12 Small Yet Special Roasts for Your Holiday Meal

The holiday season is a time for warmth, togetherness, and indulgent feasts. But what if your gathering this year is a bit more intimate, with a smaller group of cherished loved ones? Fear not, for this curated list of delightful selections of small roasts that are bound to steal the show at your holiday table. From succulent beef tenderloin to savory turkey thighs, these dishes offer a grand presentation and exquisite flavors without overwhelming your gathering. Let’s dive into these top 8 small yet special roasts for your holiday meal, courtesy of Martha Stewart’s recipe blog.

  1. Beef Tenderloin, Wrapped in Potatoes

These roasts aren’t just a feast for the taste buds; it’s a visual spectacle as well. Imagine a small cut of beef tenderloin enrobed in par-cooked russet potatoes, crisping up beautifully in the oven. The result? A culinary masterpiece that’s as beautiful as it is delicious. Don’t worry about leftovers; they make for the most delectable sandwiches the next day.

  1. Stuffed Apricot Jam Turkey Breast

If you’re looking for a hassle-free stuffed turkey recipe, this one’s a winner. No trussing required! It involves a deeply savory stuffing crafted with sausage, sage, lemon zest, and a hint of apricot jam, all tucked snugly beneath the turkey’s skin. This dish will leave your guests in awe.

  1. Portobello Gratin Mushrooms

For a vegetarian delight, these individual Portobello mushroom gratins are the way to go. The earthy mushroom caps serve as the perfect vessel for a creamy, cheesy gratin filling. This dish is not just a feast for the eyes but also a delightful treat for your non-meat-eating guests.

  1. Roasted Chicken Breasts With Grape Stuffing

Roast chicken is a classic, but this recipe takes it up a notch. Split chicken breasts are browned to perfection and set atop a rustic stuffing made with torn ciabatta bread and sweet, juicy grapes. The result is a delightful melding of flavors and a stuffing that’s crispy on the surface.

  1. Delectable Apple-Braised Turkey Thighs

The months of November and December come alive in this recipe. Turkey thighs are lovingly braised in a flavorful mixture of apple cider, cider vinegar, fresh apples, and shallots. The result? A dish with layers of savory depth that embodies the essence of the holiday season.

  1. Roasted Chicken, Covering Lemons and Onions

This ultimate roast chicken recipe is a game-changer. Forget the stuffing; this recipe focuses on roasting the bird to perfection, achieving a crispy brown skin and juicy meat. The secret? Salting the chicken ahead of time and roasting it on a sheet pan over a bed of sliced lemons and onions, which you can enjoy along with the chicken.

  1. Whole Roasted Cauliflower With Green Herb Sauce

For a show-stopping centerpiece that’s also vegan or vegetarian-friendly, look no further than a whole-roasted cauliflower. Paired with a vibrant herb sauce, this dish not only impresses but also complements your holiday meal beautifully. Consider serving it alongside a vegan mushroom-leek stuffing for the ultimate plant-based feast.

  1. Pork Tenderloin with Sage and Garlic Crust

When your holiday gathering is more intimate, this petite pork tenderloin is the perfect choice. Coated with aromatic garlic and sage, it delivers exceptional flavor and is ready in just 40 minutes. A splendid option when you’re aiming for a smaller roast without compromising on taste.

A smaller gathering doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor or presentation. These 8 small yet special roasts are the epitome of holiday indulgence, offering a range of flavors and styles to suit your taste and your party size. Whether you opt for the potato-wrapped beef tenderloin, the savory stuffed turkey breast, or the vegan-friendly whole roasted cauliflower, your holiday meal is sure to be a memorable feast.

