Tag Archives: Christmas

Meat Recipes

Turkey cranberry meatloaf

Turkey meatloaf with a carrot heart center
Turkey meatloaf with a carrot heart center and vegetables and mashed potatoes

Here is an alternative for a turkey dinner that is easy and works well for large and small groups. It is perfect for holidays such as Christmas and Thanksgiving. It uses the same flavors as a turkey dinner, and tastes great with the traditional mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing.

Ingredients:

500 g minced turkey or chicken
1 egg
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 apple, grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2-3 tablespoons dried sage leaves
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Dried cranberries or cranberry sauce

– mix onion, apple, garlic, sage, parsley and breadcrumbs.
– add the minced meat, and mix by hand.
– add egg and mix until the meat is well mixed.
– place meat evenly in the pan.

*optional: place a carrot cut into a heart shape in the middle of the loaf so that, when sliced, a heart can be seen in the middle. Consider precooking the carrot, either by boiling or steaming, to ensure that it is fully cooked. As a bonus, less baking time is required. This is especially good for those who often worry whether the middle of the loaf is cooked. And it is cute!*

– press the dried cranberries onto the top of the loaf. Alternatively, coat with a layer of cranberry sauce.
– cover with foil and bake for about 1-1.5 hours at 180 degrees Celsius.

– remove from the oven and allow to sit for 15-30 minutes.

Turkey meatloaf topped with cranberries
Turkey meatloaf topped with cranberries

– slice and serve hot.

A slice of turkey meatloaf
A slice of turkey meatloaf
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Recipes

Christmas Beef Wellington

One of my favorite traditions (adopted from my in-laws) is preparing a Beef Wellington for Christmas dinner. What is more indulgent than tender beef tenderloin, smothered in pate, mushrooms and onions, and wrapped in flaky puff pastry, then served with all the roast dinner trimmings?

This dish is notoriously finicky to make, and the goal is a beef wellington where all the components are perfectly cooked (meat medium-rare, pate heated through but not soggy, and pastry perfectly browned). Luckily, even not-too-perfect beef wellington tastes great – which is awesome for someone practicing for repeated consistency in beef wellington roasting

This year, I opted to try making individual beef wellington servings. This method makes it easier to suit everyone’s taste for beef roast, from very well-done to very rare. It also makes serving and plating much easier. And who would ever complain about the additional pastry to filling ratio?

Ingredients:

– 1 lb of beef tenderloin, cut into 4 medallions about 1 inch thick (AKA 4 slices of filet mignon)

– chunky pork pate

– 4-5 white mushrooms, sliced

– 1/4 onion, diced

– 1 clove garlic, minced

– 1/2 tbsp butter

– thyme, salt, and pepper

– 1 egg (to make an egg wash)

– cooking oil.

– puff pastry (store- bought or home made. I like to use a rough puff pastry recipe, which can be found online)

Season the beef on all sides with salt and pepper. Then sear on all sides in a pan on high heat (only sear about 1/3 way to desired done-ness. For medium-rare, no more than 30 seconds per side. For well-done, about 1 minute per side). Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, saute mushrooms, onions, butter, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper, until everything is cooked through. I like to cook this slowly until the onions caramelize. Set aside to cool.

Lay out sheets of puff pastry, and cut to size (approximately 4 inches x 6 inches). For each beef wellington, place the beef in the center of the pastry, top with a slice of pate, and then a spoonful of the mushroom mixture. Carefully wrap the pastry around the filling, pinching to seal all sides (I usually do a seam a long the top, and then on both sides). Poke 2-3 holes at the top using a toothpick or fork. Then brush eggwash on top.

Bake at 425 F for 20-25 mins (or until the pastry is golden brown on top).

Pictures above and below: individual beef wellingtons served with roasted root vegetables, brussel sprouts, and a red wine gravy.

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