Rudolph & Roasts: How & Why to Make Mouthwatering Meat this Christmas

A Christmas or Holiday Dinner Table

A table set & ready for a holiday feast

With its origins in the traditional Christmas dinners of Britain, a Christmas Roast is often the crown jewel of an American Christmas dinner. Whether it be a tenderloin, rack of prime rib, or Beef Wellington nestled in its elegant cloak of duxelles and ham, a beef roast with all the trimmings is the focal point of any Yuletide banquet. Today, we’ll discuss the origins of the traditional Christmas or holiday dinner, whether or not you should use seasoning – or tenderizer – on your beef, and what the best options for your roast & prime rib rubs are.

Here’s the Beef: The Roots of Holiday Tradition

A delicious prime rib roast, rubbed with a spice blend

A delicious prime rib roast, rubbed with a spice blend

The American Christmas roast almost certainly springs from the holiday traditions of Britain: not only were the British so fond of unadorned roast beef as to found “Beefsteak Clubs” in the 18th-century (with the express purpose of providing their members an opportunity to gather and enjoy roast beef), but they were nicknamed Les Rosbifs by their Gallic neighbors as well! Nothing like a bit of ribbing – ahem -from the culinary capital of Europe to demonstrate just how important beef consumption was to British appetites.

But before we examine more fully the role of red meat as the centerpiece of the American Christmas table, readers should know that in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it was turkey that was seen as the most desirable meat for the meal. Because of the lack of mass poultry production until the 1940s, turkey could only be obtained in large “turkey shoots” in the countryside. As a consequence, not only was turkey mostly for the well-to-do, but prime rib was in fact the more budget-friendly option for most Americans. A marked difference from the present state of affairs, without doubt.

Today, beef roasts are seen as the choice option for many American families. And while there are no doubt countless gastronomic Christmas traditions originating the world over celebrated by Americans, it’s beef that is most popular. Turkey’s just so last month!

Should I Use Seasoning or Tenderizer on my Roast?

A holiday roast, rubbed with Niblack Foods' Meat Tenderizer

A delicious cut tenderized with Niblack Foods’ meat tenderizer

For a particularly delicate cut like tenderloin (the name does it justice), there’s no need to use tenderizer: the enzymes break down proteins and are a misuse with premium cuts. However, rubs specifically formulated for beef roasts can add a bit of panache to your holiday roast. Featuring a subtle, harmonious, and piquant blend of herbs & spices – from cumin, onion and garlic to nutmegNiblack Foods’ Holiday Beef Tenderloin Roast Rub is the perfect accompaniment for those who want to add the sort of depth and vibrancy that only an expertly-blended spice rub can provide. This blend has been specially formulated for the tender, choice cuts of meats that are popular around the holidays: however, Niblack also offers a wide variety of rubs for you to select from – mix it up and wow your guests this season!

But Does Meat Tenderizer Work?

More economical cuts of meat can make a delicious Christmas dinner, too. While a chuck roast may not offer much in the way of a gentle mouthfeel, a tenderizing meat rub can offer a more delicate, soft final product – a jaw workout isn’t always appreciated when it comes at the dinner table!

Niblack Foods’ Meat Tenderizer rub contains papain – an enzyme present in papayas – that breaks down tough, fibrous meat and makes it a delight to bite. An all-natural way to deliver an unparalleled holiday dinner without breaking the bank, this tenderizing blend also features a zesty blend of herbs and spices for your roast that make it the ideal option for one-step roast prep. It’s also available in a lovingly prepared no-salt and seasoning-free version for those who are either watching their sodium intake, or would like to add another rub (or a homemade blend of their own!) to their Christmastide celebration.

Roast Rubs and More are Available at Niblack Foods

It’s never too early to get a start on planning your holiday festivities, so head over to our main page and start searching not only for your roast rubs, but holiday baking supplies and more! We try to share all the useful information that we can with our customers so come on down and learn about the origins & uses of our favorite spices at the Niblack Foods blog! If you’re local to Rochester (or simply in the area), you’re invited to stop by our shop at 900 Jefferson Road and talk to us about your baking, cooking & spice needs.