Christmas is a foodie’s paradise, with a wealth of different dishes available to sample, with many delights at restaurants and at home. Whether you will be dining at home or out at a restaurant, Christmas dinner is a meal that is planned and prepped for weeks prior to Christmas Day. When it comes to Christmas dinner, a feast with a roast turkey is the most popular choice, with many putting in orders for their Christmas turkeys months in advance.
However, there is a wealth of different options to consider for your Christmas meal, ranging from a nut roast to a goose. Deciding to select something new as your Christmas centrepiece can be an exciting change – and who knows, if you enjoy the change you could try something else next year. Turkeys originated in America, and were not available in Europe until the 15th century, with wild boar or even swan being the preferred Christmas dishes.
This article will discuss some less well known dishes you can try this Christmas to spice up your table!
What could be more delicious than a beautifully done steak? While a steak is certainly not a traditional Christmas dish, it is far quicker to prepare than a roast turkey. If you are anticipating a very busy day ahead of you at Christmas, visiting a lot of different relatives throughout the day for example, steaks can be prepared on the spot with a very short cooking time to ensure that your dinner is ready just at the correct moment.
Paired with a beautiful wine and some more traditional sides, you will have an incredibly delicious Christmas memory.
Turkey is the traditional Christmas dish, one that is often served the same way each year. Cooking a turkey can be very difficult, especially with a bigger bird, as it takes a long time for the entire turkey to be completely cooked.
If you are looking for a way to spice things up consider searching different ways to cook your turkey. With recipes for bacon wrapped birds, prune stuffing or even a marmalade glaze, there are so many ways to jazz up your turkey to create a new and interesting flavour for your guests.
A Christmas goose is another traditional dish, much like turkey. However, the popularity of goose at Christmas predates turkey, with records of geese being eaten by the Greeks and Romans and on the celebration of Michaelmas, a medieval precursor to Christmas.
Geese were probably domesticated around 3000 BC, bred for their large size and ability to act as guards due to their territorial nature. Similar to turkeys, they tend to reach their prime weight during the harvest period, making them perfect for a Christmas feast. The taste of goose is richer than turkey and a goose is often even larger than a turkey, making it a good choice for a larger gathering. Goose fat is a chef’s delight and is often used for cooking roast potatoes and vegetables.
While venison is not a traditional Christmas dish, it is a winter staple. Whether you are chomping into a delicious venison loin or a haunch, the taste of venison is rich and gamey, perfect for a chilly Christmas Day. Venison is a traditional dish that predates turkey in the British Isles by centuries.
Venison is one of the meats richest in protein, with very low amounts of saturated fat. A life spent roaming the wild means the meat of deer is often lean and rich, a fantastic meat for steaks and stews. If your local butchers don’t sell venison, getting in touch with a local deer park could give you an idea where to look.
Pigs in Blankets
A staple in any Christmas spread, pigs in blankets are a firm favourite each Christmas. Served most often in the form of cocktail sausages wrapped in bacon, for a heartier bite some use full size sausages to create the dish. Despite their popularity, they are a recent addition to the Christmas meal, with the first record of them being found in 1957 in America.
The original version of the dish evolved from a pigs in blankets dish from Vienna, where a sausage would be wrapped in croissant pastry before being cooked. The transition to bacon seems to have been a godsend for the dish as it has drastically increased in profile ever since.
Similar to turkey, duck is a darker and gamier tasting bird, if a lot smaller in size than the traditional turkey or goose. With dark meat and a taste that pairs delightfully with citrus, it is no wonder that many smaller families are now choosing duck as their main Christmas dish rather than turkey.
Ducks have been popular as a food source in Britain for thousands of years, both after hunting or when raised domestically. Prized for their delicious rich eggs as well as meat, duck makes for a fabulous roast with crispy skin and flavourful meat, perfect for your Christmas dinner.
Coming rapidly into vogue with the increase of vegan and vegetarian diets, which are becoming more and more common, the nut roast is a classic Christmas centrepiece for a vegan or vegetarian Christmas dinner. While initially it was quite unusual, a nut roast as part of the Christmas lunch is becoming a UK tradition.
Made with a selection of nuts such as walnuts, brazil nuts, pecans or almonds, nut roast is a filling dish with most of the taste coming from onions, celery, garlic and mushrooms that are mixed in with the other components of the nut roast. Often the result is similar to a vegetarian stuffing.
If you are considering booking with Salomons Estate for your Christmas dinner or another event, then please contact us here. If you have any questions about our Christmas events, then our staff will be happy to assist you.