Thanksgiving dinner tips from VG Meats
The holiday weekend is so close, we can almost smell the turkey! It’s going to be a great Thanksgiving—food, family, that gorgeous fall sunshine and with any luck, a little time to relax. If you haven’t ordered your holiday favourites yet, please visit our Thanksgiving website. Or, pop into your local VG Meats store and speak to our team! We’d be glad to see you and offer personalized recommendations for your holiday meal. Speaking of which: here are a few simple tips to make the most of your Thanksgiving weekend.
Brine your turkey
If you’ve ever had to bury a slice of dry, overcooked turkey in gravy to make it more palatable, this is for you. Brining helps keep poultry moist, juicy and tender—many chefs swear by this technique, which is simple and offers an incredible result. If you’re not sure how to brine your bird properly, call your local VG Meats store and ask to speak to the butcher. We’d be pleased to share our expert advice!
Serve a variety of delicious options
Everyone loves turkey, but you’ll really wow your guests when you serve turkey AND a platter of tender prime rib, sliced roast beef or delicious ham. Or, get two different types of turkey—a delicious pastured bird or fresh local turkey, plus an incredible smoked turkey (you’ve got to try these if you haven’t already). You could also get a couple of our incredible Tomahawk steaks—they typically feed three or four people each and can be sliced before serving family-style. This type of dinner works especially well for big families or when you’re cooking for a larger crowd. Ham can be glazed and cooked ahead of time—slice it and reheat in the oven before serving (just make sure it’s wrapped in foil with some moisture to prevent it from drying out). Consider preparing one entree in the oven and another on the BBQ to optimize your time and kitchen space!
Prep ahead and enjoy the day
Hosting a holiday dinner is fun but it takes a lot of effort and often feels so busy, the day passes in a blur of cooking, family and cleanup. You’ll enjoy your day more if you’re not running around the whole time, so plan ahead and set yourself up for success. Start by setting the table as soon as the turkey goes into the oven—it’s one thing to cross off your list early in the day! (Even better if you outsource this part of the work to your spouse or kids.) If you’re cooking up a lot of side dishes, consider peeling and/or chopping your vegetables ahead of time. For example, if your visitors are coming mid-afternoon and you want to serve dinner around 6pm, chop everything around lunch time and place them in the individual pots you’ll be using to cook later on: carrots in one, squash in another, trimmed green beans in the casserole dish, etc. Set them aside in a cool place (the fridge or a cold garage, for example—cover everything in foil or saran wrap to keep it clean and fresh). When it’s closer to dinner time, just turn on the heat, add your oils/butter and seasonings, cook and serve. Not only will you feel organized, you’ll be able to clean up the kitchen before your guests arrive. You might even have time for a glass of wine! Cheers to that.
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone—there’s still time to order your holiday turkeys from our Thanksgiving pre-order site! Or, contact us to speak directly to a VG Meats team member in Simcoe or Stoney Creek.