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?

GrumpyCynicalBastard Wed 28-Nov-12 18:25:41

Ok. Thanks for that. It's good to share isn't it?

Clearly you've never tasted my mother's stuffing.


flybynight Wed 28-Nov-12 18:27:49

Totally agree. Turkey is incredibly bland and the thought of bread sauce makes me gip. We have beef Wellington, made by the man of the house. Tis lovely!

To be fair, the last 3 years we've had 2x Beef Wellingtons and 1x roast forerib of beef.

Turkey is pretty tasteless.

But the stuffing and cranberry sauce and ham with a honey mustard coating are divine.

I am missing my mums dinner this year as have to go to the ILs. Its a travesty!

MmeLinDude Wed 28-Nov-12 18:31:34

I do turkey crown with apricot and pork herb stuffing. If I do say myself, it is fucking amazing.

And homemade gravy. None of that Bisto that I use the rest of the year


LynetteScavo Wed 28-Nov-12 18:31:52

With all the trimmings!

Pigs in blankets, bread sauce (mine just happens to be phenomenal) cranberry sauce, chestnut stuffing, and I ^steam6 my veg.

Next you'll be telling us you don't like Christmas pudding and brandy butter.

AmberSocks Wed 28-Nov-12 18:32:30

We were thinking of going out on christmas day for a curry (we are big curry lovers and theres an amazing place half hour away near where we used to live) but part of me wants to do a christmas dinner,but i know i will be dissapointed like the rest of the time,we never ever have roasts so its the only time of the year we eat that kind of food.

AmberSocks Wed 28-Nov-12 18:33:20

I dont like christmas pudding!never tried brandy butter.

thegreylady Wed 28-Nov-12 18:33:24

pigs in blankets
proper gravy
cranberry sauce
slices of lean gammon alongside the turkey
crooglie [swede and potato mash]
sprouts tossed in butter with chopped chestnuts
honey glazed carrots and parsnips
Christmas pudding carried in to a candle lit room with blue flames dancing over it
Good wine,crackers,hats,love and fun.....yep just a roast??

LynetteScavo Wed 28-Nov-12 18:33:26

So many taste combinations on one plate...certainly not bland.

wtf1981 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:34:17

Yours might be like that!

MammaTJ Wed 28-Nov-12 18:35:35

Gravy is yummy when made properly. You just aren't doing it right.

LynetteScavo Wed 28-Nov-12 18:35:39

I love a curry, and it's a bit of a tradition now that we have one on Christmas eve.

I hardly ever do a roast during the year, but at Christmas I love to and pull out all the stops. I wouldn't go out to a restaurant for Christmas lunch, as I don't think anywhere could do it as well as me.

Each to his own, though. smile

IndridCold Wed 28-Nov-12 18:35:50

Yes, it's just a roast -definitely not rank or bland though!

AmberSocks Wed 28-Nov-12 18:36:25

I dont cook them but i have had them by other people and i dont see the attraction,i think its those kind of flavours just arent big enough for me.

gordyslovesheep Wed 28-Nov-12 18:36:30

well as far as I know it's not legally binding to eat it - so don't <giant eye roll>

I love a good roast dinner - obviously you have yet to have one grin

McChristmasPants2012 Wed 28-Nov-12 18:36:54

If a turkey is dry, then it's not cooked properly mine is never dry.

I inject a marinade into the muscles of the meat smile

AmberSocks Wed 28-Nov-12 18:37:37

ive never made gravy,that's what im saying,i dont eat anything you would have gravy on,i have had it in restaurants though,still bland imo.

I'd sort out your cooking if i were you. A good roast is never bland. Clearly you've never had a good roast.

Gosh, I feel sorry for you. I love Christmas dinner but then I don't cook it!

MmeLinDude Wed 28-Nov-12 18:38:33

I think if you want it to taste good, you have to make it yourself. With a really good recipe.

Going out for dinner, you are going to get bland turkey roast. The chefs been cooking it since Nov, and is thoroughly sick of the sight of it.

