A show-stopping and indulgent centerpiece is the best way to impress your guests. Turkey usually takes the centre stage when it come to a Christmas dinner but why stick to something so orthodox? A rack of lamb, pigs in blankets and glazed ham all make interesting alternatives to the traditional poultry. Regardless of the meat, I would suggest buying cuts of meat from local businesses and asking the butcher for recommendations. This way you will get something more worthwhile in terms of both price and flavour. And at the same time you may just end up finding a new favourite!
For veggie and vegan readers, there are so many delicious plant-based alternatives to try. Often people fall victim to the misconception that a meat-free Christmas dinner means being limited to a tasteless nut roast and basic veggies yet in reality there are so many interesting dishes to try. I would recommend a vegetarian wellington, stuffed with seasonal vegetables and surrounded by a crisp, golden pastry. This warming dish is a perfect substitute and tasty enough to win over meat-eaters.
Although looked down on by some, a range of succulent veg really make a Christmas meal. Honey-glazed roast carrots, parsnips and other root vegetables, packed with homely flavours, are the perfect compliment to the main dish. And to balance these earthy vegetables you can include fresh greens such as broccoli, cheesy leeks or kale if you’re feeling fancy. Love them or hate them, sprouts also add a punch to a Christmas dinner. Instead of simply boiling them, fry them up with chestnuts and/or pancetta for an interesting twist.
What’s a roast dinner without potatoes? Of course, crisp, roast potatoes are a Christmas classic but if the idea leaves you uninspired there are plenty of ways to add an extra pinch of festive spirit. Hearty, spiced mash and perhaps a potato gratin or potatoes dauphinois, if you’re feeling more ambitious, both make a Christmas dinner with a difference.
Finally, you can’t discuss festive food without mentioning condiments. After all, they bring each element of the meal together. Whether you select a classic gravy, sweet cranberry sauce or a tangy chutney make sure that it complements the dish to bring your Christmas dinner to the next level.