Planning Your Main Course
Gather your friends and family for a spectacular holiday meal with exquisite main features from The Fresh Market. From turkey and ham to beef tenderloin and lamb, we have all the premium ingredients you need to plate an impressive entrée (or three).
If you need some tips, tricks or tried-and-true recipes, we’ve got those, too—including a comprehensive guide to serving a gorgeous standing rib roast. Whatever you choose to dish out for your holiday dinner or a festive meal with friends, we’re here to help you make it a holiday feast to remember!
Our juicy, tender, easy-to-cook beef tenderloin is a delicious way to impress a hungry crowd without spending hours in the kitchen. Simplify the process even more by letting our expert butchers trim and tie your whole tenderloin. They’re also happy to cut it into Filet Mignon steaks of your desired thickness. Choose from Premium Choice (sourced from the top 10% of all beef in the U.S.) and USDA Prime Beef (the gold standard, sourced from the top 2%).
Trim & Tie
It’s important to trim and tie your beef tenderloin, whether you do it yourself or let our butchers do it for you. Trimming gets rid of excess fat, connective tissue and other bits that, if not removed, can result in a chewy, less tender cut of beef. Tying ensures uniform size and even cooking and can be done at home with butcher twine, but requires some time and experience (and you don’t want to ruin this premium cut!). We recommend asking our butchers for help.
If you prefer to trim-and-tie-it-yourself, follow these guidelines:
- Using a sharp, thin-bladed knife, trim away any fat, including the large lump at the wide end of your tenderloin, and discard. Pull and cut away long, thin “chain” muscle that runs length of tenderloin. Trim away fat from chain and reserve meat for another use. Following natural muscle separation, cut away large clod of meat at the wide end and reserve for another use.
- At one end of tenderloin, make an incision under the silver sinew. Slip knife under sinew and pull and trim it away. Work lengthwise down tenderloin until it is completely free of sinew and fat. The trimmings will yield extra meat for a sauté or kebabs.
- To tie home-trimmed tenderloin: Fold thin ends of tenderloin underneath bulk of meat so the tenderloin is same thickness throughout its length, and tie in place with kitchen twine. Tie the entire tenderloin crosswise at 2- to 3-inch intervals.
How to Serve
We recommend serving your tenderloin with The Fresh Market Horseradish Sauce. It’s a holiday staple, known for its outstanding quality and taste. If you’d rather make your own, try our simple recipe. Crafting horseradish sauce at home allows you to control the amount of heat, depending on how much spice you like.
Want to try a new recipe this year? Our Cider Marinated Beef Tenderloin has the perfect combination of fall flavors and fresh herbs. Or try roasting your garlic, then combine it with butter to slather on bread, stir into mashed potatoes or top your tenderloin. Check out our step-by-step guide here.
Pair with Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon >> Aromas of black currants, ripe cherries and blackberries mingle with notes of mocha and spice. On the palate, this wine is big and bold, perfect with beef tenderloin.
Pork Crown Roast
Wow your guests with a stunning crown roast fit for royalty! Our pork crown roast is 12-20 lb and can serve up to 20 people, so it’s perfect for large gatherings.
We’ll do all the prep work for you by carefully assembling tender pork loin rib racks to form a regal crown shape.
HOW TO SERVE Visually, this quintessential holiday main is a showstopper, conjuring images of ornate medieval feasts. It never fails to impress, especially when filled with a sweet and savory apple stuffing.
We love to bake pork crown roast alongside veggies like carrots and Brussels sprouts. You can also serve this standout dish with roasted fruit, like pears, apples or grapes. Whatever you do, just make sure you have a reliable meat thermometer, as crown roasts vary in size and every oven is different.
Create a truly memorable meal with our succulent Lamb entrée. Our Rack of Lamb is sourced from free-range lambs that were raised without antibiotics or added hormones and were fed a 100% vegetable diet. If you prefer your lamb seasoned, our signature blend includes a flavorful mix of black pepper, spices, red and green sweet peppers, minced garlic and kosher salt.
Or you can serve a sumptuous feast with our flavorful Bone-In Leg of Lamb. It’s all-natural, grassfed and pasture-raised with no added hormones or preservatives and is antibiotic-free.