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Roasted Turkey with Herb Stuffing is Perfect for Any Holiday Meal

Thanksgiving isn’t the only time a perfectly roasted turkey can be the star of the show, it’s perfect for any holiday gathering.  It’s time to start thinking about how you want to prepare your next holiday meal. Luckily, Epicurious has tons of tried-and-true recipes that everyone will enjoy, such as this recipe for Classic Roast Turkey With Herbed Stuffing and Old-fashioned Gravy. The herbed stuffing used in this recipe is the perfect complement to a roast turkey. It’s savory and flavorful, with a hint of rosemary and thyme. The stuffing can be made ahead of time and refrigerated until you’re ready to stuff the turkey.

Ingredients for roasted turkey:


Directions for roasted turkey:

  1. You’ll want to begin this recipe by placing your oven rack in the lowest position and preheating your oven to 325°F. Then, butter an 8-inch square baking dish or a 2-quart casserole dish and lightly brush your roasting rack with vegetable oil, and place your roasting pan into it.
  2. The next step is to prepare your turkey for stuffing. First, you’ll want to remove the plastic or paper packet of giblets from your 12-pound turkey; these are usually located within a small cavity. Remove the giblets from the packaging and rinse them with water. Reserve the gizzard and heart and discard the floppy, dark purple liver.Remove the neck from the turkey’s large cavity. Remove the packaging from the neck, rinse them with water, and reserve. Then, using tweezers or needle nose pliers, remove any remaining excess such as feathers and quills still attached to the skin, though this is usually only required of kosher turkeys. Pull off and reserve any visible pale yellow knobs of fat from either side of the tail.
  3. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water and pat it dry. Loosely fill the small neck cavity with your warmed farmhouse herbed stuffing. Fold the neck skin under the body and fasten it with a metal skewer. Then, loosely fill the large body cavity with more warmed farmhouse herbed stuffing, and then transfer your remaining stuffing to your buttered dish from earlier and drizzle with ¼ cup of homemade turkey stock. Cover your turkey with aluminum foil, and refrigerate it until it’s ready to bake.
  4. Transfer your turkey with the breast side facing up to the rack in your roasting pan. Tuck wing tips underneath the breast and tie drumsticks loosely together with kitchen twine. Rub turkey all over with softened butter and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Then, tightly cover the breast area with foil, leaving wings, thighs, and drumsticks exposed. Transfer gizzard, heart, neck, and reserved turkey fat to a roasting pan around the rack, pour 2 cups of turkey stock into the pan, and roast the turkey for 45 minutes.
  5. Throughout the roasting, baste with pan juices every 45 minutes, 1½ hours more (2¼ hours total). Baste again and, if pan juices have evaporated into a glaze, you’ll want to add 1 cup stock to the pan. Roast for another 45 minutes (3 hours total). Remove foil from breast area, baste, and add stock if necessary, until your instant-read thermometer inserted into the fleshy part of thigh (close to but not touching bone) registers 180°F, about 1 hour more (4 hours total).
  6. Insert an instant-read thermometer into the center of the stuffing in the body cavity, ensuring that it reads a minimum of 165°F. Cover the turkey and keep it warm. When you’re ready to serve, use turkey holders to transfer turkey to a large serving platter. Let the stand for 30 minutes before carving.

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Holiday Pecan Pie Recipe

For many, the end of a year means bringing something to a holiday celebration, be it a gift, dish, or dessert. Luckily, SmittenKitchen has you covered with this detailed and delicious recipe for pecan pie, a dish that is always a crowd-pleaser. So, get your favorite cooking instruments ready and prepare the dessert that is perfect whether it’s fresh out of the oven or days later beneath a scoop of Vanilla ice cream.

