Regardless of how many times you have cooked a meal, it isn’t guaranteed you will get it right every time. This is especially true when you think of a Sunday roast and Christmas dinner; you might cook a roast every week, but it is completely different when it comes to cooking a Christmas dinner for a number of people.
Even though it might all be the same ingredients, or similar ones because people only have pigs-in-blankets and turkey at Christmas time, it is always more stressful cooking on Christmas Day.
As a caterers in Cardiff we usually like to be the ones preparing and serving the food, but with everyone being on the home straight for Christmas Day, we thought we would try to help our readers out by giving them some advice and tips on preparing the perfect Christmas dinner.
The first thing you need to do – after you find out how many you are serving for and buying the produce – is to come up with a rock solid plan for preparing and cooking it.
If you were to eat around 2pm, then we would advise you follow this plan, especially if you’ve never done it previously, and you and your family will soon be enjoying some of the best food you’ve tasted.
With it being Christmas Day, you are going to be up early anyway, so get your oven turned on around 8.30am, at a temperature of 180C or gas temp 4, for ten minutes.
Most ovens are not big enough to take a turkey and all the trimmings cooking at the same time – if yours is like this then we suggest roasting your potatoes and parsnips for about 40 minutes, and then finish them off once the turkey is out and resting.
If you are serving for around 12 people, then now is the time to put your turkey in the oven, covered by tin foil, until half an hour before you are serving your lunch (serving at 2pm, take out of the oven at 1.30pm).
You can also put thyme, garlic and onion into the turkey whilst it is cooking, and also incorporate red or white wine, depending on your tastes. At this time you should prepare your pigs-in-blankets, or if you are using ‘cheat’ ones then they can go in the oven when the turkey comes out.
You can baste the turkey approximately every 30-40 minutes with it’s own juices by spooning them over it.
Around 12.50pm you can completely remove the tin foil and baste the turkey one last time, then give it another 20-25 minutes in the oven before removing it for the last time and letting it rest on the worktop covered in tin foil, ensuring it is cooked thoroughly cooked.
You can now put your pigs-in-blankets, the earlier-prepared vegetables and any stuffing you have into the oven. The veg that needs boiling can go into a pan an be boiled.
Just prior to eating time at 2pm, you can get the gravy ready and dish up all the food that is fully cooked and ready to be demolished by your friends and family!
Any questions about this, don’t be afraid to contact us – as Cardiff caterers we are hugely experienced and knowledgeable in the food area.