MmeLinDude Wed 28-Nov-12 18:39:12

You are being invited to the wrong dinner parties wink

Euphemia Wed 28-Nov-12 18:39:15

It's the one day a year we have a roast!

livingfortoday Wed 28-Nov-12 18:39:26

You mustn't be able to cook a good roast then simple flavours but still tasty done correctly.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:03

IMO christmas dinner should be all your favourite parts of a roast, if you don't like roasts then your christmas dinner should be your favourite celebrate type of dinner.

My christmas dinner is

Beef and a shoulder of pork
roast potatoes in goose fat
pigs in blankets
caulli cheese
cranberry, apple and horse raddish sauce
proper gravy not bisto
yorkshire puddings
selection of oast veg incl sweet potato, squash, peppers, tomatoes, courgette, carrots, parsnips.

And its luusshh but you should have your favourites!

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:36

I love Christmas lunch for all the reasons greylady said.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:40:49

Google Jamie olivers christmas gravy, looks lush!

DragonMamma Wed 28-Nov-12 18:41:34


It's my favourite meal of the year, ours tastes amazing and anything other than bland. We have a turkey crown which we brine a la Nigella and a rib of beef with all the trimmings plus an amazing cauli and broccoli cheese. And we have proper gravy all year anyway but it always tastes that bit nicer on Christmas day.

It's the gravy that makes it, how people have bisto on their Christmas dinner is beyond me. I'd weep at the table.

MmeLinDude Wed 28-Nov-12 18:41:34

That's the recipe I use.

gordyslovesheep Wed 28-Nov-12 18:42:02

yeh I have

Roast Chicken
roast spuds
mixed veg
pigs in blankets
bread sauce (all for me grin )

it's yummy

racingheart Wed 28-Nov-12 18:42:46

You're allowed to make the flavours big. Blitz garlic, fresh chilli, olive oil, fresh herbs and lemon zest together in blender then rub all over the surface of the turkey with plenty of salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with a spiced stuffing. Buy herby chipolatas and wrap them in maple smoked streaky bacon. Roast the parnips with cumin or caraway seeds and potatoes with garlic and chilli flakes, sprouts with chestnuts and smoky bacon or pancetta, baby carrots in mustard and honey. And so on.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:42:53

Mmm it always looks nice, I really should try it.

Rindercella Wed 28-Nov-12 18:43:44

I was about to say YANBU, but reading further I absolutely have to disagree with it being bland. If done properly, any roast dinner can be delicious; Christmas dinner especially so as it should bring together everything people love to eat on one plate!

Since I started cooking turkey though I have gone off it (ugh to the huge gaping pores left from the feathers <shudder>), so now I do a capon. Last year, because we had 13 people, I cooked a leg of pork too. It was all lovely!

I do remember once, years ago, my then boyfriend coming over from Italy to stay over Christmas. He couldn't get enough of white sliced bread and that's all he stuffed himself with on Christmas Day! I guess that's what Christmas should be about - over indulging in all that you love, regardless of what it is.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:44:42

Oh there is a lush Haiti roast chicken recipe, its a levi roots one with plaintain and tomato stuffing and a lime breadcrumb thingy under the skin. It's what they have for christmas over there is that sounds more down your street?

DontmindifIdo Wed 28-Nov-12 18:48:09

Carrots and parsnips are best when roasted - with the exception of doing carrot and swede mash (with chinese 5 spice and industrial quantities of butter). You are right, over boiled veg is vile, so don't do it. And often stuff if boiled for far too long.

IMO turkey is one of those meats that you can taste how much you've spent, cheap turkey meat is rank and tasteless - if you can't afford to buy good turkey, just don't bother and have something else. Plus most people seem to cook it for about 2hours longer than they need too so it's often dry.

