Do your Christmas mornings involve frantically rushing around the kitchen peeling veg and whisking sauces? Try to get ahead of the game this year by following some of our early Christmas dinner preparation tips, recipes and advice. I love to spend Christmas morning watching my family excitedly open their stockings so forward planning is a absolute must in our house, plus, I like to be organised! Early December is the time I start filling up my freezer and get a good head start with my Christmas cooking preparations. The food I have prepared below will store perfectly fine for up to a month in the freezer if it is packed properly.
My early Christmas prep tips;
Roast Potatoes – We like to use Maris Piper or Rooster Potatoes. Peel & chop into large pieces. Parboil potatoes for five minutes, drain and cool. Once completely cold, wrap and freeze.
Roast Parsnips & Carrots – Look for chunky carrots and parsnips. Peel & Chop into long chunky pieces. Parboil for three minutes only, drain and cool. Once completely cold, wrap and pop in the freezer.
Brussel Sprouts – Chop base, peel outer leaves and parboil for 2-3 minutes, no longer! Once removed from the heat quickly place the sprouts into ice cold water, this will keep them nice and green. Drain, cool and freeze.
We will be sharing some really delicious recipes for all the traditional sauces on our blog during December which are an absolute must at Christmas time. No Christmas dinner is complete without a good helping of cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing and bread sauce. Our recipes can made up to a month in advance and stored in the freezer too. We’ve been busy making ‘Chestnut And Cranberry Stuffing’, ‘Cranberry And Port Sauce’ and ‘Creamy Bread Sauce’. Each recipe is really easy to make and served together will add the perfect finishing touch to your Christmas dinner. We’ll be adding the cranberry and bread sauce recipes to our blog very soon.
Defrost – When Christmas Eve arrives remove all the food you have prepared for christmas from the freezer and allow the food to thaw out in the fridge overnight.
Once defrosted simply cook as usual…
Roast Potatoes – Cooking Tips.
- Goose fat works beautifully and creates a lovely golden crisp roast potato.
- Ensure the fat is very hot before you add the potatoes.
- Before placing in the fat give the potatoes a good shake to rough up the edges, this will give your roasties extra crispy edges.
- The potatoes should be laid in a single layer ensuring each side is coated in the goose fat. Ideally only turn once, half way through cooking.
- Cook at 180ºC (fan assisted) for 30 minutes, turn the potatoes and continue to cook at 190ºC for another 30-40 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Roast Parsnips & Carrots – Cooking Tips
- Ensure the fat is hot before you add the parsnips and carrots.
- The parsnips and carrots should be laid in a single layer, turn only when removing from the oven to add the maple syrup.
- Add the honey or maple syrup plus the fresh thyme leaves towards the end of cooking. Once coated pop them back in the oven for an extra 10-15 minutes or until crisp and golden.
Stuffing & Sauces;
If using our bread sauce recipe you can simply re-heat the bread sauce on Christmas Day. Add a splash of milk, stir and heat until smooth and warm.
Place the pre-made chestnut and cranberry stuffing in the oven and bake at 180ºC for about 40 minutes or until the sausage meat is fully cooked.
The cranberry sauce will need a good stir, leave out of the fridge for an hour or so to warm to room temperature.
Why not get ahead with the Christmas prep and have a go at creating our homemade sauces and Christmas stuffing, who knows they may become a favourite for many years to come. They are certainly very popular in our house!
For a treat with your after dinner coffee check our our lovely little Nutty Christmas Puds, they’re really yummy & taste as good as they look.
Good Luck with your Christmas preparations everyone!