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Christmas food to make ahead

(24 Posts)
foodiemama26 Sat 25-Nov-17 16:09:40

What do you make ahead of christmas that keeps/freezes well? I want to avoid the manic run up to Christmas day and prep as much as possible over the next few weeks but don’t want to waste time freezing things that won’t defrost well. We’re cooking for 12 this year so all suggestions welcome!

Pouffealouffe Sat 25-Nov-17 16:13:08

Sausage rolls grin

beckythomas Sat 25-Nov-17 18:10:19

Christmas Pudding - this is best made well in advance. You can always preserve it until Christmas.

Taffeta Sat 25-Nov-17 18:22:17

For the first time ever, I have cooked and frozen 50 sausage rolls and 30 mince pies.

Will make more mince pies fresh from mid Dec but lots of entertaining 23-27 Dec so nice to think they are waiting in the freezer.

Taffeta Sat 25-Nov-17 18:23:43

Will also make cranberry sauce in the next two weeks. Mine has lots of port in so keeps well in the fridge.

Triangularsquare Sat 25-Nov-17 18:26:05

I'm planning on doing red cabbage and Jamie Oliver's make-ahead gravy and freezing both next weekend

NumberEightyOne Sat 25-Nov-17 18:29:03

Red cabbage and gravy. Did Jamie Oliver's last year but didn't like it (think it was the star anise) so I will try a different recipe this year.

Lunaballoon Sat 25-Nov-17 18:29:08

Stuffing and JO’s make ahead gravy.

NeverUseThisName Sat 25-Nov-17 18:38:48

The wrapped sausages - I prep them and freeze them in the disposable foil trays in which I will bake them.

The meat - I stuff, truss and weigh it, then wrap it in foil and write the weight on before I freeze it. We don't have turkey, but I expect you could still do it with turkey.

All the roast roots can be par-boiled, greased, seasoned and frozen in bags. Freeze them spread out so that they don't stick to each other, though you can shake them down to the bottom of the bag for compact storage once they're frozen.

We make an obscene number of mince pies, then freeze them in bags of about 15.

Cake for the trifle can be made ahead and frozen. Can even be jammed and sherries, if your trifle bowl can be spared for the freezer.

Christmas pudding and Christmas cake don't need to be frozen. In fact they taste better if made well ahead of time.

We always have gingerbread, and I managed this year to remember to make the dough and freeze it. Unfortunately it seems to have disappeared into the gaping maw of the freezer, and I don't think I can be bothered to take everything out to search for it!

Fantasticmissfoxy Sat 25-Nov-17 18:47:49

Pork sage and onion stuffing - freeze uncooked to defrost overnight and cook on Christmas Day

Cranberry relish / sauce - freezes well

Roast potatoes, part boil, coat in polenta and freeze spaced out on trays before stashing in a bag. Cook well from frozen

Sloe gin and orange sorbet for our starter

Soup for starter - frozen

Cookies - cook from frozen for warm cookies whenever someone pops in past

Nigella's chocolate pistachio fudge - make a big batch and portion into little glassine bags and stash in the freezer as last minute gifts.

passemoilevin Sat 25-Nov-17 23:04:43

Do roasties actually cook as well from frozen as fresh? I don't desperately need them in the freezer but will be a little easier, but only want to do it if they're as good as fresh. They're the best bit grin

BikeRunSki Sat 25-Nov-17 23:07:40

Roasties from frozen par boiled spuds are excellent.

Fantasticmissfoxy Sun 26-Nov-17 18:06:11

Passem I actually think roasties are better from frozen - something to do with the freezing bursting the cell walls and making the insides fluffier or some such technical nonsense 🙈

headintheproverbial Sun 26-Nov-17 18:19:50

I've never put the star anise into JO's gravy. Leave that out and it's perfect.

dementedma Sun 26-Nov-17 18:25:06

Christmas cake and red cabbage are my two make aheads. This year I have also made Christmas pudding vodka

redexpat Mon 27-Nov-17 15:05:48

Another vote for JOs make ahead gravy minus the star anise.

gerbo Mon 27-Nov-17 15:59:13

Can I ask about the Jamie make ahead gravy?

Do you mash the chicken wings in with the veg when mashing? Do the bones mash down?

Thanks

Thinkingofausername1 Mon 27-Nov-17 16:08:37

Now I'm very hungry!

cathyclown Mon 27-Nov-17 16:13:42

I'm with those who par boil, shake, coat in a little goose fat and FREEZE the roasties. They are delicious. Only caveat is to ensure that you do not over cook them before freezing.

There is a tipping point where they can go to mush on defrosting, been there, done that! Have it down to a fine art now though. And I use foil trays, double up on them for stability.

I also buy frozen root veg in Aldi and roast them on the day. Delish with a bit of seasoning along with the olive oil on them. None of us likes sprouts. It is just easy and everyone loves them.

Home made or bought stuffing can be frozen.

We love creamy buttery mash, so I do this for the freezer too. But I only mash with real butter, no milk or cream for the freezer stage. That can be added when reheating.

foodiemama26 Mon 27-Nov-17 16:29:36

Roast potatoes seem to be a winner, I might do a small test batch if there is an art to it as I don’t want mushy roasts on Christmas day! JO gravy looks to be a hit too so I’ll get that sorted too. Thank you so much for the advice - hopefully will get some more bits done too.

Bamboofordinneragain Mon 27-Nov-17 22:22:48

And bread sauce freezes really well, defrost and add a fuckton (metric) of butter at the end...

Littlelambpeep Mon 27-Nov-17 22:31:14

I made cranberry sauce and Jamie's gravy today. No port in the cranberry sauce.. Now worried it won't keep.

The gravy (I didn't put in star anise) is lovely but quite thick. Beautiful though.

EmmaGrundyForPM Mon 27-Nov-17 22:35:35

I always do the gravy, roast potatoes and red cabbage in advance and freeze.

Roast potatoes are brilliant from frozen.

EmNetta Fri 01-Dec-17 14:15:00

I've copied my best ( pre-prepared) turkey recipe from local continental-owned restaurant, and wouldn't do any other these days.

Pre-cook turkey (butter-stuffing not necessary), cool and make plenty of gravy - I use half own chicken stock, half turkey. Cut turkey into thick (1cm) slices and freeze in gravy, probably more than one tray.

Stuffing's safer done separately, also little pigs for the red-meat eaters; both can be pre-prepared as above..

This turkey's never dry or under/over cooked, and if defrosted overnight, just needs re-heating through.

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