Christmas is the time for grand food dishes, when you bring out your best cooking skills. Here are six holiday recipes that help you do just that.
Christmas and the holidays mean big, meaty entrees, often enough to feed several people. These holiday recipes are both pretty (we eat with our eyes too, you know) and make for some amazing table settings.
These also have wild game as the key ingredient, although you could substitute beef, domestic goose, farm raised fowl, or store-bought salmon.
You’ll notice that Scott Rea has four dishes here. Rea is my favorite YouTube butcher and home-cook. His videos are informative and entertaining, and I almost always come away from them with something new learned or at least motivated to give his latest culinary experiment a try myself (and I have recreated two of his four recipes here).
1. Let’s begin with a stuffed venison backstrap from Hannah McCauley.
I like this recipe because it’s easy and looks like a luxurious stick-to-your-ribs main dish but still does something creative by stuffing the backstrap. I also really like the look of her kitchen!
2. Next up is a Scott Rea recipe that I’ve tried myself.
I even wrote about it last year! It’s for a venison guard of honor and it’s a real show-piece. Especially if you plate it with some fruit and greenery around the perimeter of the plate.
The deer used for this particular guard of honor was a small one, but a larger whitetail or mule deer should make it even more impressive. But it doesn’t require a whole lot of extra work. Click the link to go directly to the recipe article.
3. Here we have another Scott Rea recipe, this time using a Canada goose.
We’ve all heard of Christmas Goose as the holiday meal. This one’s a beauty. You may need more than than the one goose though, depending on how many diners you plan on serving. Watch the video and decide what you’ll require.
Wild goose is a lovely dark meat, and the sauce that goes with this one makes it extra rich and luxurious. Rea does go through the butchering process in this video, but I’m assuming that you’ve already got the geese butchered. Just skip ahead.
4. Now, this pheasant roulade recipe isn’t really a show-piece dish like the others.
It’s actually pretty small and you will almost certainly require more than one pheasant to do it for you and your guests. But it does use pheasant, it’s kind of unusual, and slices up into very attractive medallions, which if plated with some thought can be quite attractive on the dish.
In any event, it is sure to be something that your guests will talk about for years to come. I made a rabbit roulade some years ago and my holiday guests still talk about it. This uses the much more glamorous pheasant, so be prepared to wow some folks.
5. This crown roast by Rea does require some work, and a little bit of skill to do properly. But I have faith in you.
Take your time and you can do it. It should also be pretty clear that the deer he’s using here is a runt when compared to the whitetails and muleys we’d be using here in the states. Our deer would make this SO much more impressive.
And Rea doesn’t actually give the how-to for roasting the dish. He’s really just concerned with butchering and preparing the almost finished piece here. If you can accomplish that, the roasting should be easy enough.
This is certainly the prettiest dish on this list, and I think I’d give it a test run before actually preparing it for Christmas dinner, unless you do have some butchering and cooking skill. I really like this one. It might, in fact, be one of my favorite holiday recipes.
6. This last recipe is for a wild (or domestic) salmon, and isn’t really a main dish. It’s more of a side table appetizer, but it is beautiful and does go wonderfully with Christmas dinner.
Donal Skehan is a young fellow from Ireland who does a lovely job in his books and videos of presenting authentic Irish food.
Here he quickly prepares this super easy and simple holiday dish. It really doesn’t take much longer than 15 or 20 minutes tops. It’s also the most Christmasy video of the bunch!
As a bonus, I’ve included another venison roast below. And I would like to point out one more excellent source you should really look at when planning your Christmas or holiday menu.
Hank Shaw has a fantastic website absolutely filled with stories and beautifully written wild game recipes. Unfortunately he doesn’t do many videos. All of Hank’s recipes can be found in his three books or on his website Hunter Angler Gardener Cook. I highly recommend his site. You’ll find a wealth of information there, and surely plenty of Christmas and holiday-worthy dishes to inspire you.
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.