Blog: How to make the perfect British Christmas dinner
So you love British food and want to put together the most wonderful Christmas dinner reflecting the glorious range of food that our country produces.
Where to start?
If you want a slow-grown, quality British turkey for Christmas, we recommend KellyBronze turkeys in Essex, some of the best turkeys in Britain. They live the sort of life they would in the wild spending their days foraging in woodland and parading in open pasture. They shelter from the rain under bushes and fly into trees to roost at night. When they are processed, they are dry plucked then hung for at least 14 days to develop the characteristic KellyBronze flavour. They are delivered with full cooking instructions, recipes and even a meat thermometer to make Christmas dinner as easy as possible. www.kellyturkeys.co.uk.
If you want a wild Christmas why not opt for British game. Grab some small game birds such as woodcock, partridge, pheasant, wild duck, pigeon or snipe from your local butcher and place them in the middle of the table alongside cranberry jelly, bread sauce and all the usual trimmings. Cooked in approximately 40 minutes and requiring miniscule preparation time, try a roast partridge with cranberry and port gravy. Or a roasted pheasant with a simple chestnut stuffing or a loin of venison rolled in walnut with a redcurrant sauce. Buying direct from a local estate is hugely satisfying but if you do not live near one www.blackface.co.uk will bring the wild countryside to your doorstep well in time for Christmas.
Vegetables. Think rich, deep wintry colours. British winter vegetables are some of the most exciting in the world so pile your plates high with British winter veg – it contains all the nutrients that our bodies need at this chilly time of year. Vegetables to look out for in December: beetroot, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celeriac, celery, chicory, Jerusalem artichoke, kale, leeks, parsnips, pumpkin, salsify, swede, and turnips. Most farm shops offer special Christmas vegetable boxes.
Cheese is easy; there is such a plethora of British cheese to choose from. Stilton is the king of Christmas cheeses and so by rights deserves to be centre stage though you could choose another blue cheese such as a Shropshire Blue . Don’t ignore cheddar. It is so prolific it is easy to take for granted, but having been produced in Britain for 900 years is now under threat with more foreign cheddar than ever before being imported. And for a bit of colour, Appleby’s Red, one of the oldest cheeses made in Britain – crumbly with a fresh tangy flavour.
Whatever you decide to cook just make sure it is British and we wish you all the best for a very Merry Christmas