6 + Portions. Approximate cost: £100, 

Skill level: Difficult,

Total cooking time: 4 hours (!)

  • Prep time: 2 hours (includes prep on Xmas Eve and Xmas Day)
  • Cooking time: 2 hours, 

 

This is the first year that my hubby and I have cooked Christmas dinner – Although we were only cooking for 4, we wanted it to be special and decided to go all out.

So we opted to stretch ourselves (technique and budget) and make both a fillet of beef (super fancy) and a chicken (mainly for the gravy that would follow, however the porcini butter made this little chick surprisingly luxurious) plus all of the regular trimmings.

With so much to cook, a little organisation was required – Now this is where I thrive. We have 4 working hobs, a single oven and not much workspace (plus the pressure of this being Christmas lunch) so I went to town with my planning and created an excel sheet with prep and timings required to cook up a feast.

I’ve recorded this below for prosperity or maybe to recycle next year. 

 

Recipes:

STARTER:

Mackerel pate & pickled cucumber – serve with toasted sourdough bread.

 

MAIN:

(Jamie’s) chicken with porcini and pancetta butter

Gordon Ramsey’s beef fillet with salsa verde

(BBC Good Food’s) homemade Yorkshire puddings

(Jamie’s) baked carrots with thyme

Stir fried brussels with bacon lardons and soy 

(Damo’s) roast potatoes with lemon and bacon bits

 

Xmas Eve prep:

  1. Prepare the Yorkshire pudding batter and pop in the fridge until later – ideally do this first thing in the morning
  2. Make the salsa verde – Add to a bowl and pop into the fridge
  3. Make mackerel pate – Add to a decorative bowl and pop in the fridge for the later use
  4. Make pickled cucumber – Add to a decorative bowl and pop in the fridge for the later use
  5. Make the porcini and pancetta butter – Add to a bowl and pop into the fridge

 

Xmas day morning prep:

  1. Take the porcini and pancetta butter out of the fridge to allow it to come to room temperature
  2. Peel and chop the potatoes and add to a large pan of salted water
  3. Prep the carrots – chop and season with thyme and red wine vinegar. Add to a roasting tray, cover with tin foil and set to one side
  4. Prep the brussel sprouts – Parboil, chop and add to a bowl and set aside
  5. Roll sausage meat into small balls. Place on a plate, cover and set aside
  6. Make your Yorkshire puddings – When cooked, remove from the tray, place into a large enamel dish and set to one side.
  7. Prepare your pigs in blanket – roll bacon around the chipolatas. Add to a roasting tray and set to one side.
  8. Take the chicken and beef out of the fridge at least an hour before cooking – Once the porcini butter has softened, stuff this under the chicken skin. 

 

Cooking timings:

If your oven is big enough – you can make the whole lot in an hour and a half – Unfortunately we had to juggle dishes and this increased to 2 hours – this does allow the meat to rest well but means you need to blast Yorkshire puds and veg for 10 mins to re-heat before serving. 

You may need to adjust the chicken timings depending on the size of your bird.

I’ve timed this so that you eat at 2pm, but this can be easily adjusted.

 

11.45pm (135 minutes until eating time)

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 C

 

12.00pm (120 minutes until eating time)

  • Put the prepared chicken in the oven

 

12.30pm (90 minutes until eating time)

  • Parboil the potatoes – Turn the heat up high to get this going as quickly as possible (An alternative would be to boil a full kettle and change the water that the potatoes are sitting in). Cook for 15 minutes.

 

12.45pm (75 minutes until eating time)

  • Add vegetable oil or duck fat (go on, it’s Christmas) to a large baking tray and add to the oven – you’ll add the potatoes to this shortly.
  • Drain the potatoes in a colander. Return back to the (dry) pan and give them a thorough bash (pop the lid back on the pan and shake with all your might). Remove the lid and leave to cool slightly.

 

1pm (60 minutes until eating time)

  • Add the potatoes to the heated baking tray and back in the oven
  • Give the saucepan used to cook the potatoes a quick wash – you’ll use this to boil / steam the green beans.

 

1.05pm (55 minutes until eating time)

  • Pop the prepared carrots in the oven (with tin foil)

 

1.20pm (40 minutes until eating time)

  • Start the beef – season with salt and pepper and pan fry with herbs and butter

 

1.30pm (30 minutes until eating time)

  • Remove the chicken from oven, cover with tin foil and allow to rest (remove the bacon to crumble over potatoes) – This frees up some much needed room!
  • Start preparing the gravy
  • Turn over the potatoes

 

1.35pm (25 minutes until eating time)

  • Add the beef to the oven
  • Using the same frying pan, fry the sausage balls until golden on all sides, this should take no more than 5 to 10 minutes

 

1.50pm (10 minutes until eating time)

  • Stir fry the prepared (par-boiled) Brussels with barcon lardons, sesame oil and soy sauce
  • Add stuffing balls to the oven
  • Remove beef from oven and let rest
  • Remove the foil from the carrots and add back to the oven
  • Re-heat yorkshires – add the enamel dish back into the oven
  • Steam green beans

 

2pm (0 minutes until eating time)

BOOM!

 

 

Equipment used:

BEEF:

  • 1 frying pan (will also be used to brown off the sausage balls)
  • 1 flat baking tray 
  • 1 presentation board / serving platter 
  • 1 pestle and mortar (if you don’t have this, you can finely chop all ingredients)

CHICKEN:

  • 1 deep lidded roasting tray (for the chicken and gravy)
  • a gravy boat (or measuring jug) for the gravy
  • 1 presentation board / serving platter 

POTATOES:

  • 1 large saucepan (this will also be used later to parboil the Brussels and to steam or boil the green beans) 
  • 1 deep lidded roasting tray

YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS:

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • 1 Yorkshire pudding tray
  • 1 large enamel dish (if you don’t have this you can leave the Yorkshires in the tin)

VEG:

  • 1 small roasting tray (for the carrots)
  • tin foil
  • 1 small saucepan to par-boil the Brussels – I used the large saucepan that I later use for the poatoes to save on washing up. 
  • 1 frying pan

SIDES:

  • 2 small roasting trays / enamel dishes (1 for the pigs in blanket, 1 for the sausage balls)