Whichever country you are in that celebrates Christmas, and Christmas with a specially prepared traditional dinner it has many components; it takes a lot of preparation to provide such a meal but making a little extra effort for everything to be flavourful is totally worth all the hours spent in a hot kitchen. It’s too excessive to provide every seasonal vegetable typically associated with a British Christmas Lunch/Dinner, my family usually serves 4 type of vegetables so I will use them as examples of how to ‘upgrade’ those in particular before moving onto additional suggestions.
If you are worried about not having enough time to prepare all of parts of your Christmas Dinner in time for serving, prepare ones that can safely and quickly be reheated on Christmas Day. Everyone does it, don’t panic.
Carrot and Swede Mash – Usually boiled miniature or sliced carrots are a popular choice. I think it’s nice to take advantage of other vegetables around during Winter, such as swede/turnips. Thesedays some British supermarkets sell diced swede and carrots in a bag, which could save you preparation time at Christmas. However you buy your swede and carrots, you first need to boil them until almost completely soft. Then with some black pepper and a heap of butter or margarine, mash the carrot and swede together. Unlike with mashed potato, leave plenty of lumps in the mash. Making it entirely smooth makes it too watery.
Roasted Honey Glazed Parsnips with Rosemary – I always think it’s best to double cook parsnips, firstly boiling them until partially cooked then roasting them in an oven; otherwise they become chard yet still undercooked when solely cooked by the roasting method. Before they enter the oven brush the parsnips, which should have been cut into strips, with some transparent honey. Season with plenty of sea salt and black pepper, followed by rosemary sprigs or dried rosemary. Roast in the oven 25-30 minutes. If you prefer, maple Syrup can be used instead of honey.
Brussels Sproats With Bacon & Onions – Firstly halve the sproats and boil them until almost completely cooked. During the last few minutes of the sproats cooking time, being to lightly fry to white onions with bacon lardons. Drain the sproats, adding them to the bacon and onions. Fry for a further 5 minutes. The sproats should have grill like marks on them. Season to taste.
Goose Fat Roast Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary – Boil the potatoes until almost fluffy. Before boiling them remember to wash the potatoes to remove excess starch. After draining them with a colander transfer them to a roasting tin or oven dish. With clean hands, rub some butter or goose fat onto each individual potato. Throw in some rosemary sprigs and whole garlic cloves for seasoning.
Roasted Root Vegetables – Part boil 1 sliced beetroot (the raw kind), 2 diced white potatoes or sweet potatoes, 4 diced carrots. Once halfway cooked transfer them to a heatproof dish or casserole pot. cover the root vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, 2 cloves of minced garlic and a handful of torn thyme sprigs. Toss gently with your hands or salad utensils. Roast in an oven for 20-30 minutes. This will serve 6 people.