What to Cook this Holiday Season

What to Cook this Holiday Season

Still trying to plan your holiday menu? Here are some of our favorite ideas right now, whether you’re looking for the star of a special meal or for a quick and easy dish for overnight guests.


holiday star: roast pork loin with root vegetables

Slightly adapted from Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables

—5 sprigs rosemary

—1 pork loin, 2-3 lbs. (adjust cook time for larger loin)

—1/4 cup Dijon mustard

—2 T. olive oil

—Salt and pepper

—4 turnips, cut into large chunks (or use 4-6 salad turnips)

—4 potatoes, cut into large chunks (4-6 for small potatoes)

—3 apples, cored and cut into large chunks

—1 onion, sliced

—1/2 cup white wine or hard cider

—Couple big handfuls of fresh spinach

—Olive oil or neutral oil of your choice

  1. Thaw your loin in the fridge before starting.
  2. Heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Tuck 3 of the rosemary springs around the loin.
  3. Whisk together the mustard, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Rub it all over the pork loin and set aside for 10 minutes or so.
  4. Toss the veggies and apples with the last 2 rosemary sprigs, a tablespoon or so of oil, and salt and pepper.
  5. In a large Dutch oven, heat a tablespoon of neutral oil over medium heat. Sear the pork loin on all sides, then remove from the pan. Add the white wine or cider to the pan and deglaze, then reduce to almost dry. Add the veggies and toss to coat.
  6. Nestle the pork roast onto the veggies and roast until the pork reaches about 140 degrees, approximately 15-20 minutes per pound (check temps!). When done, transfer the pork from the veggies to a platter, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
  7. Transfer the veggies to a serving platter.
  8. Dress the spinach with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Slice the pork roast and lay the slices over the veggies on the serving platter. Top with spinach and serve.


holiday star: miso-butter roast chicken with acorn squash panzanella

easy & delicious meals: juicy roast chicken or roast chicken with schmaltzy cabbage



holiday star: momofuku bo ssam or pernil

easy & delicious meals: honey garlic pork roast or crockpot mojo pork



holiday star: beef sirloin tip roast

easy & delicious meal: slow cooker birria de res



holiday star: garlic & herb rubbed fresh ham roast
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated



  • 3-4 pound fresh ham roast


  • 2 c. kosher salt or 1 cups table salt
  • 1.5 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 heads garlic, cloves separated, lightly crushed and peeled
  • 5 bay leaves
  • ¼ cup whole peppercorns, crushed

Garlic & Herb Rub:

  • ½ cup fresh sage leaves
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 medium garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1.5 tsp. kosher salt or ¾ tsp. table salt
  • ¾ tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1/8 c. olive oil

Apple Cider & Brown Sugar Glaze:

  • ½ c. apple cider
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 2-3 whole cloves


  1. In a large bucket or stockpot, dissolve the salt and brown sugar for the brine in 8 cups hot tap water. Add garlic, bay leaves, black pepper, and 8 cups cold water. Submerge thawed ham in brine and refrigerate 8 to 24 hours.
  1. When you’re ready to make your ham, put a wire rack in a roasting pan (if using a disposable roasting pan, put it on a baking sheet for extra support).
  1. Remove ham from brine; rinse under cold water; and dry with paper towels. Place ham on wire rack and let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. While the ham is sitting, adjust oven rack to the lowest position and pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees.
  1. In a food processor (a mini one works best), process sage, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and oil until it forms a smooth paste. Rub all sides of ham with paste.
  1. Roast ham at 500 degrees for 20 minutes. During this stage of roasting, prepare your glaze. Combine brown sugar, cider, and cloves in a non-reactive saucepan. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce to medium-low and simmer until syrupy and reduce, 4-6 minutes. The glaze will harden as it sits; reheat for 1 minute before each glaze.
  1. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and continue to roast, brushing with glaze every 25 minutes, until center of ham registers 145-150 degrees. Start checking the ham after 1 hour; it may take 1 ½ hours or more, depending on your roast size and oven.
  1. Remove ham, tent under foil, and let rest until center of ham registers 155-160 degrees on your instant read thermometer. This may take another 20-30 minutes. Carve and serve.

Originally published December 1, 2022.

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