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Beef, turkey, ham — no matter what you serve as your holiday main, here are tips and tricks to make them succulent and flavourful every time.

Terrific Turkey

The prep: Place turkey on a rimmed baking sheet and leave it on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator to thaw. Plan on five hours of thawing time for every pound of turkey. Once thawed, rinse thoroughly and dry turkey inside and out with paper towels. Season with herbs and spices — this Lemon, Honey & Rosemary Turkey puts lots of delicious flavours under the skin and inside the cavity.

The roast: A glistening, succulent turkey is all about roasting slowly and carefully, ensuring the lean breast meat does not dry out. You can cover the breast meat with a butter-soaked cheesecloth if you think it’s too far along before the internal temperature reaches 185˚F (85˚C). Basting every hour during the roast will help the skin get brown and crispy all over.

Rockin’ Roast Beef

The prep: Beef needs to come to room temperature before going into the oven. Why? It allows the meat to cook evenly and thoroughly, which prevents it from drying out. Before cooking, gently massage beef with canola oil and season with salt. Take it a step further with a delicious mustard-rosemary coating, found in this Mustard-Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Red Wine Glaze recipe.

The roast: Some recipes call for a very high heat to sear the beef, then allow it to cook at a lower temperature, while others keep an even temperature throughout. Both will work, but the key is to avoid losing moisture while cooking beef to a minimum internal temperature of 71°C (160°F) for medium. If you’re worried the beef is drying out, add no more than an inch of water to the bottom of the roasting pan and replenish every 30 minutes.

Heavenly Ham

The prep: Save yourself time and effort by choosing a fully cooked ham, like our Sensations by Compliments Hickory-Smoked Honey Ham, which has the prep already done and comes with a convenient packet of glaze. However, if you prefer to make your own sticky-sweet glaze, this Root Beer Glazed Ham made with root beer, honey and candied ginger will not disappoint!

The roast: Ham roasts still need to come to an internal temperature of 160˚F (71˚C), even if they’ve been smoked or brined. Avoid over-drying the meat by wrapping it in the foil for most of the roasting time and only removing it when it’s time to pour the glaze over the ham. Basting a couple of times will ensure a caramel colour and glistening meat for your guests.


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