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The Top 10 Winter Meals, with Recipes. The Best of Cold Weather Cooking! Chili, Lasagna, Roast Beef, Creme Brule...

Updated on January 30, 2009

Meals for Days that Look Like This...

Mmm...Winter Lasagna!

OK - I have to confess, I am writing this article under a blanket of tropical warmth here in Thailand – and I know that many of you who may be reading this in somewhat more frosted places may feel little sympathy for me when I say that I feel down and long for the snow…

Now, I don't miss shoveling the driveway or schlepping a winter parka on and off throughout another early darkened day – but I do miss the kinds of foods that comfort during those cold cold days and nights – the kinds of foods that would be unthinkable here in Thailand.

I miss hurrying out of the cold and into a warm house that's full of the smells of something roasty and rich and inviting from a hot oven within.

So as a tribute to cold weather cooking, here is a top ten list of the greatest winter dishes for a frosty Sunday afternoon.

So, here are the 10 winter dishes I miss most, the ones you should enjoy right now!

The Top 10 Meals for a Winter Weekend

1. Lasagna

Whether it's a piled high Italian Lasagna Bolognese or an Italian American classic, tucking into a rich and satisfying lasagna is fantastic after a day building a hunger on the slopes or in the snow. It also has that great fill-up-the-house with lasagna aroma thing going for it.

2. Chili

It's hard to top a bowl of Texas Chili covered slightly with melting cheddar cheese - Especially when you've been smelling it percolate all afternoon while watching the NFL playoffs and ignoring the snow outside.

3. Prime Rib

Served medium rare, with homemade Yorkshire pudding, mashed potatoes, carrots, a good simple gravy and a pungent horseradish – I might buy myself a plane ticket for this meal...

4. A Roasted Bird

Turkey if you’re feeding a crowd, chicken or duck for smaller affairs, doing a whole roasted bird is such a dead easy way to a fantastic and special dinner. It smells great and there is something so homey and "family" about carving a whole bird at the Sunday table. So easy too…

5. Creamy Root Vegetable Soups

Winter is the season for root cellar veg, and smooth as silk pureed soups are a great way to ease into a family meal.

6. Crème Brule

Not something you want on a hot summer evening, the sheer indulgence of Crème Brule is perfect for a February night, months away from thoughts of a beach body!

7. Any Kind of Pot Roast

Pot roast has a bad (and undeserved) reputation as something dry and bland and cafeteriaesque…but pot roast prepared correctly is fall-apart succulent and so very flavorful. Read Molly Smith's seminal book on Braising to get more ideas on pot roasting, but you just can't go to far wrong with a winter braise.

8. Confit of Duck or Pork

If you have never confited a leg of duck or a slab of pork belly, you are missing out on one of the greatest of culinary joys.

Confiting is very easy, beginner easy, and what you get after a slow day at the oven is always fantastic! The meats are fall-off-the bone tender and flavorful and great eaten as is or used as a supporting player in countless other recipes.

It's an original European winter food that stands the test of time and deserves a place in your modern kitchen.

9. Any Sort of Beef Stew with Red Wine

There is nothing in this world that beats the smell of beef braising slowly in red wine on a cold day - Nothing.

10. Yellow Split Pea Soup

Rich with pink meat from the ham bone, it's unthinkable to eat this soup in any season but winter, and unthinkable to think of winter without yellow split pea soup.

Well, that's my list anyway, and I'm sure you have your own top 10 or 20 favorites, but remember that winter is fleeting (no, no…really..) and you need to get into the kitchen and make sure you get a chance to enjoy all of your cold weather favorites before that first hint of spring ruins it all!

Comments - What Are Your Winter Fav's?

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    • profile image

      Your name 

      5 years ago

      Hi hello everyone. I'm hungry

    • familytraveler profile image


      7 years ago from Vancouver British Columbia Canada

      could use any of those meals about now! great hubs! have to visit your restaurant in Chiang Mai,though my husband was just there just before the floods. lived in Bangkok but haven't gone to Chiang Mai. definitely on my list next time I'm in Asia.

    • habee profile image

      Holle Abee 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      These will stick to your ribs! Yum!

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      9 years ago

      Hi Devin,

      Cold weather does enhance the smell of a freshly baked loaf- that's for sure!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Great article for this season, I'm looking at the snow out my window and thinking of what I'll have for dinner. Thanks for the ideas!

      All of the above are great but for me no winter meal is complete with out a loaf of fresh baked bread. Any kind of bread is great in the winter, but I have fond memories of opening the door after a day of sleding to find the smell of my mother's Anadamna bread on the air. Even with a great meal laid out we'd all dive straight into the loaf and devour it along with plenty of butter. Doesn't get much better than that!

    • Riviera Rose profile image

      Riviera Rose 

      9 years ago from South of France

      Some delicious things here, though I envy your access to Thai food - I used to love a warming coconut Thai soup or curry on a cold London night.

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      9 years ago

      Hear Hear!

    • Mitch King profile image

      Mitch King 

      9 years ago from Wilsoville, OR, USA

      It all sounds good to me. There is nothing like a hot and hearty meal when it is cold outside.

    • lrohner profile image


      9 years ago from USA

      After a long summer of eating cold salads and grilled meats, I look forward to the fall and winter and the hearty meals that they bring. When I think about meals that I would only cook in the winter, I conjure up thoughts of everything you mentioned plus pot pies (including shephard's) and meatloaf.

    • rugsforall profile image


      9 years ago

      Yum all this talk of food makes me hungry. Winter food is the best - and don't forget dessert - puddings! Heaps of rich warm puddings with cream and custard.

    • John D Lee profile imageAUTHOR

      John D Lee 

      10 years ago

      Chicken and dumplings sounds fantastic!

      A kind soul just left a comment revealing his/her secret to perfect dumplings on another hub of mine, and I think I will reprint it here as well

      From C.E. ONeal...

      For your dumpling lovers whose dumplings fall apart, both in trying to roll them out or cooking them. The Secret for success is the kind of flour used, the kneading process, and rolling them out. I suggest you use an all Purpose plain white flour. Gently mix the flour into warm brouth. Knead the mixture for at least 10-15 minutes(this releases the flour gluten and toughens the mix) until it becomes a silky, elastic, non sticky ball. Rollout dough about 1/8" thin on a floured surface. Cut the rolled out dough in two inch wide strips. Gently remove and drop in boiling brouth. [DO NOT OVER CROWD else the dumplings will stick together] Cook in light boilling brouth about 15 -20 minutes till done. Gently stir dumplings frequently to prevent sticking an or scorching.

    • marisuewrites profile image


      10 years ago from USA

      Chicken and Dumplings are a great winter comfort to me...lots of tender onions, lumps of potatoes,and homemade dumplings or "biscuit dough" in a pinch. Sometimes I put in chopped leftover chicken, and a few crumbles of bacon. Did I mention lots of pepper?? 'specially if you have a cold or sore throat!

      Banana pudding for dessert. topped with a dab of hot fudge if you dare. =)) gosh, you made me hungry...thnx for all the ideas!!

    • profile image

      C. C. Riter 

      10 years ago

      Well you captured a picture of what it looks like here in Ohio. I love all of what you have on the list but I don't know what Confit of pork or duck is. Don't care for duck myself so will investigate the pork one.

      I like to carmalize my roast along with the veggies and I make a red gravy with ketchup and red wine that's out of sight to go along. Love it

      Great hub. thanks

    • ahpoetic profile image


      10 years ago

      I've created recipes from others like chilie. My friends love it and I've also created a fetticini dish from watching cooks in restaurant.


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