Easy Christmas Recipes for the Cabin

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! And what better place to celebrate the most magical time of the year than in one of the most magical destinations for family, friends, and holidays? The Great Smoky Mountains – namely a cozy Gatlinburg cabin in the mountains – is the perfect place to settle in for the holidays. And when you don’t want to get out to eat at a restaurant, we’ve found some easy and tasty recipes to try in the cabin!

Mustard-Crusted Prime Rib with Madeira Glaze | 8 servings | 20 min prep, 2 ½ hrs baking


  • 1 bone-in beef rib roast (about 5 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup stone-ground mustard
  • 6 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground pink peppercorns, optional


  • 2 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into eighths (about 2-inch chunks)
  • 4 medium carrots, halved lengthwise and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into eighths (but with root end intact)
  • 1 medium fennel bulb, cut into eighths
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper


  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Madeira wine
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • Cracked pink peppercorns and fennel fronds, optional

Let roast stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 450°. Combine mustard, garlic, brown sugar, salt and, if desired, peppercorns; brush evenly over top and sides of roast but not over bones (mixture may seem loose but will adhere). Place bone side down on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Place pan on middle oven rack; immediately reduce heat to 350°. Roast 1 hour.

Toss potatoes, carrots, onion and fennel with next five ingredients. Arrange vegetables in a single layer in a 15x10x1-in. baking pan on lowest rack of oven. Roast meat and vegetables, stirring vegetables midway through baking, until meat reaches desired doneness (a thermometer should read 135° for medium-rare, 140° for medium and 145° for medium-well), about 1-1/2 hours. Cover roast loosely with foil during last 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Meanwhile, for glaze, combine balsamic vinegar, Madeira wine and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, about 15 minutes. Let glaze cool to room temperature. Serve roast with vegetables and glaze and, if desired, pink peppercorns and fennel fronds.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pecans | 8 servings | 40 min total time


  • 2 pounds Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • kosher salt and black pepper

Heat oven to 400° F. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss the Brussels sprouts, pecans, oil, garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Turn the Brussels sprouts cut-side down. Roast until golden and tender, 20 to 25 minutes.

Vanilla Sweet Potatoes | 10 servings | 45 min total time


  • 10 small sweet potatoes
  • 1½ cups maple syrup
  • 1 6-inch vanilla bean
  • 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt

Scrub the sweet potatoes, pierce each with a fork, and place in oven directly on the rack with the turkey (or in a preheated 350ºF oven). Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour or until fork-tender.

Meanwhile, combine the maple syrup, vanilla bean, and cloves in a glass measuring cup and microwave 5 minutes. Or heat the syrup, vanilla bean, and cloves in a small saucepan and simmer 5 minutes. (The syrup can be made up to 2 days ahead.)

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cut each lengthwise into 4 wedges. Arrange on a serving dish, sprinkle with the salt, and pour the scented syrup (without the cloves and vanilla bean) over them.

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