Cooking Christmas lunch to me is just like cooking up my usual roast, but the pressure to get it awesome is strong. This year I am planning on prepping as much as I can before hand so I’m not having to spend too much time in the kitchen while the kids and family are having all the fun. So with the help of Joseph Joseph and their carousel of knives I wanted to share with you how I am getting on top of it all.
The first dish that can really be prepared in advance is the red cabbage. This year I have gone for a spiced winter apple cabbage. The cutting of the veg and cooking can take a while but it is worth it. When the cabbage has cooled it can then be frozen up to two months in advance. For it to be ready for Christmas Day take the cabbage out of the freezer 24 hours before it’s needed and leave in the fridge to defrost. Warm through in a pan when you are ready to serve.
My other prep has included buying the pigs in blankets and they are in the freezer. The turkey crown with stuffing has also been ordered along with the gravy. We will be picking that up two days before.
The next step in my prep will be done the night before Christmas. This will be for the roast potatoes. I peel these and then leave them in a pan covered in cold water ready to boil up for the next day. In case you are looking for a fool proof roast potatoes recipe this is what I do:
- Peal enough potatoes for everyone – I usually do 4 each, not 4 whole potatoes but about 4 quarters of a very large potato
- Put the peeled potatoes in a pan of cold water, enough to cover them. Bring them to the boil. As soon as they start boiling. set the timer for two minutes. When the buzzer goes off drain them.
- While the potatoes are boiling I warm up some Olive Oil in a roasting tin in the oven. If there’s space I’ll add them to the same pan as the roast meat, if not I’ll use a separate pan. Use enough oil to coat the bottom of the tray and enough to float around a little. You don’t want it too full otherwise they won’t crisp up.
- After draining the potatoes give them a little shake to fluff up the outsides.
- Sprinkle on two tablespoons of plain flour and a generous shake of sea salt. Shake them again to coat them evenly.
- Remove the hot oil from the oven and pour in the potatoes. Take a moment to turn each potato to make sure they are covered in the oil.
- As you put them back in the oven make sure the potatoes aren’t touching each other. This makes sure that the hot air can travel between them potatoes, this is whats get them so crispy.
- Cook the potatoes on about 170 degrees in a fan oven for one hour, that will be about 190 degrees in a normal oven. The result, crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside.
Other vegetables that I will be roasting on the day will be some parsnips. I have just come across a gorgeous Nigella maple syrup roasted parsnip recipe and having already tried these out and they are a perfect accompaniment to Christmas Day lunch.
I am still debating about adding some carrots to the mix but I will see how I get on closer to the day.
So there you have it, my Christmas Day menu along with how I plan to be organised and prepared on the big day.
If you are cooking what’s your favourite part of getting prepared? Do you have a top tip to stay on top of cooking up the feast of the day?