5 Showstopping Roasts for Your Holiday Table

To pull off your own Norman Rockwell-worthy holiday feast, consider making one of these epic roasts. Sure, (most of) these recipes require a little extra effort, but hey – it’s the holidays! Whether you’re craving a crackly-skinned duck, a classic crusted prime rib or a picturesque pork crown roast, these meaty mains are guaranteed to WOW.

1. Juniper-Rubbed Roast Duck with Cherry Jus



The key to this festive holiday duck from Food & Wine Magazine and chef Angie Mar is to let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator after it has been rubbed with the herbal juniper, salt and brown sugar mixture. This dries out the skin, giving you a phenomenally crisp crust. For serving, chef Mar drizzles a savory jus with tart cherries over the top, perfectly complimenting the rich, fatty meat of the duck. This recipe is involved, but it is worth the effort.

2. Roast Prime Rib of Beef with Horseradish Crust

A Prime Rib Roast is an iconic choice for your holiday main course and it always blows people away. For this horseradish-crusted version from chef Tyler Florence, he suggests asking your butcher for the “top choice” roast cut from the small loin end. He adds that the butcher should also cut the “chine” bone off so carving is easier.


3. Mustard-Glazed Ham

This hands-off ham from Phyllis Good’s “Stock The Crock” could not be easier. After rubbing the ham with a flavorful spiced mustard rub, simply pop it in your slow cooker and let it braise until perfectly tender and all of the juices have reduced to form a sauce. This is an instant holiday classic.


4. Roast Beef Tenderloin with French Onion Au Jus

Beef tenderloin looks impressive, but it could not be easier to cook. The most important thing is to have a reliable instant-read meat thermometer, so you can achieve that perfect medium-rare interior. For this holiday-ready cut, we love this recipe from the charming blog Half Baked Harvest. She roasts the tenderloin on a bed of onions and then after roasting finishes the beef juices and stewed onions with a bit of butter and wine for a sauce that tastes just like French Onion Soup. This recipe is a must-try.


5. Crown Roast of Pork with Lady Apples and Shallots

Behold! The most epic pork roast we’ve ever seen. For this towering crown roast, Bon Appétit Magazine ties two 8-bone racks of pork together and then rubs them with whole grain mustard. The delicate lady apples also get an extra hit of porky flavor when you sear them in bacon fat before adding to the roasting pan.

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