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Christmas dinner can be one of the most stressful meals of the year to prepare, but it doesn’t have to be!
By starting the process now, you can get ahead and make sure that your Christmas day is filled with bucks fizz and silly board games instead of peeling, boiling and stirring!
As well as preparing your sides, you can also pre-make and freeze your mince pies using your very own mincemeat (it’s much easier than you think just click on the links and follow my super simple recipes!)
So, apart from mince pies, what are my top 5 sides to prepare in advance?
- Gravy – No Christmas dinner is complete without a good gravy. My recipe takes about 1.5 hours to cook, but most of that time it is just doing its thing and you can get on with yours! Once its ready, you can cool it and freeze it for up to 3 months. When the big day arrives, you need to pour your defrosted gravy into the roasting tray with your turkey juices, bring it to the boil and add a little cranberry sauce to balance out the flavours … deliciously simple!
- Roast potatoes – No one wants to spend Christmas morning peeling their vegetables, so you need to do it now and pop them in the freezer! All you need to prep them, is parboil your potatoes, roughen them up, add some flour and fat and then freeze them on a tray (you can transfer to a freezer bag once they are frozen). You don’t even need to defrost them; once your turkey is out of the oven and resting: just pop the frozen potatoes in a tray of hot fat and cook until crisp and brown (about an hour);
- Carrots and parsnips – These are even simpler than the potatoes! You just need to parboil and freeze. When you are ready to cook them, heat up some butter and honey in a large roasting tray and then add your vegetables. They’ll take about 30 minutes to cook from frozen;
- Bread Sauce – a strangely British side that tends to be a feature on a many a Christmas table! It takes about 30 minutes to cook and then can be frozen until Christmas day: just defrost and reheat
- Cranberry Sauce – this is my ultimate side and definitely isn’t just for Christmas! Making your own is really easy and takes just 10 minutes! Best of all, it doesn’t need reheating on the day, just bring it to room temperature and pop on your festive table in a fancy bowl.
I am planning on having all of my food-prep done by the first week in December – on Christmas Day, I’ll just have to pop my turkey and sides in the oven: no peeling, no boiling, no fuss!