Christmas Lunch Menu and Time Plan

courtesy of

 

Full recipes are linked to (red underlined) in the time plan where applicable. Don't forget to print them too. Space has been left on either side of the instructions so you can add actual times beforehand so you known exactly what time to do the various steps and once done, you can tick them off on the right hand side.

 

Roast Turkey with Sherry

Stuffing ,  Gravy,  Cranberry Sauce,  Bread Sauce

Roasted Bacon wrapped Sausages,  Roast Potatoes,  Roast Parsnips

Spiced Red Cabbage with Apple, Brussels Sprouts

 

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Christmas Pudding with Cream

Mince Pies with Brandy Butter

 

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Time

    Basic Roast Turkey Dinner

      The whole works!

Done
At least 2 days before
 

Start the Christmas Pudding.
It will still need re-steaming on the day.

 

Start the Christmas Pudding.
It will still need re-steaming on the day.

 

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At least  1 hour before you start cooking the turkey

 

Make the Brandy Butter . Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate.

Make the stuffing up (homemade or packet), allow to cool if necessary and refrigerate until later.
 

Make the Brandy Butter. Cover with clingfilm and refrigerate.
 

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20 minutes before you start cooking the turkey (or the day before)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Preheat the oven whilst you prepare the turkey. Remove the giblets from the neck and inside the cavity if they are present and set aside. Wash the bird thoroughly, both inside and out, preferably under cold running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper then season the bird all over with salt and pepper and other seasonings if using e.g. herbs, paprika etc.

Place the turkey, breast side up, in a large roasting tin and either smear liberally with softened butter or place lots of rashers of streaky bacon on the breast and legs so that they completely cover the surface and secure to the bird with wooden toothpicks. Just poke the toothpicks through the bacon into the turkey.

Cover the whole tin loosely with heavy duty aluminium foil, securing the ends to the lip of the roasting tin then carefully place in the pre-heated oven.  It will be heavier than you think so take care.
 

Preheat the oven whilst you prepare the turkey. Remove the giblets from the neck and inside the cavity if they are present and set aside. Wash the bird thoroughly, both inside and out, preferably under cold running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper then season the bird all over with salt and pepper and other seasonings if using e.g. herbs, paprika etc.

Place half an orange and half an un-skinned onion in the cavity of the turkey.

If you wish you can use some of the stuffing to fill the breast/neck cavity then fold the excess neck skin over to enclose the stuffing and secure with wooden toothpicks, small wire skewers or sew up with a needle and thread.

Place the turkey, breast side up, in a large roasting tin and either smear liberally with softened butter or place lots of rashers of streaky bacon on the breast and legs so that they completely cover the surface and secure to the bird with wooden toothpicks. Just poke the toothpicks through the bacon into the turkey.

 

Slowly pour at least 120ml/4fl.oz. of sherry all over the bacon plus a little into the cavity.

Cover the whole tin loosely with heavy duty aluminium foil, securing the ends to the lip of the roasting tin then carefully place in the pre-heated oven.  It will be heavier than you think so take care.
 

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5 minutes later

 

 

 

 

 

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If making gravy with the giblets, start it now. Wash the giblets, place in a large saucepan with 600ml/20fl.oz. Water, a good splash of sherry, the remaining half onion (peeled and halved) and orange (unpeeled and halved), 1 teaspoon of dried mixed herbs or a large bushy sprig of thyme and a bay leaf, salt, pepper and a teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to VERY low, partially cover and leave to simmer very gently.
 

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5 minutes later

 

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If serving extra stuffing separately, form the cold stuffing into balls about the size of a large walnut then refrigerate until ready to bake.
 

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5 minutes later

 

Peel the potatoes, cut into even chunks and par-boil in salted water until just tender. Drain well, cover with cold water and set aside.
 

Peel the potatoes, cut into even chunks and par-boil in salted water until just tender. Drain well, cover with cold water and set aside.
 

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5 minutes later

Peel or scrub the parsnips, cut larger ones in half lengthways  and par-boil in salted water until just tender. Drain well, cover with cold water and set aside.
 

Peel or scrub the parsnips, cut larger ones in half lengthways  and par-boil in salted water until just tender. Drain well, cover with cold water and set aside.
 

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1 hour later
 

 

 

Baste the Turkey
Continue to baste the turkey every 1 hour

 

 

Baste the Turkey
Continue to baste the turkey every 1 hour

Check the gravy adding more water or sherry  if necessary to top up the level
 

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2 hours before serving

 

If you used the Christmas Pudding recipe given here you should start to re-steam it now. Smaller shop-bought puddings will take less time. Check the instructions now.
 

If you used the Christmas Pudding recipe given here you should start to re-steam it now. Smaller shop-bought puddings will take less time. Check the instructions now.
 

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2 hours before serving

 

Start the Spiced Cabbage

 

Start the Spiced Cabbage

Prepare the sausage and bacon rolls,  cover with foil and refrigerate.

Make the Cranberry Sauce. Set aside to cool.
 