If you do it yourself, it's easy enough, just work backworks from what time you want everything on the table and don't be tempted to put veg on early, so overcooking it all.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Wed 28-Nov-12 18:50:40

You are clearly not a very good cook wink

Seriously though - well done on having such a sophisticated palate smile

Rindercella Wed 28-Nov-12 18:52:05

Haitian roast chicken with 2 stuffings (just pulled out his cookbook as my lovely sil was on his cookery show a few years ago)? That sounds bloody lovely!

bedmonster Wed 28-Nov-12 18:52:41

Well don't take it the wrong way but it sounds like its your cooking that's the problem.
Our sprouts are cooked with lemons, garlic, pancetta, white wine. The Cauli cheese is heavy on the parmesan, as are the parsnips. Yummy free range sausages and streaky Bacon, home made yorkies and gravy as always, never bought a tub of bisto in my life, that stuff stinks bad! Spiced cabbage - and the best rib of beef, well aged and beautifully marbled. None of its bland, nothing is boiled and we definitely dont have a dry chicken. No wonder you don't want it if that's what you're expecting!

MsVestibule Wed 28-Nov-12 18:55:38

OK, the closest I come to homemade gravy is by using the cooking water from the veg and the juices from the roast, mixed in with a few teaspoons of Bisto. I would love to make real gravy, though - any foolproof recipes from anybody?

Yes, I know I could Google one, but I'd like one that's tried and tested by RL people. Please.

And OP, YAsooooooBU. Have you been brought up up to eat 'British' food? If so, which traditional British dishes aren't offensive to your robust palate? I bloody love roast dinners and mine are fantastic <not so stealth boast>. How can you describe sprouts and cranberry sauce as bland???

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:57:23

Rindercella I freeze framed that whole part when he done it on telly to write it down bit by bit. Still haven't tried it but I so want to it looks proper lush.

InNeedOfBrandy Wed 28-Nov-12 18:58:12

Oh yes don't forget the red cabbage with apple and raisens mmmmm

OwedToAutumn Wed 28-Nov-12 18:58:47

If you want a curry, then have a curry.

Turkey is a bland meat, which is where the skill off the chef comes in. I think you need to revisit your xmas dinner recipes. Any meal can be bland and uninteresting if badly cooked. The 'posh' curry house near me serves bland food, and it is a CURRY house!!!

What are you calling traditional British food btw? This is a country known for game, amazing puddings and the like. Game is usually cooked with gutsy flavours - red wine, juniper, cranberry etc. Bland? Hardly.

Pandemoniaa Wed 28-Nov-12 19:08:19

If a traditional roast Christmas meal isn't big enough for your tastebuds then don't have one. To paraphrase - "your stomach, your dinner".

bedmonster Wed 28-Nov-12 19:09:36

MV, skim off the fat from the top of your juices. The clear stuff, not the cloudy stuff. You can add a small spoon of flour now. Bubble it up on the hob. You can now add some stock, wine and mustard in whichever combination you fancy. Usually I prefer the just the stock as the main flavour with a slug of wine and.spoon of English mustard. Bring to s simmer and reduce to desired consistency. Then add back in extra juices from your meat which will be resting. Ditch the bisto, you will never look back!!!

CarlingBlackMabel Wed 28-Nov-12 19:11:04

Spiced red cabbage, home-made cranberry, chipolatas, stuffing, veg cooked in different ways with chestnuts, lardons etc, proper robust gravy, no a christmas dinner does not need to be bland at all.

But what do you like, OP?

MmeLinDude Wed 28-Nov-12 19:12:43

Similar to Bedmonster - put the roast aside while you make the gravy, wrapped in tin foil. A roast should be rested for 20 mins before serving so you have plenty of time.

TricksyLaBOOshh Wed 28-Nov-12 19:17:13

And braised red cabbage...mmm

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

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.


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


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
Roasties in goose fat
Proper gravy and cranberry relish

For pudding either:

chocolate Christmas pudding

Christmas spiced chocolate cake

saffron, Cointreau and gingernut cheesecake

spiced eggnog cheesecake

Eggnog syllabub


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


AmberSocks Thu 29-Nov-12 12:56:51

Hmm not sure about the carp either!

racingheart Thu 29-Nov-12 13:05:06

I think cooking a big curry from scratch, with all the trimmings: dahl and sag and naan has the same effect as Christmas dinner - an out of the ordinary effort to keep you going during the darkest days of the year.

