Don’t tell anyone, but the only way I manage to get Christmas dinner on the table on Christmas day is with preparation; I cook and freeze the roast potatoes, Yorkshire puddings (Mum loves them), pigs-in-blankets and stuffing in advance.
In This Post…
I am going to show you how to cook Christmas dinner in advance, leaving minimum to do on Christmas day.
I love Christmastime and my perfect Christmas is one spent at home. Luckily we don’t have to go traipsing anywhere too far on Christmas Day, as we only have my parents nearby. We do, however take it in turns to have Christmas dinner at our houses, and this year it is at ours.
Being The Disorganized Person I Am…
Knowing how to cook Christmas dinner and get it on the table at a reasonable time took plenty of practice. We don’t open the presents from under the tree until after dinner, when the kitchen has been cleared (by the men, of course), so eating too late is not an option.
Does The Frozen Food Still Taste As Good?
The answer is yes!
How do I know this?
Because I am not daft and tested it in advance without telling anyone, the verdict; nobody could taste the difference!
How To Cook Christmas Dinner In Advance
I prepare my roasties just s I always do. First of all I par cook the potatoes by steaming them. I much prepfer steaming potatoes and veg, not only because it preserves the vitamin content that is often lost with boiling, I prefer the texture of potatoes and vegetables that have been steamed.
After leaving the par cooked potatoes to cool a little I place them in a large bowl and season with:
- Salt (I use Himalayan rock salt)
- Freshly ground black pepper (I refuse to have ready ground pepper in the house!)
- A good pinch of oregano
- Dried onion flakes (has a more intense taste than fried onions)
- Dried garlic (I love fresh garlic, but dried is better for roasting as it doesn’t burn so easily)
- A couple of spoons of flour (adds a little fluff and crunch)
- A good slug of oil (I use sunflower oil. I would recommend against using olive oil for roasting as it has a low burn point, which doesn’t make it ideal for roasting)
Once the potatoes are thoroughly coated with the seasoning I pop them into a preheated roasting tin and into a hot preheated oven. Tossing them every twenty minutes or so until they look nice and browned.
You don’t want to over brown the potatoes though, as they will need to go back into the oven for a bit on Christmas day.
Once roasted to your liking, allow the potatoes to cool, before putting them into a clean dish and popping into the freezer. I leave them in the freezer for a day before bagging them ready for Christmas day.
Again there is no secret way to cook Yorkshire Puddings before freezing them. I cook them as I always do, although I do reduce the cooking time by about five minutes.
Yorkshire Pudding Batter Recipe (makes 12)
- 140gr plain flour
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 200ml milk
- A good pinch of salt (I prefer Himalayan rock salt)
- Freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and using an electric mixer combine until a smooth batter is formed. I find that putting the milk in the bowl first, prevents any flour pockets forming in the batter.
Then leave the batter to sit for half an hour. In this time you can preheat the oven to 225C/425F/ Gasmark 7, placing a well oiled (1 teaspoon of oil for each pudding) Yorkshire pudding tin in the oven to heat up. The oil needs to be really hot before you add the batter.
Once the batter has sat (it is okay to leave it longer than half an hour) and the oven and tin are both nice and hot, carefully pour the batter into the tin.
Pop into the oven and cook for aproximately twenty minutes, until they are nicely risen and a golden brown in colour. OPENING THE OVEN DOOR BEFORE THE TWENTY MINUTES IS UP WILL RESULT IN DEFLATED YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS!
Once cooked carefully remove the Yorkshires from the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool, before putting them in a dish and popping them in the freezer.
Once frozen, I bag them ready to reheat for Christmas day.
On the day the Yorkshire puddings are best cooked from frozen. They only need to go into a hot oven for a five or so minutes before serving.
I still have to prepare the pigs-in-blankets (sausages wrapped in bacon) and the stuffing balls and freeze them. I don’t follow a recipe to make stuffing, I just sling it all in a bowl and follow my nose, roll into balls and freeze (keeping some un-balled for inside the bird). I cook the stuffing and the pigs-in-blankets along side the turkey, but at least they are ready to cook straight from the freezer.
Now that is how to cook Christmas dinner in advance and be organised on the day! Shhhh, let it be our little secret!
Do you cook Christmas dinner and if so do you have any ‘cheats’?
© 2015, Debbie. All rights reserved.