Classic Holiday Dinner Menu: Prime Rib, Sausage and Chestnut Stuffing with Classic Mashed Potatoes and Bacon Brusssel Sprouts

We are full swing into the Christmas season. In preparation for the upcoming holiday, I have created a classic dinner menu that is easy to make and elegant to present. This year, we decided to prepare a traditional prime rib with a savory roasted chestnut and sausage stuffing with classic mashed potatoes and homemade beef gravy. For the greens, we made caramelized bacon brussel sprouts that were blanched then pan seared with caramelized onions. Most of this menu can be prepared ahead of time and then baked the day of. I have also included a recipe for mushroom bread pudding as an alternative to the stuffing.

Roasting a prime rib is a great way to feed a crowd without too much prep work and present a beautiful center piece for all to ogle over. You can make the stuffing the day before and toss it together to bake the day of. I like garlic so I used six large cloves but you can use less if you’d like. You will need a roasting pan with a rack as well.

What You Need

Prime Rib Roast (a 14-16 lb. Roast will easily feed 10)

4-6 Garlic cloves

2 1/2 yellow onions (one slivered, one diced and 1/2 minced)

4-6 fresh Thyme sprigs

kosher salt

Freshly cracked pepper

2 T plus 1 t. garlic powder reserve 1t. for brussel sprouts

2 T plus 1 t. onion powder reserve 1t. for brussel sprouts

2T. oregano

2T. paprika

yukon gold potatoes

1-2 loaves of french bread cubed and dried

chestnuts about a handful or two

1/2 lb. Italian sausage

1.5 c. dried cranberries

3-4 stalks celery diced

2T. poultry seasoning

2T. flour

1.5 sticks butter

2 T. Milk

3 c. chicken broth

1-1.5 c. beef broth
Brussel sprouts
Cubed Thick Bacon or pancetta

What To Do
Unwrap your roast and allow it to come to room temperature. Pre-heat your oven to 300 degrees. Rub with kosher salt on all sides of the roast including the fat cap on the top.

In a small bowl, mix together 2 T. of each of the following: onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and paprika. Add 1 T. of kosher salt and 1T. freshly cracked pepper. Stir to combine. Sliver one half of a small yellow onion and set aside. Remove the garlic cloves from their skins and select your thyme sprigs. Gently pull the fat cap on the top of the roast away from the skin just enough to stuff with the garlic cloves, onion slices and thyme. As you stuff it, the fat will naturally pull away from the meat and gently hold in the flavorings. If you accidentally pull it too much you can tie it with kitchen twine front to back to ensure that your seasonings don’t fall out while roasting.

Once it’s stuffed, season all sides of the prime rib with your seasonings and massage into the meat. Finish with a sprinkle of kosher salt and a generous amount of freshly cracked pepper. This will create a nice crust on your roast. Place on a roasting rack in your roasting pan and place in the oven and allow to roast for 2 hours for medium rare. Once it’s done, remove and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

For the stuffing and potatoes you will need to time according to the roast. You will be making your gravy while the roast is resting so allow 30 minutes prior to that to make your stuffing and potatoes. You can keep them warm in the oven while you make the gravy. Begin by roasting your chestnuts. Watch this tutorial if you don’t know how: How To Roast Chestnuts

Once they are done, remove shells and cut into preferred sized pieces. Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your brussel sprouts for 5 minutes. Drain and immediately submerge in ice water. Remove and set aside.

In a large pan, add one stick of butter and allow to melt over medium high heat. Add diced celery and onion then sauté for 2-3 minutes then season with the poultry seasoning. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. In a small pot, simmer the chicken stock until warm. Transfer the dried, cubed bread into a large bowl. Stir the dried cranberries and chestnuts into your celery onion mix and allow to cook one more minute. Pour mixture over the dried bread and stir to combine then pour the chicken stock over the top. The mixture should be moist but not wet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper then place in a baking dish and bake with the roast for 30 minutes. If you would like to make a bread pudding instead, here is the recipe to Williams-Sonoma Mushroom Bread Pudding.

Begin boiling your potatoes in a large pot. Peel and cube potatoes, generously cover with water, sprinkle with salt then bring to a boil. In the meantime, cook your brussels while your potatoes are boiling. In a large pan, cook your bacon cubes until crispy then remove and set aside reserving the bacon fat. Remove the ends of the brussel sprouts and boil in a medium pan for 5 -6 minutes. Add 1/2 slivered onion to the bacon fat in the pan. Drain the brussels, cover with cool water then slice each one in half. Once cut, add back to the caramelized onions face down and allow to brown. Sprinkle with 1 T. of onion powder and 1 T. of garlic powder. As the brussels begin to caramelize, stir to combine seasonings. Turn heat down to low and cover to keep warm. Toss with bacon just before serving.

Drain your potatoes and return to the warm pan and mash. Then add 2 T. butter and 2T. milk, stir gently to combine. Do not over whip. Cover and place in oven if needed.

Remove the meat from the oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes before transferring to a cutting board. On the board it will rest another 10. Meanwhile, using the pan drippings, make a gravy. Sauté the minced onion in a small pan over medium high heat. Begin with a basic roux of equal parts flour and butter. Mix over medium high heat until combined stirring constantly. Until it is foamy and resembles the color of peanut butter. Slowly pour in about a cup of beef broth and just a little bit of the pan drippings and combine. Stir until creamy adding additional beef broth if desired. Use your sense of taste to determine how much of the drippings you need.

Remove the stuffing and potatoes from the oven. Carve the meat and place pieces on a decorative platter or serve individually. Serve this meal with a rhone red such as a Chateauneuf du Pape (2006 or 2007).












  1. Ummmm No where in the directions did it say anything about sausage and never cube your potatoes because they lose flavor. Hmmmmm

  2. Mark Baranowski says:

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