For the past few years I have hosted Christmas Dinner here at Chez Binnersley. In this time have just about perfected our Christmas meal prep so today I’m sharing some of my top tips.
The key thing is to put in a little hard work in the run up to the big day by preparing some of items in advance.
Here are my top tips to destress your Christmas meal so you can enjoy time with your family.
Keep it Simple
Firstly, remember that it’s just another day. If you can make Sunday lunch, you can make Christmas Dinner. There’s not really need to go overboard with your menu, so keep it simple.
We usually have a three-course meal and there are a few items I can prepare in advance without it having any effect on the flavour. This is assuming you are cooking from scratch, alternatively you could just pick up a bag or two of frozen veg while you’re shopping! Personally, I will be doing a mix of both this year.
Soup – One of our starters is soup which I make in advance and then freeze until required. On the day I simply reheat it as required.
Roast Potatoes – Peel, par boil and then a dusting of seasoned flour followed by around 10 minutes in the oven (200C). Once they are cool they can be transferred to the freezer until required. On the day they go back in the oven for around 35-40 minutes until they are gorgeously golden and crispy.
Pigs in Blankets – I have to be honest these days I just buy these from the supermarket all ready to go in the oven when the time comes.
Stuffing – We usually have sausage meat stuffing which is prepared the day before and then chilled until required. In the past I have also cooked it through, frozen and then heated up on the day.
Gravy – I usually make my gravy in the slow cooker. I make it a few days in advance and then heat through from frozen.
Vegetables – Our choice of vegetables varies from year to year but I generally par boil them and then freeze until I need them. We have done parsnips, carrots leeks and cauliflower this way; they can all be cooked from frozen in around 25-35 minutes.
I try to make the clean up as easy as possible and often use disposable foil trays. Enlisting everyone’s help to clear the table and surfaces means we can all together relax after the meal.
I have a stash of freezer bags and plastic containers on hand for any leftovers to avoid wastage.
So there we have some tips to keep the stress levels at a minimum during your Christmas meal. I hope they’ve been helpful. Drop me a comment and let me know have any other top tips.