How to Serve
If you’re serving rack of lamb as the only main course, we suggest 2-3 bones per guest. Our rack of lamb is delicious baked or even grilled and is best enjoyed medium rare. If you plan on serving leg of lamb, we recommend 3½ to 4 lb for 6-7 guests.
Looking for something a little non-traditional? Try our recipe for Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Crust and Pomegranate Sauce. Fresh rosemary, panko bread crumbs and crunchy pistachios create an irresistible, crusty exterior. Cook your lamb medium rare and top with a sweet, slightly sticky pomegranate reduction that balances the distinctively earthy flavor of lamb. Pro Tip: If you love lamb but would like to cut back on its potential gaminess, simply remove the excess fat.
You can’t go wrong with turkey for the holidays, especially when you get it from The Fresh Market. Raised in Pennsylvania's Amish country, our beautiful birds are 100% antibiotic-free and fed a vegetarian diet free of animal by-products. They’re fresh, never frozen, and unmatched in taste and tenderness. Don’t underestimate how much meat to buy (you’ll be thankful for those leftovers!). Allow at least 1 pound of uncooked turkey per person.
Click the banner below for a guide to all of our turkeys, plus some beginner-friendly tips for how to brine your bird so that it’s juicy and full of flavor.
Ham for the Holidays
Ham is another holiday staple that’s a delicious alternative or accompaniment to turkey (ideally, we’d serve both—especially for a larger gathering). Our Spiral-Sliced Honey Ham is double-glazed with honey and brown sugar, then smoked over hickory hardwood for sweet and savory flavor. Not only is it a spotlight-worthy staple, it’s also delicious in leftover sandwiches. (Have you tried a slice on our Dinner Rolls with a little yellow mustard? Leftovers will never be the same.) Scroll for tips on how to heat, carve and serve our irresistible ham.
HOW TO HEAT
Lay the ham flat side down on foil-lined baking sheet. Simply spread the included glaze evenly over the meat, wrap with foil and heat at 325° for 10-12 minutes per pound.
- Place the ham flat-side down on a cutting board.
- Holding the shank bone, cut down the length of the bone to release slices.
- Repeat on all sides until the meat is removed from the bone.
- Serve hot or cold with a dollop of spicy mustard or horseradish. Craving something classic? Try studding the meat with juicy pineapple rings.
- Garnish the platter with figs, pineapple slices or halved pomegranates for a striking presentation that requires minimal effort.
- Include warm Dinner Rolls for mouthwatering ham sandwiches.
Why We Love Ham
- It’s an impressive entrée that’s easy to prepare and beautiful to garnish.
- Our ham is fully cooked, so all you have to do is heat and serve!
- You can feed a crowd and spiral slices makes for easy, no-fuss carving.
- The meat can be served cold or at room temperature, so there’s less of a battle over precious oven space.
- Our honey brown sugar glaze (included with the ham for ease) offers the perfect balance of salty and sweet.
- Ham pairs well with all seasonal side dishes.
If you really want to wow your guests—or are simply feeling indecisive—our turducken is a meat-lover’s dream. This holiday feast consists of a boneless duck breast stuffed inside a boneless chicken breast stuffed inside a boneless turkey breast (kind of like a handmade nesting doll you can eat). We’ve tucked our favorite garlic and herb dressing and delicious Andouille sausage throughout for even more flavor. It’s everything a hungry meat-lover could want, all wrapped up in one beautiful presentation. Not sure how to prepare it? Try our step-by-step recipe for Turducken with Bourbon Gravy. You won’t be disappointed.
- Be flexible with the roasting time. Just like roasting a turkey, there are many variables at play that can affect roasting time.
- Test the meat with a thermometer in more than one spot to determine the correct temperature. Be sure the sensor (sometimes a notch on the thermometer probe) is truly in the center of the turducken.
- Basting will only help to brown the turducken exterior and won’t affect juiciness, so move quickly when basting to keep the oven temperature constant.
- A very sharp, thin carving knife and a meat fork will help the carving go smoothly. An electric carving knife is also an excellent aide for slicing up your meaty masterpiece.
Take your main course to the next level with our delicious recipes for Turducken, Roasted Turkey Breast and Rack of Lamb.