Ingredients for Pecan Pie:

For the crust:

  • 1 ¼ cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoons of fine sea salt or fine table salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) of cold, unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup of cold water, plus an additional tablespoon if needed

For the filling:

  • 6 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1 packed cup of dark brown sugar
  • ¾ cup of cane sugar syrup
  • 1-2 pinches of sea salt
  • 2 cups of pecan halves (preferably fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs

Recipe for Pecan Pie:

  1. Begin preparing your pie dough by cutting your butter into chunks and then work the pieces into a combination of flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Work the butter into the flour until the mixture begins to resemble a coarse meal and the largest bits of butter are very small.
  2. Next, add ¼ cup of your very cold water into the mixture and stir it with a spoon until large slums begin to form. Knead the dough together with your hands and then wrap the dough in a sheet of plastic wrap. Refrigerate it for at least one hour and at maximum 48 hours.
  3. Prepare the pie crust by sprinkling flour on your countertop and rolling your dough into a 12 to 13-inch circle-adjacent shape. Fold the dough gently into quarters without creasing it and transfer it to a 9-inch standard pie plate. Unfold the dough and trim the overhanging pieces to about ½ of an inch. Fold the overhand under the edge of the pie crust and crimp it decoratively. Place it in the refrigerator afterward.
  4. Preheat your oven to 350°F and begin to prepare the filling by spreading your pecans out onto a rimmed baking sheet and then toasting them in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Throughout the process, be sure to stir them once or twice so that they toast evenly.
  5. Combine your butter, brown sugar, cane syrup, and a pinch of salt into a medium saucepan and cook it for 2 minutes. Remove it from the heat and stir in the pecans, cider vinegar, and vanilla. Pour it all into a bowl so that it cools faster and set the mixture to the side for about 5 to 10 minutes so that it can cool a little. Combine your three eggs into the mixture by whisking your eggs one at a time and top it all off by carefully pouring the mixture into your prepared pie shell.
  6. Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes until the edges are set and puffed slightly and the center is slightly firm to the touch. Cool the pie on a rack, and serve while it’s slightly warm or at room temperature.


  • Be sure that you toast your pecans to truly bring out their flavor during the baking process.
  • In order to avoid your brown sugar becoming unnoticeable in the end product, always use dark brown sugar in place of light brown sugar. The additional molasses helps to keep the flavor intact.
  • If your pecan pie comes out of the oven and is too sweet or “gooey,” you can add a small amount of cider vinegar to counteract that taste and texture.

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Maple Compound Butter Seared Steak Recipe

Welcome winter the right way with this meticulous and delicious recipe for Seared Steak with Maple Compound Butter from Food52 the next time you need a hearty meal that blends savory and sweet flavor notes in the best way imaginable.

Many agree that the perfect steak should have a juicy, pink interior (though the “pinkness” is often debated) and a gorgeous, textured outer crust. This particular recipe relies on the convenience of sous vide cooking so that the steak is cooked for just the right amount of time before it gets a quick sear on an electric cooktop. This particular recipe’s steak cooking times can be altered depending on your exact heating element, as this specific recipe makes use of theLG Studio Electric Cooktop.

What really sets this recipe apart from the pack is the blend of autumn and winter that rests in the delicious maple compound butter. It has just the right touch of sweetness, making it ideal to complement the savory meat. In order to achieve the best results in this savory and sweet flavor pairing, you’ll want to use the best-quality maple syrup that you’re able to find. It’s traditionally accepted that the darker the syrup, the better in terms of pronounced flavors.

As for the steaks themselves, this recipe doesn’t intend to reinvent the wheel. Salt and pepper always go a long way for seasoning, as proper steak preparation relies more on focus, patience, and finesse than anything else.


  • ½ cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup of pure maple syrup
  • 2 12 oz. sirloin, strip, or ribeye steaks
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil


