It falls on me during the holidays to prepare a Christmas celebration dinner for family and friends. Usually it’s on Christmas Eve – this year, it’s next weekend.
My original thought was to go Italian and cook beef braciole ( a.k.a. involtini) and a duck ragu with pasta. Braciole is new to my repertoire so, I did some testing this weekend – everything was from scratch from the tomato sauce to the filling. And the braciole came out…
Dry….really dry, like “I need to smother this with the sauce” dry. I used a marbled cut of meat (shoulder) that can take a lot of braising (2 hours). I did some internet research and one recipe recommended flank steak to counteract any dryness, but they also recommended cooking them in a jar of Ragu, so I do not trust that one.
I’m not a huge beef fan, so I thought maybe this was how it turns out – a bit dry, even after an extra day in refrigerator in the sauce so…last night, I bought some pork, added some moist filling ingredients and tried again. And the braciole came out…
Better, but still “meh.” I would call it ‘good enough for a mid-week dinner’ but not Christmas dinner worthy. So, with a week left before my dinner, I’m rethinking the whole thing.
How about Greek?
- Leg of Lamb
- Greek Baked Shrimp (for those that don’t like lamb)
- Pastitsio (maybe with pork/beef)
- Orange Scented Green Beans
- Orzo with olives and tomatoes
- Greek Salad
- For appetizers: Keftedes and Spanikopita