Cooking for the holidays is a magical experience. Holiday recipes can be as simple or as fancy as you want them to be, with each type being full of flavor. There are hundreds of recipes out there for you to choose from, but picking the best recipes for the holidays can make all the difference.
From savory short ribs that will leave guests craving more to a delightful cherry spice cake trifle that will be a showstopper at your table, these recipes will make you and your loved ones merry and bright!
Slow Cooker Cider Braised Short Ribs with Sage Butter Mashed Potatoes
Braised Short Ribs
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 5 pounds of beef short ribs
- Kosher salt and pepper
- 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
- 8 ounces of cremini mushrooms, halved
- 2 cups of apple cider
- 1 tablespoon of thyme, freshly chopped
- 2 Honeycrisp apples, chopped
Sage Butter Mashed Potatoes
- 4 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and quartered (Idaho preferred, but may sub russet)
- 2–4 cloves of garlic, peeled
- 3/4 cup of heavy cream
- 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) of butter, browned
- 6 leaves of sage, chopped
- Heat a large, heavy-bottom skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ribs to the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sear the ribs on all sides for about 1 minute per side. Remove the ribs from the skillet.
- Arrange the onions on the bottom of your slow cooker and sprinkle the brown sugar over them. Add the seared short ribs, garlic, mushrooms, apple cider, and thyme.
- Cover and cook on low for 7–8 hours or on high for 5–6 hours. During the last 1–2 hours of cooking, add the apple slices, tossing to combine.
- Once the short ribs are done cooking and easily fall apart, skim off any fat from the top of the slow cooker. Lightly shred the ribs, and remove and discard the bones. Keep the rib meat in the sauce, covered on low heat until ready to eat.
- About 40 minutes before you’re ready to eat, make the potatoes. In a large pot of cold water, bring the potatoes and garlic to a boil. Salt the water and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 20–30 minutes.
- Drain the potatoes, return the potatoes to the pot, and mash over low heat, or mash in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, adding the cream, cheddar cheese, and 2 teaspoons of salt.
- In a skillet or a small sauce pot, melt the butter over medium heat until just browned. The butter will melt, foam, and froth, then begin to brown along the bottom. Whisk the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Stir in the sage and let cook 30 seconds. Pour the browned butter into the warm mashed potatoes. Taste and season with salt and pepper if desired.
- Divide the mashed potatoes between plates and top with the rib meat.
*Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest.
Cherry Spice Cake Trifle
- 1 (13-oz.) jar of cherry preserves
- 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup of fresh orange juice
- 4 cups of fresh or frozen cranberries, divided
- 1 cup of firmly packed light brown sugar
- 5 tablespoons of cornstarch
- 1/4 teaspoon of table salt
- 3 1/2 cups of milk
- 1 1/2 cups of heavy cream
- 1/4 cup of butter, cut into pieces
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
- Holiday spice cake, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 cups of heavy cream
- 6 tablespoons of powdered sugar
- Prepare the filling. Bring the first 3 ingredients and 3 cups of cranberries to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low and boil, stirring often, 5–6 minutes or until the berries begin to pop. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 1 cup of cranberries. Transfer the mixture to a bowl; cool completely (about 30 minutes). Cover and chill 8–24 hours.
- Meanwhile, prepare the custard. Whisk together brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a large, heavy saucepan; whisk in milk and 1 1/2 cups of cream. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil 1 minute, whisking constantly. Remove from heat.
- Whisk in butter and the next 3 ingredients. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl, and place plastic wrap directly on the mixture (to prevent a film from forming). Cool completely (about 30 minutes). Chill 8–24 hours.
- Assemble the trifle. Layer about one-third of the cake cubes in a 4-qt. bowl. Top with one-third each of cranberry filling and custard. Repeat layers twice.
- Prepare the topping. Beat vanilla extract and 2 cups of heavy cream at medium-high speed until foamy; gradually add powdered sugar, beating until soft peaks form. Dollop over the trifle. Serve immediately, or chill up to 8 hours.
Recipe courtesy of Southern Living.