The Ultimate Christmas Menu

The Ultimate Christmas Menu


The Ultimate Christmas Menu

Make Christmas day extra special this year with these amazing recipes, simple enough for anyone and everyone to achieve.

  • Turkey with Sherry Gravy
  • Potatoes Dauphinois
  • Braised Red Cabbage with Blackberries
  • Cinnamon Spiced Cranberry Sauce
  • Syllabub Trifle



Turkey with Sherry Gravy

Turkey with Sherry Gravy

For a really festive meal, treat your guests to this turkey recipe on Christmas Day. The lemon, parsley and thyme stuffing is good to eat cold, too.

15 minutes preparation time 4½–4¾ hours cooking time plus resting
714 Kcal per portion
35.4g fat per portion of which 17.9g is saturated
6 servings with plenty left for eating cold

For the stuffing:
Fresh white breadcrumbs 250g (9oz)
Chopped parsley 6–8 tbsp
Chopped thyme 1–2 tbsp
Lemon 1, grated rind
Butter 110g (4oz), melted
Egg 1
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the turkey:
Turkey 5–6kg (11–13lb)
Turkey or chicken stock 600ml (1 pint)
Butter 50g (2oz), softened
Herbs to garnish

For the gravy:
Plain flour 3 tbsp
Gravy browning optional
Sherry 2 tbsp
Rosemary leaves to garnish
Lemon thyme leaves to garnish

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/ Gas 5. To make the stuffing, place all the ingredients in a large bowl and mix together, taking care not to press it together too much – it should remain light and open in texture.

2 To prepare the turkey, rinse out the inside and pat dry. Press the stuffing into the neck cavity, shaping any extra stuffing into balls, which can be cooked on a small baking tray at the top of the oven for 15–20 minutes.

3 Pull the neck skin over the stuffing and secure with a skewer or a couple of wooden cocktail sticks. Weigh the turkey to calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450g (1lb). A turkey with stuffing that weighs about 6kg (13lb) will take approximately 4½–4¾ hours to cook.

4 Place the turkey in a roasting tin, pour the stock around it and spread the softened butter over the skin. Cover with foil and place towards the bottom of the oven (the shelf above the turkey at the top of the oven can be used for roasting vegetables).

5 Keep the turkey covered with foil until the last 45 minutes of the calculated cooking time, then remove foil, baste and return to the oven until cooked through.

6 To test if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the flesh of the thigh with a skewer – if the juices that run out are clear, it’s cooked, but if the juices are still pink, then the bird needs further cooking. When cooked, remove it from the oven, and transfer to a warmed serving plate. Cover the turkey with clean foil and leave it to ‘rest’ in a warm place for 20–30 minutes as this will make carving easier.

7 To make the gravy, pour the juices from the roasting tin into a fat separator or jug. Return 3 tbsp of the fat to the roasting tin and skim as much fat as possible off the rest of the juices and discard it.

8 Place the roasting tin on the hob and stir in the flour for the gravy. Cook over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes, then slowly stir in skimmed turkey juices. Bring to the boil and, if it is too thick, then stir in some boiling water to give the desired consistency and add a little gravy browning if liked. Stir in the sherry and season to taste. Keep piping hot until serving and pour into a warmed gravy boat.

9 Serve the turkey garnished with rosemary and lemon thyme and accompanied with stuffing balls, roast potatoes, steamed vegetables, and orange halves stuffed with lightly cooked cranberries.


Potatoes Dauphinois

Potatoes Dauphinois

Time 1½ hrs
Serves 4
Calories 471
Fat 36g of which 20.8g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Butter 15g (½oz)
Potatoes 600g (1lb 6oz), peeled and thinly sliced (thickness of a pound coin)
Whole milk 175ml (6fl oz)
Double cream 200ml (7fl oz)
Nutmeg ½ tsp
Cheese such as Cheddar or Gruyère 50g (2oz), finely grated

1 Preheat oven to 180°C/Gas 4. Grease a 900ml (1½ pint) oval ovenproof dish with butter.

2 Place potatoes into medium sized pan with milk, double cream and nutmeg. Bring slowly up to boil on a low heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3 Using a slotted spoon, strain potatoes, reserving liquid. Carefully arrange potatoes in dish, seasoning as you layer, and making sure they overlap neatly. Pour liquid over potatoes and sprinkle cheese over the top. Bake for 45-50 minutes.


Braised red cabbage with blackberries

Braised Red Cabbage with Blackberries

Time 45 mins
Serves 6
Calories 97
Fat 4g of which 2.2g is saturated
Suitable for freezing
Suitable for vegetarians

Butter 25g (1oz)
Onion 1, peeled and finely chopped
Red cabbage 500g (1lb 2oz), quartered, core removed, thinly sliced
Light muscovado sugar 2 tbsp
Red wine vinegar 2 tbsp
Ground mixed spice 1 tsp
Apple juice 150ml (¼ pint)
Blackberries 225g (8oz)

1 Heat butter in a saucepan, add onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, stirring until softened. Stir in cabbage then sugar, vinegar, spice and apple juice. Season with salt and pepper.

