The Perfect Christmas Dinner

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Charlotte- Daisy Love

Make no mistake, the annual student Christmas dinner is a big deal.  For many it might be the first and only time we find ourselves sat at a table to eat a meal rather than in our rooms, on the sofa or any other acceptable form of seating we can find. For others it is the perfect excuse to go all out and don that reindeer jumper diving head first into the Christmas spirit. Whichever camp you fall in to, this year, follow these tasty and fool proof steps for the mightiest Christmas dinner of them all without spending all your pennies.

Serves 8

The Main Event:

True Christmas dinner wisdom comes in knowing that cooking a turkey is a very complicated and expensive process, and that life is too short to spend time with your hand up a bird where the sun don’t shine. So unless you really know what you’re doing, Sainsbury’s has a great ready to cook chicken or turkey that doesn’t disappoint.

The Perfect Roast Potatoes:

These bad boys easily make or break a Christmas dinner, so this recipe gets them right every time.

16 medium sized Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved

140 grams lard, goose fat or vegetable oil

1 garlic bulb halved

Put the oven to 180C. Put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain them in a colander for a good ten minutes then toss them to rough them up a bit. Put the lard, fat or oil in a large roasting tin and heat on the hob until it starts to spit and simmer, then gently add the potatoes and leave for 1 minute so that on side starts to crisp up. Then gently turn the potatoes until they all coated in the fat and put into the oven for 40 minutes. Then give them a stir, add the garlic and put in the oven for 20 minutes more until they are golden brown.

Honey Roasted Carrots:

A deliciously sweet and succulent alternative for a snowman’s nose.

1kg carrots cut into large chunks

2 big tablespoons of clear honey

Juice of 1 orange

Olive oil

Put the oven to180C. Boil the carrots for 5 minutes, drain and cool. Mix the rest of the ingredients in a small roasting tray, tip in carrots and roast for 20 minutes until cooked.

Apricot and Hazelnut Stuffing balls:

Everybody loves stuffing packed full of Christmas flavours, a great addition to the table.

2 large onions, chopped

50g butter

50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped

140g ready-to-eat dried apricots, chopped

175g pack white breadcrumbs

20g pack parsley, chopped

1 egg, beaten

Olive oil

Fry the onions in the butter. Stir in nuts; fry until golden. Remove from the heat, add apricots, breadcrumbs and parsley. Mix in the egg and season. Shape into balls. Put the balls in a buttered baking dish, drizzle with oil. Bake for 30 minutes until golden.

Simple Red Wine Gravy:

The final touch that dinner would not be the same without. Enjoy drinking up the left over wine and serve the redcurrant jelly with the meat.

200ml red wine 

3 tablespoons of flour

600ml turkey or chicken stock (use cubes)

2 tablespoons of redcurrant jelly

Mix 3 tablespoons of red wine with the flour until smooth then mix in all the wine. Heat the stock in a pan, then pour in the red wine mixture and redcurrant jelly, stirring until thickened.

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