The traditional turkey dinner is often trundled out once a year at Christmas. It’s a fabulous meat that we should eat more often and a lower fat option to the chicken we Brits love so much. Although, why not challenge that sense of inevitability by serving something different but just as special this year?
There are so many favourites that are a joy to cook and Christmas is the perfect opportunity to spend time in the kitchen preparing those dishes on the wishlist before enjoying a well-deserved rest with loved ones. Below are a couple of meat options, a vegetarian choice and fish too, which will make fantastic dishes for your Christmas guests and challenge traditions.
The Vegetarian Option
First up is one for the vegetarians, but it’s sure to be popular with meat-eaters too. Yotam Ottolenghi’s mushroom parcel adds another gift to the day as diners unwrap their meal at the table and reveal a glorious mix of mushrooms, aromatic herbs and Pernod. Simply mix a variety of mushrooms, potatoes, herbs, Pernod and cream, wrap in greaseproof paper and pop in the oven for less than 20 minutes. The chef himself recommends serving this with steamed white rice sprinkled with pine nuts.
Another delicious alternative to turkey is a traditional Beef Wellington. This version by James Martin from Saturday Kitchen inserts pancakes between the pastry and the beef to guarantee a truly succulent and tender meal. Serve with fresh green vegetables and a few roasted potatoes to make the perfect Christmas meal variation.
Stuffed Monk Fish
Fish is traditionally a Christmas dish in many European countries and monkfish is a real treat. This particular dish only takes 15 minutes to prepare as well, allowing you to spend your Christmas Day opening presents, drinking wine, or going outside to enjoy the crisp cold air and the pleasant atmosphere.
Courtesy of the Cornish Fishmonger, this recipe combines the traditions of stuffing sage and onion into the monkfish, and roasting it. Finish it with a wine and cream sauce and your favourite vegetables along with new potatoes too. For the final touch, add parsley, a touch of grated lemon and a knob of butter to the spuds and then of course, tuck in!
Honey Roast Duck
A final choice for a change from turkey which retains the bird element of the British Christmas dinner is honey roast duck. This recipe is an extravagant winter warmer and Rachel Allan recommends serving it with a red cabbage an apple side dish and gravy.
You may also want to add a potato rosti as well to absorb some of the lovely honeyed juices; there are thousands of recipes for these online, but this one from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall is a favourite of ours.
With a range of tasty festive dinners like these, perhaps turkeys might just vote for Christmas.
Credits: Image from BigStock Images.