2 Cover and cook gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cabbage is tender. Add blackberries and cook gently for 10 minutes more.

3 Spoon into a serving dish and serve with roast turkey, chicken or casseroled lamb or beef.


Cinnamon Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Cinnamon Spiced Cranberry Sauce

Time 15 mins
Serves 6
Calories 96
Fat 0g of which 0g is saturated
Suitable for vegetarians
Suitable for freezing

Cranberries fresh or frozen 300g (11oz)
Caster sugar 125g (4½oz)
Fresh orange juice 125ml  (4fl oz)
Cointreau or brandy 1 tbsp, optional
Cinnamon stick 1

1 Put all ingredients in medium sized heavy-based pan and mix well. Heat gently, stirring, until sugar has dissolved. Bring slowly up to boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes until cranberries are tender, stirring occasionally.

2 Leave to cool – the cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools. Remove cinnamon stick. Serve warm or cold with ham or turkey. This can be made a day in advance, cooled, poured into a rigid plastic container, covered and chilled overnight ready to reheat on Christmas Day.


Syllabub Trifle

Syllabub Trifle

Time 20 minutes plus chilling.
Per portion: 395 Kcal
27g fat (15.1g saturated)
Serves 6
Suitable for vegetarians

Trifle sponges 4
Raspberry jam 110g (4oz)
Lemon 1, grated zest and juice
Caster sugar 50g (2oz)
Dry cider with elderflower 120ml (4fl oz)
Double cream 300ml carton
Mixed frozen fruits 200g (7oz), just defrosted

1 Slice each sponge cake in half horizontally. Spread jam over half of the slices, then cover with the remaining slices, cut to fit and place in six individual glasses in a single layer. Spread any remaining jam over the top of the sponge cakes.

2 Place most of the lemon zest, the lemon juice and sugar in a bowl. Add the cider and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Drizzle a little of this liquid over the trifle sponges until just moist.

3 Whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Gradually whisk in the remaining cider mixture.

4 Spoon the fruit over the sponge and then cover with the flavoured cream. Top with any remaining lemon zest. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.








2013 diary | How to start your Christmas Day menu in style

Starters for Christmas Day


How to start your Christmas Day menu in style

Roast turkey may well be our favourite choice for the Christmas Day main dish, but how can you ensure that this important meal starts with something special?

We have a selection of inspirational recipes
for Christmas and the New Year festivities
including these four impressive starters
that are easy to prepare but will add style
to any dinner menu.

Smoked salmon is a traditional starter but we have added a delicious twist with our Egg & Smoked Salmon Timbales. The Forestier Pâté recipe will please pâté lovers everywhere and yet requires just 20 minutes of your time. The Salmon Swirls look impressive, taste fabulous and are remarkably easy to prepare and if you are preparing a vegetarian starter then our seasonal Chestnut Soup can be prepared in advance, frozen and reheated on the day.

Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes collectionJust four inspirational recipes from Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes – formatted for mobile devices as well as your PC so you can easily read the ingredients list when shopping and use the recipe on your phone or tablet in the kitchen – or you can print the recipe if you prefer.

In addition to these starters you will find an inspirational choice of recipes for the whole festive break including main courses, puddings, party food and drinks.

And it’s FREE, so why not check it out now?

2013 diaries | How to cook the perfect Traditional Turkey Roast

The perfect Traditional Roast Turkey recipe

The perfect Traditional Roast Turkey recipe

How to cook the perfect Traditional Turkey Roast this Christmas

It can seem a daunting task, but with a little planning and organisation the perfect traditional Christmas dinner is easily achievable.

And to make things simple for you we have gathered together our favourite festive recipes and published them online as the Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes.

Included in the collection is the Traditional Turkey Roast recipe which will guide you through the whole process of preparing and cooking:

  • The perfect roast turkey
  • Chestnut stuffing
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Turkey gravy

Dairy Diary Favourite Festive Recipes is formatted for mobile devices as well as your PC. So you can easily read the ingredients list when shopping and use the recipe on your phone or tablet in the kitchen – or you can print the recipe if you prefer.

In addition to the Traditional Roast Turkey you will find an inspirational choice of recipes for the whole festive break including starters, main courses, puddings, party food and drinks.

And it’s FREE, so why not check it out now?

Christmas Day Recipes

Christmas day recipes

It’s the final rush this week with Christmas Day on Sunday.

I usually love all the build up but with two extra little ones this year it’s been just a bit too hectic and I will be very glad when it’s Christmas morning and we can relax and enjoy it (especially as I am having lunch cooked for me this year!)

Winter officially starts on Wednesday, so I wonder if we will see a smattering of snow or some beautiful crisp frosty days. They would be a vast improvement on the wild and wet weather we have been experiencing recently.