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1 hour before serving

Prepare the Brussels sprouts, place in a saucepan without water and set aside

Check the spiced cabbage and baste the turkey if necessary.

Check the water level of the Christmas pudding and top up with extra boiling water if necessary.

Prepare the Brussels sprouts, place in a saucepan without water and set aside

Check the spiced cabbage and baste the turkey if necessary

Check the gravy adding more water or sherry  if necessary to top up the level.

Check the water level of the Christmas pudding and top up with extra boiling water if necessary.

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45 minutes before serving

 

 

Drain the potatoes and parsnips very well and blotting with kitchen paper if necessary, then transfer to a large shallow baking tin. Pour over enough olive oil or melted goose fat and turn to coat on all sides. Set aside.

Turn the oven up to very hot - at least  220C, 425F, Gas Mark 7 .

Remove the turkey from the oven, remove all of the bacon and very carefully drain the cooking juices from the cavity of the bird and from the tin into a saucepan (set aside to make the gravy later).

Baste the turkey with a little more sherry or some of the cooking juices then return to the oven, uncovered.

 

Drain the potatoes and parsnips very well and blotting with kitchen paper if necessary, then transfer to a large shallow baking tin. Pour over enough olive oil or melted goose fat and turn to coat on all sides. Set aside.

 

Turn the oven up to 220C, 425F, Gas Mark

Remove the turkey from the oven, remove all of the bacon and very carefully drain the cooking juices from the cavity of the bird and from the tin into the saucepan containing the giblet gravy. Continue to let it simmer.

Baste the turkey with a little more sherry or some of the giblet gravy then return to the oven, uncovered.

Remove the stuffing balls and bacon rolls from the refrigerator and place on a lightly oiled foil lined baking sheet.
 

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25 minutes before serving

Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to a large serving platter, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest.

Place the prepared potatoes and parsnips in the very hot oven.

Check the Spiced Cabbage

Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer to a large serving platter, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest.

Place the prepared potatoes, parsnips, bacon rolls and stuffing balls in the oven

Check the spiced cabbage
 

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15 minutes before serving

 

Start the Brussels sprouts. Don't be tempted to start them any earlier unless you like soggy sprouts. Bring the water to the boil then reduce the heat and SIMMER.

Make the gravy as follows. Make up the level of the of the reserved cooking juices in the saucepan with extra water if necessary, add 1 or 2 stock cubes, bring to simmering point then thicken with a little cornflour mixed with water or gravy granules. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Keep warm.
 

Make the bread sauce . Keep warm

Start the Brussels sprouts. Don't be tempted to start them any earlier unless you like soggy sprouts. Bring the water to the boil then reduce the heat and SIMMER.

Make the gravy as follows. Strain the giblet stock into a clean saucepan, taste and if necessary add 1  stock cube and adjust the seasoning. Bring to simmering point then thicken with a little cornflour mixed with water or gravy granules. Keep warm.
 

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10 minutes before serving

Check the potatoes and parsnips, and turn or baste as necessary.

If you wish to serve hot mince pies, place them on a baking tray ready to put in the oven later.

Remove the brandy butter from the refrigerator.

Check the potatoes, parsnips, bacon rolls and stuffing balls and turn or baste as necessary.

If you want to serve the cranberry sauce hot, reheat gently.

If you wish to serve hot mince pies, place them on a baking tray ready to put in the oven later.

Remove the brandy butter from the refrigerator.

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5 minutes before serving

Turn the oven off.

Uncover the turkey, draining any remaining cooking juices from the cavity into the gravy and transfer to a large carving platter.

Transfer the gravy to a gravy or sauce boat.

Drain the Brussels sprouts.

Transfer the sprouts, cabbage, potatoes and parsnips to serving dishes.

If you want to serve hot mince pies, place them in the turned off oven with the door slightly ajar to warm through whilst you're eating the main course.

Check the water level of the Christmas pudding and top up with extra boiling water if necessary.

SERVE THE MAIN COURSE


Turn the oven off.

Uncover the turkey, draining any remaining cooking juices from the cavity into the gravy and transfer to a large carving platter.

Transfer the gravy to a jug or sauce boat. 

Transfer the bread sauce to a gravy or sauce boat.

Transfer the cranberry sauce to a serving bowl.

Drain the Brussels sprouts.

Transfer the sprouts, cabbage, potatoes, parsnips, bacon rolls and stuffing balls to serving dishes.

If you want to serve hot mince pies, place them in the turned off oven with the door slightly ajar to warm through whilst you're eating the main course.

Check the water level of the Christmas pudding and top up with extra boiling water if necessary.

SERVE THE MAIN COURSE
 

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At your leisure

Serve the Christmas Pudding and mince pies.

If you want to flame your pudding, simply heat 3-4 tablespoons of brandy in a small saucepan or metal ladle, set fire to it then slowly pour over the pudding.

Don't forget the cream and brandy butter.
 

Serve the Christmas Pudding and mince pies.

If you want to flame your pudding, simply heat 3 tablespoons of brandy in a small saucepan or metal ladle, set fire to it then slowly pour over the pudding.

Don't forget the cream and brandy butter.
 

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