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Timing is everything

Some people think Christmas lunch is a mountain to climb. Fear not, here is my Christmas Lunch Timetable to help turn the mountain into a molehill.

Complete with a Prawn starter, Turkey main course including vegetables, Pigs in Blankets and lovely fluffy Roast Potatoes, and last but not least the classic Christmas Pudding for dessert, all finished off with some delicious Mulled Wine. Now, the sound of cooking turkey may seem quite daunting at first, but I think we're just out of practice. So, stick with my recipe, and you'll be perfectly fine. It really is easy!

9:30 am

  • Preheat the oven to 200 ºC, Gas 6-7.
  • Prepare the Stuffing.
  • Prepare the Turkey.

Phil’s Perfect Roast Turkey
This is a delicious and easy roast recipe that won't let you down on the big day! My method is different from traditional methods and has a unique set of steps for preparation and cooking. If you follow these simple steps closely, you will get a perfectly cooked succulent turkey in just a couple of hours.
 View Recipe

Chestnut Thyme Bramley Apple Cherry Stuffing

This is enough for a 5kg bird.
 View Recipe

Christmas Cranberry & Apple Sauce
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10:00 am

  • Place the stuffed Turkey and the vegetables in a deep tray, add the wine and hot stock, cover tightly and pop in the oven.
  • Make the Mulled Wine, finish and keep warm, covered or better still, place in a thermos flask.

Christmas Mulled Wine / Gluhwein
No Christmas would be complete without it. Not tried it? You don't know what you're missing. So here's my take on this lovely, hot yuletide drink.
 View Recipe

10:30 am

  • While the Turkey is in the oven, prepare the veg and pre-cook them ready for going into the oven.
  • Blanch the parsnips, carrots and potatoes separately in boiling water, drain well and cover.

Brussel Sprouts with Cumin Almonds & Ginger
You either love them, or you can't stand the sight of them. I think they are really tasty. Not only are they good for the real Christmas lunch, but they are an absolute must for Boxing Day bubble and squeak. This is one of only two vegetables that I recommend to be well cooked, and the other is potatoes. They can be prepared the day before, ready for cooking. You can add a little bacon or Pancetta to the mix if you want.
 View Recipe

Roast Potatoes

The best way I have found to cook crispy, crunchy roast potatoes is to blanch them in boiling water until the edges start to crumble away. Drain well, then cook in very hot dripping or goose or duck fat, and only turn them once. That really is it!
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Roasted, Honey Parsnips & Carrots
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Christmas Mulled Wine / Gluhwein

No Christmas would be complete without it. Not tried it? You don't know what you're missing. So here's my take on this lovely, hot yuletide drink.
 View Recipe

11:00 am

  • Prepare the Prawn Salad starter, along with the Pigs in Blankets, for cooking later on. 
  • Place the Christmas Pudding over a pan of boiling water to heat through gently or get ready to warm in the microwave.
  • Make up the bread sauce and pop into a simmering water bath, and cook slowly, covered.

Pigs in Blankets
I know this looks like a simple recipe, but quality is very important. Like all simple great things, quality is very important. Good quality sausages are very important, and also dry cure, BRITISH bacon is the only thing for this recipe. I allow 2 sausage rolls per person.
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Prawns with Sherry & Garlic

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12:00 noon

  • Your Turkey should be ready now; carefully remove it from the oven and unwrap. Drain off the juices and skim, place this back on the stove and simmer gently to reduce for a fuller flavour. Thicken, strain and keep warm.
  • Check to make sure the bird is cooked through. If not, cook for another 20 minutes.
  • Once it’s cooked, brush with melted butter, turn the oven up to 230 ºC, Gas 8 and brown the skin for 15 minutes, then leave to rest wrapped in tinfoil until you are ready to serve.

12:20 pm

    • Return the oven to 200 ºC, Gas 6-7.
    • Melt the dripping in 2 trays. Add the Potatoes to one tray, season well and pop in the oven. 
    • Now do the same with the Carrots & Parsnips.
    • Put Sprouts on.

Brussel Sprouts with Cumin Almonds & Ginger
You either love them, or you can't stand the sight of them. I think they are really tasty. Not only are they good for the real Christmas lunch, but they are an absolute must for Boxing Day bubble and squeak. This is one of only two vegetables that I recommend to be well cooked, and the other is potatoes. They can be prepared the day before, ready for cooking. You can add a little bacon or Pancetta to the mix if you want.
 View Recipe

Roast Potatoes

The best way I have found to cook crispy, crunchy roast potatoes is to blanch them in boiling water until the edges start to crumble away. Drain well, then cook in very hot dripping or goose or duck fat, and only turn them once. That really is it!
 View Recipe

Roasted, Honey Parsnips & Carrots
 View Recipe

Christmas Mulled Wine / Gluhwein

No Christmas would be complete without it. Not tried it? You don't know what you're missing. So here's my take on this lovely, hot yuletide drink.
 View Recipe

12:30 pm

  • Pop blanched leeks into a pan and add the cream, season with a little nutmeg. Warm through and keep warm. (See the Turkey recipe for the leeks)
  • Turn the Potatoes. Honey the Carrots & Parsnips, return to the oven but keep an eye on the Parsnips as they can burn easily. 
  • Drain the Brussels; add the ginger to the sprouts. Keep warm and covered. 

12:45 pm

  • Cook the Prawn starter that you prepared earlier, and also cook the Pigs in Blankets. 
  • Turn the oven right down, so things don’t burn while you cook and eat your starter.

Pigs in Blankets
I know this looks like a simple recipe, but quality is very important. Like all simple great things, quality is very important. Good quality sausages are very important, and also dry cure, BRITISH bacon is the only thing for this recipe. I allow 2 sausage rolls per person.
 View Recipe

Prawns with Sherry & Garlic

 View Recipe

1:00 pm (ish, don't worry too much about the time)

  • Open a bottle of fizz or pour out the Mulled Wine.
  • Eat your starter while everything is finishing off and keeping warm in the oven.

1:15 pm

Everything should now be ready to bring together and serve the main course:

  • Drain the potatoes and carrots & parsnips, place in hot bowls.
  • Spoon the stuffing into bowls and serve.
  • Serve all vegetables, sauces and pigs in blankets.
  • Turn the oven off, slide in the mince pies, but leave the door open, so they do not burn.
  • Finally, carve the turkey and serve on hot plates.

Enjoy your Christmas Dinner with the family!

The Christmas Pudding will take about 60 minutes to heat through by steaming in a pan of boiling water with a cover, so pop it in as you are serving up. This way, you can have it soon after your Christmas dinner, and you might ‘just’ squeeze in a couple of Mince Pies while you wait.

Gluten-Free Golden Christmas Pudding
This is one of my favourite Christmas pudding recipes ever. It tastes fabulous and is Gluten-Free, so, everyone can enjoy it.
 View Recipe

Christmas Pudding

Having lived in Somerset, I know I could be accused of being biased, but I love using Cider in my recipes. Here, it gives extra moisture and wonderful flavour to the dried fruits and grated apple in a traditional Christmas pudding. And as if that wasn't enough, there's another secret ingredient too – chocolate!!
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