If you’re just like us, take the food at full price, you likely think of it as much just a part of Christmas as a donation, music, and overall good times. If you’re a repeat host or entertainer, it’s normal to want to attempt something new and interesting, defy convention, and put a wrench in the tried and true family meals of previously.
Sure, you could go Italian and prepare a Feast of the Seven Fishes, but good luck finding that scent out of the curtains. There’s Oriental, which would undoubtedly be popular, but Chinese food on Christmas already seems like it belongs to folks who don’t celebrate. And, while you could have a Moroccan Christmas party like Michael Scott, if it ends out quite like his, you’ll be the main topic of conversation for all the bad purposes.
So, what’s the situation now?
What about a meal approach that is long on stimulating feelings but short on conventions, has the potential to lift the communal mood of an event by itself, and is regarded as one of the few authentic American traditional dishes? Of course, it’s BBQ! Hence you need to know some Christmas bbq ideas.
Yes, a BBQ Christmas is a perfect way to rekindle the enchantment of an old Christmas or Christmas Eve dinner schedule you’re not doing half-assed, and just because you’re going “full hog” will not mean you wouldn’t want it to feel like Christmas as well. We enlisted the assistance of BBQ fusion master Matt Abdoo, who oversees New York’s Pig Bleaker (Manhattan) and Pig Beach (Brooklyn) and is reimagining BBQ with worldwide options such as truffled brisket ravioli and Vietnamese BBQ pork belly buns on a menu that honors custom while showcasing fantasy.
Previously chef de cuisine at strong Italian restaurant Del Posto, Abdoo is indeed able to BBQ-if most anything. Here are some of his tangiest, smokiest, and stickiest ideas for reimagining holiday classics with a BBQ twist.
Starters that are filling:
Have some BBQ pistachios or popcorn on hand as a savory snack when visitors come. Toss properly cooked popcorn or roasted nuts with your favorite BBQ sauce for a pleasant, quick, munchable treat with a smoky flavor.
Deviled eggs are a surprising crowd-pleaser. For a specific event, such as Christmas, Abdoo tops his deviled eggs with smoked salmon roe or caviar and a drizzle of black truffle syrup.
Smoked bacon is a great passing appetizer, sliced up and served on matchsticks with a little BBQ mustard. Choose the smoked Yankee red hot, served at both Pig Bleaker and Pig Beach, which is prepared with provolone and cherry peppers, but “any excellent cheddar with jalapeno sausage” will suffice.
Live-fire barbecued or smoked mushrooms make an exceptional holiday side dish, or chop and offer a vegetarian crostini with whipped goat cheese.
Smoking Is Back: Smoking the main meal is a no-brainer for adding immediate and unmistakable BBQ flavor to your Christmas meal. I enjoy smoking a full turkey or steak roast for a crowd, adds Abdoo; the taste supplied by the smoker alone will completely impress guests. Cooking your tasting menu in a smoker frees up the remainder of the oven for desserts, sides, or whatever you require.
Abdoo rubs a turkey with salt, pepper, granulated garlic, powdered onion, thyme, and a little powdered hatch chile powder before stuffing it with fresh garlic cloves, bay leaves, and fresh thyme. When it comes to prime rib, always go for bone-in because it’s so visually pleasing. Abdoo rubs his roast with a moist beef-based paste, mustard, corn syrup, chili flakes, fresh herbs, and black pepper before burning it.
Candied yams with pecan topping
You can’t go wrong with yams during the seasons, but Abdoo recommends topping them with some BBQ spiced pecans for structure and a very recognizable holiday flavor that goes beautifully with the yams. To make the perfect BBQ holiday spiced nut, toss crushed pecan bits in a little egg white with some clove, cardamom, allspice, and cayenne pepper and put in your smoker for about 35-40 minutes at 250 to make the ideal BBQ holiday seasoned nut that’s not just great on candied yams but vegetables or sliced and decided to add with your next graham cracker-based pie crust!
Attempt roasted or smoked baby carrots flavored with za’atar (a Middle Eastern spice) and served with dollops of labneh or Greek yogurt flavored with microplaned garlic, excellent olive oil, and fresh lemon juice.
Mac & cheese is always a success, and it’s great since you can cook it ahead of time reheat it the next day. Abdoo advises adding some fire-roasted tomato or sliced smoky bacon to a creative touch on the traditional. Chef tops his mac & cheese with goldfish chips at his eateries, creating anything whimsical and memorable!
Large Batch Southern Cocktail:
You’re not trying to run away with a BBQ Christmas without a fantastic bourbon mixed drink. The Holiday Kiss is simple to make and ideal for large quantities. Then pour over ice for visitors as they come, and place in a pitcher or spewed jug for refills (they’ll need refills).