Rachel’s Thanksgiving Trifle


2 hrs.


1 hr.


3 hrs.


1 trifle

You would be very hard-pressed to find a more notable television “dessert”, comical mix-up, or more recognizable scene in one of the most popular shows of all time. We haven’t said a name yet, but we wouldn’t be surprised if you already have the image of Rachel’s Thanksgiving trifle in your head. Alternative titles for this episode could have been, “the one where it tastes like feet,” “the one with all the confessions,” or the one where Rachel wasn’t supposed to put beef in the trifle.” Take a step back and relive this memorable moment from season 6, episode 9 of the hit comedy, Friends. The recipe below features an improved and actually edible version of the meal, so you probably won’t have to feed it to your nearest bird or local Joey Tribbiani.


  • One whole chuck roast
  • Olive oil
  • Chopped Onion
  • Chopped mushrooms
  • Finely chopped carrot
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ½ -1 cup beef stock
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • 1 tsp sage
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • Cornstarch
  • Plantains


  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • 2 ½ cups whole milk
  • Nutmeg
  • Salt
  • Eggs

Raspberry Jam Surrogate

  • ½ pint raspberries
  • ½ cup of wine
  • Splash of balsamic vinegar
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of salt


  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 11.5 ounces cornmeal
  • 2 ounces all purpose flour
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ cup whole milk
  • 1 cup of buttermilk
  • 2 eggs


  • Mince a whole chuck roast into nice small bite sized pieces. Brown them in a skillet in a little bit of olive oil until you get some nice color and nice fond on the bottom of the pot.
  • Remove meat and set aside. Add chopped onion, chopped mushrooms, and a finely chopped carrot.
  • Deglaze with ½ cup of red wine and ½ to 1 cup of beef stock.
  • Add 1 tsp each of freshly chopped thyme, rosemary, and sage along with 1 Tbsp of tomato paste.
  • Add beef bits back to broth, supplementing with extra broth if necessary.
  • Partially cover and let simmer for 2 hours. Thicken with cornstarch at the end of cooking.


  • Preheat 2 Tbsp each of butter and vegetable oil in a 10 inch skillet in a 400° oven.
  • Measure out 11.5 ounces of cornmeal, 2 ounces of all purpose flour, a pinch of sugar, a pinch of salt, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda and whisk to combine.
  • Add ½ cup of whole milk and 1 cup of buttermilk to the dry mixture.
  • Add the two eggs to the mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined.
  • Remove preheated pan from the oven and add cornbread mixture to hot pan.
  • Reduce the oven heat to 375° and put pan in oven. Cook for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Raspberry Jam Surrogate

  • Heat ½ pint of raspberries, ½ a cup of wine, and a splash of balsamic vinegar with a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt in a sauce pan.
  • Crush up raspberries and cook over medium heat for 30-40 minutes or until thick and jam-like.


  • Combine 4 Tbsp each of butter and flour, while drizzling in 2 – 2 ½ cups of whole milk and whisking until a thick bechamel forms.
  • Grate in some whole nutmeg and season with salt until a custard forms.


  • Butter a casserole dish and add in the beef stew as the bottom layer.
  • Top the beef stew layer with cornbread.
  • Top the cornbread layer with the raspberry jam sauce.
  • Top the raspberry jam sauce layer with the custard bechamel layer.
  • Top everything with a healthy helping of shredded romano cheese.
  • Cook in a 350° oven for 30 minutes.
  • While that’s cooking, slice and fry some plantains in vegetable oil.
  • Remove plantains from vegetable oil, draining them on paper towels, smashing them, and then dipping them in ice water before re-frying once more. Cook until golden brown.
  • Remove trifle from oven and top with fried plantains.
  • Serve and (try to) enjoy!