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to think christmas dinner is just a roast....

(99 Posts)
AmberSocks Wed 28-Nov-12 18:24:36

which are pretty rank anyway.

I'm not keen on English food,most of it is really bland,a Christmas dinner is basically just boiled veg and some chicken,gravy isn't particularly interesting.

I don't get the big deal?

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 28-Nov-12 19:26:30

www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/haitianroastchickenw_91735 heres the link to that chicken amber,

DrCoconut Wed 28-Nov-12 19:28:05

As a vegetarian who hates dried fruit, the traditional Christmas dinner has its limitations for me. But I have my own little traditions growing up, like cinnamon panna cotta or egg nog tart instead of Christmas pudding and homemade nut roast for main course.

VivaLeBeaver Wed 28-Nov-12 19:32:49

I don't boil any veg.

We have roast chicken
Yummy bread sauce.
Roast potatoes
Yorkshire pudds
Red cabbage and sultanas in red wine
Cheesy leeks using Brie
Carrot and swede mash or roasted carrots.
Stuffing

Might boil some peas actually.

MsVestibule Wed 28-Nov-12 21:03:37

Thanks for the gravy tips! I'll give it a try this year, but maybe have a trial run before Christmas Day to check it doesn't go all lumpy. Do you think this is worth it?:

Yet Another 'Must Have' Lakeland gadget

I currently pour the fat/juices into a clear cup, wait a few minutes, then spoon the fat off the top before adding the juices to the gravy, so I guess this is just a fancy way of doing that.

Sorry to hijack, OP. Hope you've now seen the error of your ways and cancelled the reservation at the local curry house wink.

bedmonster Wed 28-Nov-12 21:07:40

It looks like it would work but you'd need a lot of juices to make it work without any waste I guess?
But it doesn't matter how you get rid of it, I have been known to lay a few sheets of kitchen roll on the top as it all absorbs into it!
And yeah, OP, where are you?

KenLeeeeeee Wed 28-Nov-12 21:10:27

My Christmas dinners - and for that matter, my Sunday roasts - are fucking amazing. Not a bland bit or soggy veg in sight.

YABVVVU.

Loislane78 Wed 28-Nov-12 21:13:38

You're aware most curries have a 'gravy' which basically just means a sauce made from the juices of the meat/veg in the dish.

That being the case, whether its curry our what we consider traditional British, gravy should be anything but bland if you're doing it right.

Loislane78 Wed 28-Nov-12 21:14:08

*or

MissSlapAndTipple Wed 28-Nov-12 21:15:36

noooo Christmas dinner is amazing. It's important that all veg present is coated in something extra to make it super unhealthy but twice as enjoyable. Starter of pate (or melon balls for my ultra picky stupid brother), massive roast with carrots, sprouts, cabbage, peas, broccoli, leeks (covering as much of the veg in cheese, preferably blue and stinky!), Christmas pudding or trifle or profiteroles for pud, cheese board and coffee for when Queenie does her speech. Then chocolates, have to be after eights. then more coffee, then G&T then champagne. God I love Christmas. smile Anyway there is no law that says you have to have roast, you can have whatever you like. It's just about having a special and fun day with the people you love.

giveitago Wed 28-Nov-12 21:33:24

Oooh I wish I could make a roast. I'm crap (with the meat) but I never boil veggies for any nationality cuisine really. OP - don't you know how to make a roast either? Maybe that's why I don't bother as I'm no good at it.

I'm getting lots of inspiration on this thread though. Might give it another whirl.

How do you make a roast beef without it getting dry - and I'm talking about a small piece of beef as we're a family of three. What cuts and how do you do it?

somewheresomehow Wed 28-Nov-12 21:37:36

cant cook then op wink

Scheherezade Wed 28-Nov-12 23:27:58

Turkey isn't English. That'd be goose.

ImperialStateKnickers Wed 28-Nov-12 23:53:23

MsVestibule I bought a fat separator jug, but found that my old method of pouring off all but last quarter inch of fat worked better. It now lives in the dusty cupboard of frankly unused kitchen devices.

If you hover over my name you will see....

... that I am the Goddess of Gravy Making.

To make Goddess gravy.

Remove joint from roasting tin. cover in foil and a teatowel and leave to rest. The longer you leave it the better, my record is five hours. (but half an hour will do). The meat just gets better, the oven is now empty again for other stuff and you have time to fart about with gravy, veg, bread sauce, yorkshire puds, whatever.

Pour off all but quarter inch/5mm of the clear fat on the top of the yummy gunk in roasting dish. You should pour it into a jar or cup, it has a catastrophic effect on the u-bend. If it's beef, you can recycle it for roast potatoes, it is Dripping. If you've cooked pork, it's Lard. It won't be all shiny white like the purified stuff in supermarkets, but it'll do the job. Goose fat is also reusable, but I've not yet found a new purpose for chicken or lamb fat.

Put in a good sprinkling of flour, and stir it into the roasting tin and juices. The right amount is enough to suck up all the fluid but still be a bit runny. You can always add a little more but you can't take it out. (Like salt).

Now move the roasting tin to the hob, on a low setting, and stir it around with a wooden spatula. It will start to sizzle. At this point, add some hot fluid - meat stock if you've got it, or veg water if available, if not from the kettle, and stir like a loon. By cooking the flour in the gunk it is releasing gluten. Exactly the same as making white sauce. End of the Heston Blumenthal cookery as chemistry bit.

Keep adding liquid and stirring until it looks and tastes okay. Then jug it and keep warm until needed. Or nuke it if it gets too cold.

If you have a jar of Bisto Gravy Granules, your gravy is far less likely to go wrong, this is the same principle as it will not rain if you've remembered to take your umbrella.

