It may seem like Christmas day is hurtling toward us at lightning speed, but don’t worry, we have plenty of tips to help you get organised and arrive at your Christmas table with plenty of festive cheer to share with family and friends.
The key to a stress-free Christmas meal is preparation, we promise this will take the pressure off the next day. If you have a large family gathering then it’s best to peel all the vegetables the night before. Place the peeled veggies into a container and cover with cold water, they will happily sit like this until the next day.
If you are making sauces from scratch like cranberry and bread sauce, make these the night before as well. Same goes for stuffing and pigs in blankets which can be made, rolled and left in the fridge ready for the oven. This prep will mean you spend less time slaving away in the kitchen on Christmas day and allow you to enjoy more time with the family.
If you find preparing lots of vegetables a chore, then have a look at our range of pre-cooked vegetables sides from our friends at The Grocer. This year we’re also offering all the classic trimmings; Pecan and Sour Cherry Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Bread Sauce and Turkey Gravy.
We haven’t forgotten our vegan friends this year and have made a delicious Mushroom Wellington, spiced with Ras El Hanout and packed with pistachios and apricots. For dessert, pick up our classic Plum Pudding, or famous Mince Pies with brandy butter on the side.
All come ready to heat and serve with your bird to make your day as straightforward as possible. You can order your full Christmas Lunch online and collect from one of our shops.
We have been working with family run Goodman’s Geese since we opened 14 years ago. If you are lucky enough to get your hands of one of their beautiful free-range turkeys, we can guarantee you will be delighted with the flavour and quality of this hand-reared beauty.
The key thing to remember when cooking a bird is not to over stuff the cavity as this can slow the cooking time. A chopped apple, an onion and some fresh sage, rosemary and thyme are more than enough for stuffing and always make sure you give the cavity plenty of seasoning.
Another of our top tips is to prevent the legs from cooking faster than the body of the bird by melting some goose fat or butter and pouring over them before covering with foil. To keep the bird moist, be sure to baste every hour and invest in a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature. Test the bird in the deepest part of the thigh, above the crease where the breast begins and once a temperature of 75°C is reached, the bird is done. Don’t forget to allow time, about 20 minutes, for the cooked Turkey to rest so that the juices can distribute as the meat relaxes.
If you are serving a cheese board then take our advice and keep things simple. Three good quality cheeses are usually enough to satisfy even the biggest crowd. A bold cheddar like a Montgomery’s or a Keens, a smooth tangy blue like a Colston Bassett or Stichelton and then a mild soft cheese like a Wigmore or a Tunworth. Serve with pile of crackers and have some seasonal fruit at hand like apples, pears or leafy clementine’s. Have you ever tried warming a mince pie with a little blue cheese slid underneath the lid? Outrageously decedent but very satisfying!