggestions and gather courage to move outside the norm—try something other than turkey this holiday season.


Beef Wellington

Try this spectacular, yet surprisingly easy to do recipe from BBC Good Food. You’ll use Aberdeen Angus Fillet, chestnut mushrooms, fresh thyme and a puff pastry. Directions include the proper way to attach the pastry, allowing no air between crust and meat/stuffing. Delicious.

Prime Rib

You’ll want to select a standing rib roast for your prime rib meal. This recipe from What’s Cooking America supplies step by step directions for a perfect outcome. You’ll also find a recipe for Yorkshire Pudding. Tip: Don’t salt the outside of the roast to ensure the juices stay inside the meat. There’s a handy shopping guide for the proper grade of roast plus a chart for the appropriate size roast for your guests, from a three rib roast for six servings, to a seven rib roast for fourteen servings.

Beef Tenderloin

Select a 3 ½ to 4 pound center cut beef tenderloin trimmed of all fat. Follow this recipe which uses a fresh rosemary and fresh thyme rub. For a perfect medium-rare outcome be sure to use a meat thermometer. Serve with roasted, herbed potatoes.


Roasted Cornish Game Hens

Bake one bird per person. This recipe from Big Oven calls for honey and a large-grained mustard plus lemon, thyme and cinnamon. Birds are marinated overnight and served with roasted, caramelized carrots.

Whole Roast Chicken

This super-easy recipe from Epicurious is wonderful for a small holiday gathering. Select a 2-3 pound farm-raised bird. Truss to keep juices in. Do not baste. Rub with butter after roasting for 50-60 minutes and serve with Dijon on the side.

Roast Goose with Hazelnut, Apple and Wild Rice Stuffing

From All Recipes, UK, this fantastic recipe calls for a whole goose, toasted hazelnuts, wild rice and granny smith apples for the stuffing. Finish with savoury, thyme and fresh parsley. Cook giblets for gravy.


Glazed Ham

Here is Paula Deen’s Old Fashioned recipe for a traditional glazed ham. The magic comes after the ham is baked. Create a beautiful glaze using pineapple slices, maraschino cherries, cloves, light brown sugar and prepared yellow mustard. Pop the ham back in the oven to complete the glazing process.

Roast Loin of Pork

From Pork Be Inspired comes this Boneless Pork Loin Roast with Herbed Pepper Rub. Using a three pound pork loin roast, boneless, you’ll use salt, pepper, grated parmesan, rosemary, thyme and garlic powder for the rub. Tender and delicious.


Caramelized Scallops

You’ll love this recipe from Tastebook. The delicate dry-packed sea scallops are served with a rich risotto cooked in chicken stock. You’ll brine the scallops for 10-15 minutes and then caramelize in a pan. Guests will be served an individual bowl with risotto topped with scallops and then finished with olive oil and freshly-ground pepper.

Oysters au Gratin

Try this gourmet recipe from Ste-Michelle. Use a dozen fresh oysters in shell. You’ll make a béchamel sauce ahead of time. On your serving day bake the oysters with bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, chopped, smoked bacon, a T of the sauce and lemon zest for each individual oyster. Wonderful.


Savoy, Red Onion and Egg Pie

From BBC Good Food, make this cabbage, onion pie. You’ll use savoy cabbage, a whole red onion, new potatoes, four eggs in a shortbread pastry. Season with cumin seeds and crushed red chillis. Quick and easy.


This classic Greek recipe from The Veggie Table can also be adapted to Vegan. You’ll need fresh spinach, feta cheese, ricotta and filo pastry. The finished product will be a beautiful, golden brown.

Whichever main course you choose to serve to your guests during the holiday season, prepare with love, then sit down to enjoy the warmth and joy of the season.