Discover a new twist on your favourite Christmas side dishes as we look at the best items to grace from your table this festive season.
We take Christmas side dishes very seriously. In fact, putting together a list of five favourites has sparked a very animated debate about our must-have festive foods to accompany the big meal. It's the sprouts vs stuffing and the mighty mashed potato against a pile of crisp roast potatoes. The most anticipated roast dinner of the year deserves only the best accompaniments, so we've put together a range of oils and seasonings to super-charge your roast dinners.
The perfect festive potatoes start in the greengrocers, not the kitchen. You need to choose the best variety for your cooking methods. For roast potatoes, Rooster and Maris Piper potatoes will produce a crisp outside with an irresistible fluffy middle. If you're planning mash, Maris Pipers or Desiree will work best. For extra crispy roast potatoes with a sweet and smoky edge, we recommend our Roast Potato Oil - local Cotswold rapeseed oil infused with a delicious infusion of smoke, rosemary and garlic, and suitable for vegetarians and vegans.
Love them or hate them, Christmas is the time to eat Brussel sprouts. While they're popular in their native Belgium all year round, they definitely rise in popularity over the festive season in the UK. If you're used to overcooked soft sprouts, it might be time to take another look. Deep-fried sprouts with goat’s cheese and black chilli flakes anyone? Or how about our Brussels Sprout Dust? The blend includes a slight spicy flavour with a hint of garlic, which works really well with some salty Sprouts! Plus they're incredibly good for you - high in fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Originally a way of making limited meat go further, stuffing is now an institution of its own. The British Turkey Association recommends that you should stuff the neck end of the turkey only, right before cooking and seal by tucking in the skin. Stuffing in the cavity of the turkey may not cook properly and can cause food poisoning. Make sure you weigh the turkey after stuffing to calculate the correct cooking time. As a guide, for every 500g of stuffing add an extra 10 minutes to the unstuffed cooking time.
Pigs in blankets
There are two elements to pigs in blankets - the sausage and the wrapping. For the sausage, we prefer chipolatas to a traditional banger and look for high meat content. If you're wrapping in bacon, choose streaky rather than back bacon to ensure that they're sufficiently crispy. Pancetta also works wonderfully! Our Pigs in Blanket Dust can be sprinkled over in the last 10 minutes of cooking to add an extra smoky, spicy flavour.
This was a controversial one. Traditionally an accompaniment to roast beef, almost all meals can be improved by the addition of some crisply risen batter on the side. Leftover Yorkshire puddings can lead to the most epic Boxing Day sandwiches too. Layer up your leftovers into the Yorkshire pudding and roll it up like a burrito - perfect for eating on the sofa during a Christmas movie marathon.