Since the day I was born, I’ve had the same thing for Christmas dinner. It’s an interesting holiday menu: Hamloaf (a meatloaf made with a variety of ground meats with a sweet glaze), gum drop salad, sausage wild rice casserole, scalloped potatoes, something green (that changes from year to year), and Sister Schubert’s Parker Rolls. The menu does not change. And although, I most-often eat vegetarian fare, I would be devastated not to have this traditional Christmas fare.
You see, we all go to my mom’s home for Christmas dinner every year. She lives nearby, so it means we don’t have to travel (woo hoo!), and this is the menu she had growing up every Christmas, too. When a Christmas dinner has been made for decades upon decades, you don’t mess with it. Even I, who messes with every recipe and rarely makes a recipe twice, does not dare attempt to mess with Christmas dinner.
Now, I understand that Hamloaf and Gum Drop Salad may not be top on your list to make this season. So, I thought I’d share a different menu with you: My Christmas Eve menu. Because my mom hosts Christmas dinner, I’ve taken on the tradition of hosting Christmas Eve dinner.
We all go to church together (early now, because of the kids), then come together for a nice family meal. We tuck the boys in after reading “Twas the Night before Christmas.” Then, after drinking too much wine, we begin to assemble presents like Jump-a-roos. That was a fun year. I don’t recommend allowing four drunken adults attempt to assemble one of those bad boys.
Needless to say, it’s a fun time. Just writing about it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
But, I wander. The point is to share with you my menu. One of my favorite things to make on Christmas Eve is Skirt Steak. I make it in the crock pot (which is great, because it cooks all day and is ready when we get back from church). I serve it with mashed potatoes and roasted broccolini (which cooks quickly in the oven).
Skirt Steak with Onions, Mushrooms, and Carrots
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 pounds skirt steak, each piece cut into thirds
3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
8 oz. sliced mushrooms
8 oz. baby carrots
2 onions, quartered
Place the flour in a shallow bowl and coat the meat on all sides, knocking off any excess flour. Set aside.
Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil in a large saute pan set over high heat. Brown the meat a few pieces at a time. Be careful not to crowd the pan or the meat will steam, not brown. Add more oil to the pan as necessary. Transfer the browned meat to the insert of the slow cooker.
Add the broth and red wine to the saute pan and bring to a boil over high heat, using a wooden spoon to scrape any browned bits of meat clinging to the pan. Cook until the liquids have reduced by half. Pour the broth and wine mixture over the meat into the insert, and then add the vinegar, soy sauce, tomato paste, onions, and mushrooms, carrots, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours or on high for 3 1/2 hours, until the meat is extremely tender when pierced with a fork.
Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes (from the Pioneer Woman)
*The only subsitution I make is to use Yukon Gold and not peel them. I’d like to say I do it for flavor, or the look. But really, I’m just too lazy!
Roasted Broccolini – Trim the ends from three bunches of broccolini. Lay in baking pan and toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and a dash or red pepper flakes. Roast at 450 degrees for 12-14 minutes, or until bright green with crisp golden florets.