  1. Because it’s unwise and rarely a good idea to juggle too many tasks while properly cooking a steak, you’ll want to first prepare the maple compound butter for this recipe before touching your favorite cut of steak. To begin, you’ll blend your softened butter with your maple syrup in a bowl.
  2. Once the butter is fully mixed, transfer it all to a piece of parchment paper and roll it up, shaping it into a log shape. Place it in the refrigerator and chill it for at least a few hours until it’s firm.
  3. This recipe suggests preheating your sous vide appliance to your desired steak temperature, which will depend on the level of doneness you prefer. As you do this, you’ll want to season your steaks generously with salt and pepper on both sides of the cut. After they’re properly seasoned, transfer them into plastic sous vide bags and seal them tightly.
  4. Next, you will cook them according to your sous vide appliance’s directions for their necessary time in order to reach the right temperature. Once cooked, remove them from the bags, setting them aside.
  5. Take a cast-iron skillet and rub its interior with your vegetable oil. Afterward, place your skillet on the stovetop and heat it as high as your burner will allow until the oil just begins to smoke.
  6. Place your steaks carefully in the pan and cook them for 30 seconds. Then, flip them over and cook for an additional half of a minute. Flip the steaks again, cook one side for 15 seconds and then flip one last time, cooking them for an additional 15 seconds. With this method, you should have a nice sear on both sides of the steak, but if not then you can continue cooking and flipping the steak 15 seconds at a time until your desired sear appears.
  7. After you’ve flipped your steak for the final time, add about 1 tablespoon of maple butter on top of each piece of steak. Remove them from the pan and allow them to rest for a few minutes before serving. Once plated, be sure to add some extra compound butter on the side.

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Dry Buttermilk Brined Turkey Recipe

You simply haven’t had a proper turkey until you’ve tried a buttermilk-brined turkey, and thanks to this recipe from Food52, you’ll be quite familiar with the southern tradition of turkey preparation and enjoyment.

Ingredients for Dry Buttermilk Brined Turkey:

Directions for Buttermilk Brined Turkey:

Note: If using a completely frozen turkey, it should be defrosted completely before cooking with the giblets and neck removed.

  1. Begin by combining your dry buttermilk powder, kosher salt, and black pepper together in a small mixing bowl.
  2. Then, place your turkey onto a sheet pan that’s lined with a wire rack. Using paper towels, pat the turkey completely dry all over, including the cavities. Turkeys have two cavities, which should each be completely empty and dry following this process.
  3. Next, sprinkle your dry buttermilk mixture evenly all over the entire turkey and pat it onto the bird in order to ensure it adheres to the skin. You can do this with your washed, bare hands or with gloves to ensure the best results.
  4. Afterward, transfer the uncovered turkey to the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Though, the best texture and taste will come after keeping the turkey in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400° F. Once heated, you can transfer the turkey with the breast side facing up to a clean sheet pan. During this process, discard any liquid or excess powdered buttermilk that has accumulated in the first pan. One hour prior to roasting, stuff the cavity with your fresh thyme, oregano, and the halved head of garlic. For a neater look, consider tying the legs together with kitchen twine, though it won’t affect the cooking process at all.
  6. Next, roast your turkey for 30 minutes. Afterward, reduce the heat to 325°F and remove the turkey from the oven and baste with any juices that have accumulated in the pan. Rosate said pan, and then return it to the oven. Continue roasting the turkey, and remember to remove it from the pan to baste every 40 to 50 minutes until your turkey registers at 165°F in the thigh. This process takes approximately 2 ½ – 3 hours.
  7. Because of the buttermilk, the wings and skin are going to become very dark in coloration. Though, if any area looks like it’s beginning to singe, you can make a tent with a piece of aluminum foil to keep it from doing so.
  8. After roasting and once the thigh reaches the internal temperature of 165°F, let your turkey rest in the sheet pan for 20 minutes and tilt the turkey to spill out any juices held in the cavity onto the sheet pan while leaving the herbs and garlic in there.
  9. Transfer the turkey onto a large cutting board to continue its resting until it’s cool enough to slice and carve up. This process can take up to an hour.
  10. At this point, you can reserve the carcass for stock, make gravy from the sheet pan drippings, etc. Serve the turkey with fresh thyme and oregano, and enjoy.

This recipe yields enough turkey to serve about 8 to 10 people, and it’s best served alongside a hearty supply of side dishes or as sandwich meat.

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