Whether you like the traditional turkey for your Christmas meal or something more unusual, such as grouse or pheasant, your dinner would not be complete without all the festive trimmings. Here are 10 of the best ─ essential for making the perfect Christmas dinner.
1. Sage and onion stuffing
Stuffing is one of the easiest parts of your Christmas dinner to prepare. All you need is fresh sage, chopped onions and plenty of white breadcrumbs. If you want a meatier flavour, add pork sausage meat – the fatty juices will help make it an indulgent, succulent accompaniment to your roasted bird.
2. Tangy cranberry sauce
The refreshing, fruity flavour of cranberries goes perfectly with Christmas meats. Cranberry sauce is always popular so make sure you prepare plenty! Any leftovers can be used to make delicious cranberry and turkey sandwiches on Boxing Day.
3. Creamy bread sauce
Another festive favourite is bread sauce. One of the best traditional British classics, it adds a wonderful creaminess to your meat and veg.
4. Red cabbage with apple
Vinegary red cabbage with apple adds a superb sharpness to your Christmas dinner. To really soak up the flavour from your chopped apple, vinegar, sugar and spices, slow cook your cabbage in a casserole dish for 2-4 hours. If you run out of time, pick some up from a delicatessen selling quality British food classics.
5. Rich meat gravy
With supermarkets offering quick gravy options in the form of granules, cubes and powder, it’s tempting to go for the easy processed option. But nothing beats traditional homemade gravy. Collect those tasty juices from your roasted meat and quickly whisk in the flour, making sure you beat out all the lumps.
6. Yorkshire puddings
Mop up your gravy with good old yorkshire puds! Make sure you keep an eye on them in the oven so you can take them out when they’re perfectly golden and crispy.
7. Brussels sprouts
Not everyone loves brussels sprouts, but Christmas wouldn’t be the same without them. Add to their flavour with a quick sauté in butter and pancetta – yum!
8. Roasted root vegetables
Roasted potatoes are always popular, and you can add some more flavour and colour to your plate by combining them with other root vegetables. Cut up some carrots, parsnips, squash and sweet potato and roast them next to your potatoes with some onions to give them plenty of flavour.
9. Pigs in blankets
Pigs in blankets are loved by kids and adults alike. Wrap your sausages in strips of bacon and enjoy a mini meat feast!
10. Brandy butter
Brandy butter is an essential accompaniment to your dessert course. Its spicy creaminess goes beautifully with fruity treats like mince pies and traditional Christmas pudding.
Everyone looks forward to Christmas dinner so make it special and memorable by including all of these festive favourites! And here are some pointers for anything else you’ll need this Christmas:
A fantastic range of Christmas recipes and menu ideas from BBC Food
Seasonal webpage offering great ideas for festive side dishes
An article on how to cook the perfect Christmas dinner