Food to prep in advance(14 Posts)
Does anyone prepare and Christmas dinner food in advance?
I am hosting Christmas breakfast for one set of guests then dinner for another set of guests so looking for any tips.
I have read that meat can be made the day before, has anyone done that successfully?
All tips are welcome
I don't know about successful but I'm doing the meat the night before to save time and space. I tried using the slow cooker for my gammon joint yesterday but it just took up room so I'm not bothering.
I think you can also part roast potatoes but not sure??!
I don't do the meat before but last year I pre made:
- smoked mackerel pate and chicken liver pate for the starters (and supper!)
-carrot and swede mashed up. Worked well and just needed microwaving to heat up.
-braised red cabbage. Absolutely fine re heated
-yule log (I put the chocolate icing stuff on on the day though)
It meant that on Christmas day I had to do some toast for the starter and the meat, roasties and sprouts for the main. It made the day easy. I have read about people doing the roasties the day before but they a too important in our house to risk a failure!
In our house, we have the potatoes and vegetables prepare the day before (washed, peeled, chopped etc) ready to just cook. I know some parboil potatoes and shake with goose fat ahead of time too, so they can go straight into the oven.
We also make the stuffing the day before - could easily be earlier and frozen.
Same with gravy - just add cooking juices and reheat on the day just before serving.
Most starters and deserts can be done in advance - at least prepped to the point of putting in the oven if cooking is required on the day.
You can also have the meat prepared and in a tinfoil covered tray from 24th, ready to just put into the oven but not needing any messy preparation.
I do veggies before hand. I do braised red cabbage and apple and then bag it up and freeze it. I usually do that this month. Also parboil potatoes and freeze with fat ready to roast from frozen on the day. I wrap the pigs in blankets and freeze them. I have frozen stuffing in the past to reheat on the day. The only things I do on the day is the meat and any veg that is only going to be boiled so basically sprouts. But I’ve taken to shredding those and pan frying them with bacon and have also frozen them that way in the past. I freeze gravy whenever I’ve made too much and that reheats with no problems.
I don’t have guests at Christmas so I’m not subjecting myself to any criticism but no one here ever complains about taste or anything. And as it’s just us I don’t like to spend all morning cooking.
Oh and Delia’s Sausage rolls freeze really well if you’re doing buffet things. Best bit of Christmas.
I freeze homemade cranberry sauce, gravy, red cabbage and pigs in blankets (either homemade or bought) a few weeks in advance. The day before I prepare potatoes, sprouts, make carrot and swede and chill, make bread sauce and chill (could probably freeze this, but never tried it) and do desserts.
I am hosting for first time ever and thinking of prepping as much as possible. I am currently trialling some roast potatoes done in advance and Delias Parmesan parsnips. (By trialling we had a roast at weekend and I made extra which are in freezer which I will bring out at another roast). However was not impressed with parsnips at weekend so maybe prep day before and leave in water unless the frozen version is massively better
While I would put carrots etc in water, I leave parsnips out of water as they get slimy if left soaking. They are fine until he air for 1 night.
I try to keep it simple. No one needs six different veg accompaniments to a huge meal.
I am not traditional, so no sprouts or pigs in blankets here! I just buy a pack of frozen root veg ready for oven roasting. Throw them in and cover with good olive oil, a drop of balsamic vinegar and some garlic salt. Yum. Perfectionists are clutching their pearls as we speak ha ha!
All the rest I get from M+S and shove in the oven. Turkey crown, stuffing, roast spuds, you get the drift. There is no way I am going to be a kitchen queen with sweat running down me on Christmas Day lol.
We don't do dessert/pudding here, but do have a tub of good vanilla ice cream in the freezer if anyone wants it. TBH we are like beached whales after dinner. It can sometimes be far too much.
I usually make the stuffing,mashed potatoes and cauliflower cheese a week or two in advance and freeze them then I just get them out the night before(so Christmas eve)to defrost.
The stuffing and cauliflower cheese are cooked through in the oven and the mashed potatoes goes into a pyrex dish and I top it with butter and heat through in the microwave it comes out lovely and creamy.
I've made the Tom Kerridge glazed carrots before and I did those the day before and the glazed pork belly I prepared that the day before so it was marinating over night in the fridge.
When I make mince pie Ice cream I usually make that a couple of weeks in advance as well.
I usually try and make sure that I've got a whole day free just before the DC break up from school and I'll use that day to make the food that I can freeze.
I par boil and freeze the spuds weeks in advance. They roast from frozen brilliantly.
Great ideas, thanks.
I think I’ll do the cabbage, bread sauce and potatoes early and freeze
Last year I did Jamie Olivers make ahead gravy which was one less thing to think about on the day.
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