ImperialStateKnickers Thu 29-Nov-12 00:05:31

giveitago, roasting is better the bigger the piece of meat. Any cut less than about 1.2 kg is not going to roast brilliantly.

Assume you will be getting two, maybe three meals out of your joint. Get a piece of toprump or topside, about 1.5 kg. Get the sort with added basting fat.

Use a roasting tin large enough that none of the meat overhangs. Put the roasting tin on the hob on high, and sear/seal the outer surfaces of the meat, apart from the bit with basting fat on. Hook it out, pop a trivet (a wire rack to hold it away from the bottom) into the tin, and replace the meat on top.

Move it into the oven, at 160 degrees centigrade (fan). Leave for 20 minutes per 500g plus twenty minutes. So for our 1.5 kg example, one hour twenty minutes. This will give rare (deep pink) meat. For medium, it's 25 and for well done (yuk, IMHO), 30 mins.

Then follow instructions above re the gravy.

Meal one - serve hot with yorkshire puds, roasties etc.

Meal two - cold, with baked spuds

Meal three - cottage pie.

And/or turn into lunchbox sandwiches.

chipmonkey Thu 29-Nov-12 00:14:22

Er, you can feck right off with your "just a roast"
I make everything from scratch.
Turkey with herb stuffing and sausage-and-chestnut stuffing
Fillet of Ham, boiled then glazed with brown sugar and pineappple
Roast potatoes
Sprouts, halved, boiled then tossed in butter,
Orange veg , all sorts, mashed with pepper and butter.
Homemade cranberry sauce
Homemade gravy
Homemade bread sauce
Homemade cumberland sauce.

Smoked salmon to start

Christmas pudding with brandy cream or custard or on a good year Mrs Hanrahans sauce.

nappyaddict Thu 29-Nov-12 01:00:20

Not sure what to do for starter. Dont fancy soup, melon or pate. Maybe tiger prawns and smoked salmon. Any other ideas?

Meat is either:

Capon/goose/duck/beef Wellington/rack of lamb/venison

Pigs in smoked streaky bacon blankets
Cauliflower, broccoli and leeks in Brie
Roast veg in garlic butter and parmesan (carrots, parsnips, butternut squash, peppers, courgettes, onions, cherry plum tomatoes)
Braised red cabbage with red wine and pancetta
Carrot and swede mash
Mange tout
Sprouts
Roasties in goose fat
Proper gravy and cranberry relish
Stuffing

For pudding either:

chocolate Christmas pudding

Christmas spiced chocolate cake

saffron, Cointreau and gingernut cheesecake

spiced eggnog cheesecake

Eggnog syllabub

Then:

Liquer floater coffees with DIY truffles

nappyaddict Thu 29-Nov-12 01:21:05

Partridge, pheasant and lamb Wellington are also nice.

nappyaddict Thu 29-Nov-12 01:32:40

Or you could have poussin, slow cooked lamb, rib of beef, ham etc .... So many options.

AmberSocks Thu 29-Nov-12 09:31:02

Sorry i forgot about this thread!

I dont think it is my cooking thats the problem though,i am a good cook,dh is better than me but i am good at cooking.

I dont think its fair to say id ont like them just because ive never had a good one,you could say that about anything,im just not into those kind of flavours.

The only thing ive ever liked on a roast is when one year i did the roast potatoes with chilli and cumin (i think,it was a gordan ramsey recipe)and the sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts,i liked those.

Its just that christmas is supposed to be a day where you eat something fabulous an really go all out,i would never usually cook a roast the rest of the year so i was thinking of doing something else,equally special,but not raditional english,if that makes sense.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 29-Nov-12 09:36:53

If it is not to your taste, then fine, but there is no need to be insulting.

A good roast is delicious if it is cooked with a degree of skill and with good quality ingredients - perhaps you are just not fortunate enough to have come across one yet.

AmberSocks Thu 29-Nov-12 09:40:09

Where was i insulting?

Sorry i dont want to hurt the roast dinners feelings hmm

AmberSocks Thu 29-Nov-12 09:41:56

thats bollocks,thats like saying to a lesbian you just havnt come acroos the right man,sometimes people just dont like things no matter how well they are cooked?

I have had really well cooked roasts before,they are ok,but i dont see what the big deal is thats all im saying.

God is this some kind of pride thing?Insulting one of the great british institutions?

BegoniaBigtoes Thu 29-Nov-12 09:48:01

YANBU, of course it's just a roast, so if you don't like a roast, you're not going to like it.

I love it, I love all the bits and bobs really - fancy sprouts, cranberry sauce, gravy, parsnips, pigs in blankets. Turkey is bland, but that's hardly the point - you smother it with yummy stuff. I think the point about xmas dinner is that you would never normally bother with all the faff, but you do and reap the benefits of an amazing spread. You can do the same, just with food you like.

In much of europe that have carp - if I lived there I sure as hell wouldn't be joining in with that. Have what you like!

BegoniaBigtoes Thu 29-Nov-12 09:48:46

YANBU, of course it's just a roast, so if you don't like a roast, you're not going to like it.

I love it, I love all the bits and bobs really - fancy sprouts, cranberry sauce, gravy, parsnips, pigs in blankets. Turkey is bland, but that's hardly the point - you smother it with yummy stuff. I think the point about xmas dinner is that you would never normally bother with all the faff, but you do and reap the benefits of an amazing spread. You can do the same, just with food you like.

In much of europe they have carp - if I lived there I sure as hell wouldn't be joining in with that. Have what you like!

BegoniaBigtoes Thu 29-Nov-12 09:49:00

oops

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