Throwing a Christmas dinner party? We’ve got the perfect Southern dinner menu

Southern Kitchen

Similar to Thanksgiving, Christmas dinner can seem like a daunting task. One of the best ways to approach this dinner is to throw the rule book out and create new memories that will last a lifetime. 

We’ve gathered a feast’s worth of recipes to help you do just that. 

The mains  

Virginia Willis’ Red Wine-Braised Short Ribs with Herbed Grits

Rich and succulent flavor, short ribs are the meaty, marbled ends of the beef rib from the chuck, rib and brisket.

Blustery winter days are perfect for braised meats and hearty soups and stews, such as red wine-braised short ribs made with a mirepoix of onion, carrot and celery.

Short ribs are best browned to render the excess fat. Then, they're braised in a combination of wine and stock amped up with a triple dose of umami from tomato paste, miso and dried mushrooms. Sauteed mushrooms added to the sauce at the end add even more flavor. Get the recipe 

Standing Rib Roast with Horseradish Cream

Standing rib roast makes for a stunning holiday centerpiece.

Tackling rib roast isn’t for everyone; it can get a little tricky to hit a perfect medium-rare. This method, however, ensures juicy meat. 

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You’ll start it in a very hot oven — 450 degrees for a nice outer crust — then finish cooking with the oven completely turned off. You can calculate the necessary cook time by taking the starting weight of the roast, then multiplying by 5 minutes. For example, if you have a 4-pound roast, that means 20 minutes.

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After that time, turn the oven off without opening the door and wait for two hours. At the end of two hours, you’ll have a roast that’s perfectly medium-rare. For most effective results, cook in an oven with a digital display for preheating, or make sure your oven is properly calibrated. Get the recipe

Spatchcocked Herb Roasted Turkey with Apple Cider Gravy

Spatchcocking makes your bird cook quicker.

Apple cider vinegar adds brightness to a traditional turkey recipe. Spatchcocking involves flattening the bird after removing the spine so it cooks quicker and more evenly.

With a rimmed baking sheet and a sturdy pair of scissors, you’re in business. Get the recipe

The sides

Green Beans with Almond Brown Butter

These green beans are full of delicious and nutty almond browned butter and come together quickly for a classic and festive side dish. 

Green beans pair beautifully with nutty almond brown butter.

Avoid overcrowding the pot to ensure that the beans maintain their vibrant green color. Also, keep an eye on your butter when it’s browning to make sure you don’t cross the line to burn territory. Get the recipe

Fire-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans

Try roasting your sweet potatoes in a fire pit, wood stove or the smoldering coals of a charcoal grill for a smoky twist on our favorite yam puree. Fire-roasting sweet potatoes amplifies their natural sweetness without additional sugar. Add in more browned butter for even more depth of flavor.

These sweet potatoes have a depth of flavor from the roasting process.

Roasting your nuts also helps bring out their natural flavors, so pop those pecans in the oven or skillet before serving. Get the recipe 

Brussels Sprouts with Country Ham

Brussels sprouts can be a polarizing ingredient, but slicing them thinly and cooking them with butter and salty country ham helps combat some of the natural bitterness.

Slicing Brussels sprouts thinly and cooking them with butter and salty country ham helps combat some of their natural bitterness. Slicing them with a mandolin makes it easier. Just be sure to discard the core and any of the woody, white ends. Get the recipe.

Desserts

Eggnog Panna Cotta with Bourbon Cherry Sauce

This panna cotta is perfect for holiday entertaining.

To make eggnog you can eat with a spoon, we’ve transformed it into a panna cotta topped with bourbon-spiked cherry sauce for a rich, creamy, pudding-like dessert. It’s perfect for holiday entertaining. Get the recipe

Cream Cheese-Stuffed Monkey Bread

We’ve updated the traditional monkey bread by stuffing the center with cream cheese. The addition of cream to the caramel sauce gives it a toffee-like richness. We tried this recipe with both homemade and canned biscuit dough, and found that the canned biscuit dough yielded a more successful result. Look for biscuit dough that is not labled “flaky.” Get the recipe.