Now, it may be last minute, but it’s not too late to create a fabulous feast on Christmas day.

Just follow these wonderful recipes for a meal to remember.

Here are my favourite recipes for the big day. Have a fantastic time everyone!

Traditional Roast Turkey

Treacle-Glazed Red Cabbage

French-style Peas

Roast Potatoes

Cranberry Sauce

Tropical Christmas puddings

Brandy Butter

Many of these recipes taken from Dairy Book of Home Cookery which is available from the Dairy Diary store.

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Traditional Roast Turkey

A traditional turkey roast is an essential part of Christmas. Try this recipe to guarantee perfect results.

Tradition roast turkeyPreparation time – 2 hours
Cooking time – 2 hours
Calories per portion – 1100 Kcal
Fat per portion – 50g of which saturated – 19.2g
Serves – 8 Suitable for freezing

Bronze turkey 6kg (12lb) oven-ready bird
Butter 25g (1 oz) softened

For the stock
Giblets from turkey, well washed
Onion 1 large, peeled and quartered
Carrot 1 large, peeled and sliced
Parsley 1 large sprig
Bay leaves 3
Rosemary 1 large sprig
Black peppercorns 1 tsp
Chicken stock or water 900ml (11⁄2 pints)

For the stuffing
Frozen peeled chestnuts 225g (8oz)
Chicken stock 300ml (1⁄2 pint)
Butter 50g (2oz)
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Smoked rindless streaky bacon rashers 225g (8oz), cut into thin strips widthways
Onion 1 large, peeled and finely chopped
Lean, good quality pork sausages 400g (14oz), skinned
Chopped parsley 4 tbsp
White breadcrumbs 110g (4oz)
Mixed dried herbs 1 tbsp
Lemon 1, finely grated rind only Egg 1 large, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the cranberry sauce
Cranberries 250g (9oz), washed, any stalks removed
Orange 1 large, finely pared rind and strained juice
Caster sugar 175g (6oz)
Mixed ground spice 1⁄2–1 tsp

For the gravy
Roasting juices from turkey see method
White or red wine 2–3 tbsp, optional
Plain flour 2–3 tbsp
Chicken stock 500ml (1 pint)

1 On Christmas Eve, prepare the stock. Place all the giblets except the liver in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and skim off the scum that has risen to the surface. Add all the remaining ingredients, cover and cook gently for 11⁄2 hours. Strain through a sieve, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate.

2 To make the stuffing, place the chestnuts in a saucepan, add the stock, partially cover and cook gently for 25 minutes, or until softened and most of the stock has been absorbed. Pour the nuts into a sieve placed over a bowl to drain, and leave until cold.

3 Meanwhile, chop the turkey liver and put into a large bowl. Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, add the bacon and cook until browned and crispy. Add to the turkey liver.

4 Add the onion to the fat and cook gently until softened, then add to the liver and bacon and cool. Add the chestnuts and all the remaining ingredients, season well and mix together.

5 To make cranberry sauce, place all the ingredients in a stainless steel saucepan, partially cover and cook gently until the cranberries are softened and the juices are reduced by half. Transfer to a serving bowl, allow to cool, cover and refrigerate.

6 To prepare the turkey, wipe the inside clean with kitchen paper. Stuff the neck end only with the stuffing, but not too tightly. Make any excess stuffing into balls and cook separately.

7 Smooth the neck skin evenly over the stuffing and secure with fine skewers. Smear the turkey all over with the softened butter. Put onto a large plate, loosely cover with foil and refrigerate.

8 On Christmas Day, remove the turkey from the refrigerator early in the morning to allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Place a roasting trivet or wire rack in the roasting tin and put the prepared turkey on top.

9 Cooking times for turkeys will vary according to their size, and also their type. Generally, cook for 40 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and continue cooking for 11⁄2–2 hours, basting frequently until cooked. To test it’s done, pierce the thigh at the thickest part – the juices should run clear yellow.

10 Carefully remove it from the roasting tin onto a serving plate, loosely cover with foil and leave to stand. Cook the stuffing balls while preparing the gravy and attending to the vegetables.

11 To make gravy, skim the fat from the roasting juices into a bowl, strain through a sieve and set aside. Pour the wine into the roasting tin, and bring to the boil, scraping the browned residue from the pan’s bottom. Then strain into the bowl of juices.

12 Pour 3–4 tbsp of the turkey fat into a saucepan and stir in the flour. Add the stock and strained juices and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and allow to boil gently for 3–4 minutes, until reduced. Pour into a gravy boat for serving. Garnish the turkey with sprigs of rosemary and serve.

Cook’s tip
Grilled chipolata sausages and bacon rolls are a delicious and traditional accompaniment for a roast turkey. Cook with the stuffing balls: 35–45 minutes.

Recipe taken from Around Britain Dairy Cookbook

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