The Perfect Christmas Dinner
Dec 19, 2016
Funny hats on and silly jokes read,
“Christmas dinners’ on its way!” exclaimed Uncle Fred.
The plate has arrived, the feast can begin.
But where do we start? Such wonders within!
The gravy is poured, the turkey gets coated,
The stuffing is next; no doubt we’ll feel bloated.
Now the potatoes, their crispy yet soft,
The swift scent of cranberry fills the room with a waft.
Pigs in blankets, what a nice little treat,
There’s really nothing better, sausages wrapped in more meat!
Sprouts are essential, although eating them a mission,
Love them or hate them, they’re part of the tradition.
The meal is almost over, and no-one can stand,
Grandma is asleep with a cracker in hand.
With the family now full and belt buckles tight,
We can’t help but wonder, any pudding in sight?
There are many different opinions when it comes to Christmas dinner. There is no right and wrong answer in how you prepare the biggest meal of the year. However the below are a must in our eyesâ€¦
The consistency of Christmas dinner gravy should be thick enough to coat the meat and not slide off easily, but also thin enough so it’s not lumpy. It should be incorporated using the juices of the meat before serving, and then poured over the meat, vegetables and most importantly stuffing. The reason the gravy is not poured over the potatoes is because we want these to stay crispy on the outside. The gravy will compromise this!
The potatoes are often a family favourite, as long as they are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The key to a perfect roast potato is really nothing fancy, just patience and time. The potatoes should be parboiled in water then transferred into a roasting tray with olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper for roughly 40-45 minutes on 160- 180 degrees. Rosemary is the perfect accompaniment to a roast potato, so don’t be afraid to add sprigs (and/or chopped) to the roasting tray before cooking.
Turkey with strips of bacon on the top is the Christmas tradition, and although we believe that this is a must, you shouldn’t be afraid to add another type of meat depending on how many you are catering for. Gammon or ham is a nice addition to a Christmas dinner, and there’s nothing too complicated about cooking this. Simply put the joint in cold water and bring to the boil. Then add any vegetables you would like to roast with it and cook on a low heat for roughly 20 minutes. Place the joint in a roasting tin and wrap in tin foil, then cook in the oven for another 20 minutes or until the gammon is lightly browned. A honey mustard glaze is a great way to make this extra special.
Alongside the potatoes, the stuffing is often argued to be the best part of a Christmas dinner. Stuffing should be made by hand and not shop bought. There is such a difference between a hand-made stuffing and one purchased from your local supermarket. Take a look at stuffing recipes online and you will notice how easy a home-made stuffing is to make. A mild frying of simple ingredients are then placed into a tin or formed into balls and thrown in the oven, it doesn’t get much simpler.
There are many of us that believe the vegetables should be eaten first. This is because there are so many other incredible flavours on the plate that you want to get these out of the way as soon as you can. This doesn’t have to be the case however.
Carrots can be a delicious treat on Christmas day providing you incorporate the right ingredients. Honey glazed carrots are fantastic and so simple to achieve. Parboil the carrots then lightly fry them with honey and a little butter. A carrot needs to be crunchy, but not raw so play around to find the right balance and don’t forget to taste. If you’re not a fan of a crunchy carrot, try mashing these with swede for a Christmas classic.
Brussels sprouts can be a hit or miss on Christmas day. Some love them, some hate them. If you are looking to get more enjoyment out of a Brussels sprout, try adding chopped bacon to the mix! Bacon goes well with a few different vegetables, adding this to Brussels sprouts can be one of the best combinations, especially if you cook these together.
Parsnips are also a must. The great thing about a parsnip is that it doesn’t necessarily need anything else to make it good. As long as they are roasted with the potatoes so that they become crunchy and soft, they’ll be a hit.
The Pig in Blanket
Pigs in blankets are a personal favourite. They are just perfect little gems added to a Christmas dinner. Whether it’s just one, or five! A pig in a blanket is something you never get all year round, and therefore makes Christmas special for everyone.
The Christmas Pudding
If you’re still hungry for dessert then why not continue the Christmas spirit with a Christmas pudding. The Christmas pudding is a classic dessert using dried fruit, candied peel and spices. Make it a true Christmas day by coating this in brandy and setting it on fire. Just make sure Grandad’s hairpiece is well out of the way before you do!
Despite the massive and delicious meal you had at 2pm Christmas afternoon you may start feeling peckish for something in the evening. This is what “The Spread” is for. Using left over food from lunch, shop bought meats, bread and cheeses are the perfect way to end Christmas day in any household.
The Boxing Day Sandwich “The Moist Maker”
There are some that believe Boxing Day is just as exciting as the day before. This is due to the incredible and inventive sandwich you can create using the left-over food from Christmas day. Known as “The Moist Maker” in the hit TV program ‘Friends’, Ross Geller describes his ultimate sandwich creation made after Thanksgiving lunch. This is the kind of sandwich that is made using leftover meats, sauces, cheeses and any other ingredients found in your fridge. All you need is thick bread (preferably a cut your own white loaf), and every possible left over ingredient you can cram into it. It may get messy, but it’ll be worth it!
Remember, Christmas day lunch is an incredible time for family, laughter and good tidings all round. When sitting at the table, Christmas hats and jokes are a must, despite how silly they may look. It’s all about having fun and eating lots! If you don’t feel fat and jolly by the end, you’re doing it wrong.
Merry Christmas from the Lumina team!
And have a very Happy New Year!