Eat whatever you fancy. People make their own traditions. I quite fancy doing curry one year once DS2 finally comes round to appreciating it. Roast is still his favourite dinner, though.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 29-Nov-12 13:08:09

Yes, actually! Just stop being so rude about something that lots of people love. You are coming across as if you think you are somehow superior.

Anyway I'm not engaging further because you are just looking for a reaction now.

MissMogwi Thu 29-Nov-12 13:10:09

YABVU and you obviously haven't had a good roast dinner before.grin

I love Christmas dinner, the king of roast dinners IMO, and even better if someone else makes it. Yummy pigs in blankets, roasties, lots of veg, turkey and mum's gravy. Can't wait.

Enigmosaurus Thu 29-Nov-12 13:12:33


Christmas Dinner is the ultimate Roast Dinner. I am drooling at the thought already.

mignonette Thu 29-Nov-12 13:14:16

I don't understand why people get into such a lather. It surely is just more of the similar?

And that bloody Morrisons advert- Sexist stereotyped crap.

Scheherezade Thu 29-Nov-12 13:18:33

We're having a five bird roast. That's a pretty good roast to me grin

Mrsjay Thu 29-Nov-12 13:18:56

Actually now my dds are older christmas dinner is the highlight I love christmas dinner , i am going out next week with work for lunch and I am going to have the works <drool>

I said before i go to my mums but I buy and cook pigs in blankets and cook them just to munch on while watching xmas telly

mignonette Thu 29-Nov-12 13:20:59

We have made 14 Christmas Puddings so far and have three left from last year that we have been feeding with Rum or Brandy all year. We supply three of our local market traders with thank you puddings and each Autumn they anxiously check with us that we're going to make them.

Nigel Slater's highly adapted recipe- works perfectly!

Oh and DH has made a Creme De Menthe Roulade for the last 25 years in various Christmas houses. It would not be Christmas without that.

We are having either Beef or Tuna Carpaccio this year for starters. Parmiggiano from La Fromaggeria even though Aldi's Parmiggiano is just as tasty TBH (corroborated by our Italian relatives from the DOC region where it is made).

RingoBaa Thu 29-Nov-12 13:26:00

I was actually thinking today that its just a roast. I was planning on doing a traditional Xmas dinner but I'm vegetarian and my kids are young and picky so I'm going to do a buffet lunch instead. Sort of birthday party food and a big chocolate Christmas cake. Can't wait!

FellatioNelson Thu 29-Nov-12 13:26:12

Are you forrin Ambersocks? I have forrin friends who are all militant gravy avoiders, even on English food like roasts and then they have the cheek to complain that they don't like roasts. shock Well probably neither would I if they didn't have any lovely gravy on. It has to be proper gravy though - none of your granules with hot water shite.

All you Christmas dinner haters must just be rubbish cooks, or you must have suffered in the clutches of some rubbish cooks, that's all I can say. grin

American 'gravy' is a vile abomination though. It's not proper gravy at all. <hoiks bosom>

bochead Thu 29-Nov-12 15:12:45

Over the years my Mother & I have done a "proper" scratch cooked British Xmas dinner for a variety of nationalities (Nigeria to Romania, a few Japanese swinging by on the way) and NEVER have we heard it called "just a roast". Twould be enough to have me sobbing in me mulled cider!

My Mum's pud is to die for, my cake is gaining it's own following & if you haven't added a sprig of Rosemary to your roasties, or sampled our chesnut stuffing you haven't truly lived imho.

You continue to boil all the goodness out of your veg dear, and I'll cook mine properly. Don't cover it up with a side helping of snoot. If you don't want that American import turkey do a goose as per the nursery rhyme or discover just why the French called us le ros bif for centuries - roast Scottish beef is probably the best in the world!

"Mum's been to Iceland" or sampled Wetherspoons & let the side down methinks. The best of British cooking isn't to be found via poncey TV chefs or fancy restaurants but in perfectly ordinary kitchens throughout the land. There's a LOT wrong with British culture right now - but a decent Xmas dinner isn't one of them.

