Classic Dishes Around the World: Festive Roasts
... plus 3 new recipes for the upcoming holidays
Classic Dishes Around the World is our brand new collaboration with Zwilling. Over the course of a year, we will explore the relationship between global food cultures in 6 dishes to highlight the foods and flavors that bring us together and make our Culinary World more exciting. The dialogue between food cultures worldwide is a source of great inspiration—our goal is to showcase similarities and encourage our ever-more connected world to keep sharing, learning, and adapting the global food landscape.
Imagine it’s cold outside. The streets are empty, your nose is red from the brisk air, your breath turns into fog as soon as you exhale. You go into the house and slowly begin to defrost, your hands and feet might hurt a little. In addition to the wave of warmth that blankets you from being inside, it smells irresistibly good in the house. Winter is here, and with it comes cozy evenings at a full table with friends, family, juicy roasts, and festive dishes en masse.
Festive dishes reserved for specific occasions can be found in every country and culture. Since they’re made to celebrate something, they’re also often prepared with a lot of love and dedication.
As you can see, there are festive dishes in every shape and size, so there’s something for everyone. What’s prepared, depends not only on the culture and country where the food is served, but often also on family traditions. While my family always wants the best Kässpätzle (cheese noodles) from my grandma, our photographer Wioleta grew up with Barszcz Wigilijny, a hearty beetroot soup from Poland. Roasts of all kinds especially have a long tradition and can be served wonderfully on Christmas or other festivities.
Roast leg of lamb with eggplant couscous
This recipe for a juicy roast lamb is inspired by Moroccan cuisine. Before it goes into the oven, it gets rubbed with a marinade that’s predominately made up of ras el hanout. Ras el hanout is a warm spice mixture from Northern Africa that can consist of up to 100 different spices. The most common spices found in ras el hanout are cinnamon, nutmeg, coriander, ginger, pepper, paprika, caraway, cumin, turmeric, and cloves. Many families who use the spice in their everyday cooking will usually make their own mix. So any recipe that includes ras el hanout will taste different depending on the combination of spices in the mix. For this recipe, we used a ready-made spice mix, then laid the lamb on a fruity bed of tomatoes, dates, and dried apricots, which is then served alongside a lemony couscous salad with eggplant and mint.
A Wellington is an absolute show stopper and—in the words of Gordon Ramsay, the famous British chef, who considers it his favorite dish and would have it as his last meal—a staple in British cuisine. In his original recipe for beef Wellington, a beef fillet is wrapped in ham and then dough, which then gets baked, resulting in a meat that’s slightly pink in the middle. Our version is prepared with a filling of Portobello and dried shiitake mushrooms, which packs the dish with strong flavors. We also use leek, spinach, and crème fraîche to make it nice and sticky, so that the filling doesn’t leak out. The puff pastry, which envelopes everything, can be made from scratch or store-bought (as in this recipe) to keep things easy. We promise the result will still be delicious and wow your guests.
Roast duck with apples and beets
In Germany, you might not think of roasting a duck directly, but it’s a popular dish in Poland and Russia. This recipe is inspired by the aromas of Russian cuisine: Apples are mixed with beetroot, bacon, and spices, then stuffed into the duck. The special thing about roasting for more than three hours is that it allows the apples to sweat some of their sweet juices into the duck. This helps make the meat become tender and juicy, and gives it a slight sweetness that makes the slight gamey taste disappear.
There are many different special dishes that find their way to the table on many different occasions around the world. We love eating them to celebrate festivities as they come, whether they are baked, fried, made with meat, fish, or vegetables—cheers!
What festive dish do you serve on special occasions like Christmas? Let us know in the comments below!
Published on December 13, 2020