Dear Lord, next you'll be telling us you don't appreciate the occasional cup of proper builders tea brewed nice and strong.

Ah well, "keep calm and carry on" there's all the more for me wink

laptopdancer Thu 29-Nov-12 15:15:14

I went to my first Xmas "festive meal" at a local pub restaurant yesterday and, depsite it being called a festive menu and costing more, it was indeed just a roast. Rubbish.

Kendodd Thu 29-Nov-12 15:20:18

We always have turkey, aren't you supposed to eat loads of food you don't like at Christmas?

Mince Pies
Christmas Pudding

Nobody likes them but we all still eat the because it Christmas and you're meant to. I draw the line a Christmas cake though.

SantyClaws Thu 29-Nov-12 15:56:47

speak for yourself Ken - we love all those things in this house grin

AmberSocks Thu 29-Nov-12 16:16:23

Im not foreign but my mum is Italian,my husband is half spanish.I find traditional english food quite bland,i have had properly cooked roasts before,they were nice but like i said before,i dont see the big deal or how they are anything special.and its nothing to do with how they are cooked,if someones not keen on fish you dont tell them theyve never had a nice fish,or if someone doesnt like curry you dont tell them theyre just going to the wrong places!

I think its quite funny how you are all getting offended tbh grin its just food!

And tea is ok,lovely sometimes but you cant beat a nice (italian) coffee.wink

giveitago Thu 29-Nov-12 16:57:08

Imperial - thanks for the recipe - sounds straight forward enough. But I'm sure I'll screw it up.

To me it's like a fry up. Lovely to have sometimes but a pain to make with all the different foods cooking at different speeds.

I make great roast potato and veggies though.

I've convinced dh we need roast this christmas as ds has just got into them.

Zippylovesgeorge Thu 29-Nov-12 17:00:25

Love christmas dinner - the turkey is just a small part of it. Buy a boned turkey crown - cooks quickly and remains so tender and no waste except the string!

Love all the veggies too - roast spuds & parsnips, carrots, red cabbage and sprouts - plus the bread sauce, stuffing and lashings of gravy!

Am hungry for one now !

maxybrown Thu 29-Nov-12 17:47:21

I see where you are coming from OP - I don't find it bland at all and would eat roasts every day of the year, but I completely get what you are saying.

MY DH doesn't like roasts at all, he too finds them bland (no, it's not me, I am good at cooking!) t then what does he know, he'd live off processed ham sandwiches if I let him hmm

He wants to have lamb this year, but not sure what we will do as he still wants turkey as he loves turkey and the works sandwiches!

Hobbitation Thu 29-Nov-12 17:51:02

It is just a roast, it's all the extra trimmings and veg that make it special, and also the numbers can make it more difficult than usual. I think the challenges it presents most people are is timing, space and keeping everything warm enough for the table. The only manic bit for me is serving up. All hands on deck for that.

I don't have to do anything this year though as it's not my turn, and PIL are doing venison not turkey - yum!

nkf Thu 29-Nov-12 17:55:07

It's all about the trimmings and leftovers. Turkey, stuffing and cranbery sandwich. Bubble and squeak with a fried egg. It's all good. The turkey is just the means to an end.

spoonsspoonsspoons Thu 29-Nov-12 17:55:48

I suspect you may have got different responses if you hadn't included the phrase "which are pretty rank anyway"

I'd tend to think that anyone who thinks a roast dinner is rank hadn't ever had a decent one, if they said it wasn't something they particularly got excited about I'd think fair enough.

AmberSocks Thu 29-Nov-12 17:57:53

most are rank,really well cooked ones with lots of flavours are ok,but not something i want to eat on a special occassion.

katykuns Thu 29-Nov-12 18:15:41

Even when it's bad it's good... because it's a tradition, it's what you do. If you haven't grown up with it, you probably will never hold it in any importance to the people that have.

Rosemary and garlic roast potatoes went down a storm the last two years. Rosemary soaked in goose fat with garlic puree (from the tube) mixed in. It was super strong smile

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