The time is never better than now to get your Christmas roast in, chuck it into the freezer, and save money over the price-gouging that will inevitably turn up nearer to the holidays. But are you going to go for a turkey again? Or do you think an alternative Christmas dinner idea might go over well, too?
Goose is actually a reasonably traditional Christmas roast. It is not too difficult to prepare and offers a flavour some alternative to the standard turkey. The downside is that it can be extremely fatty and many people find it to be an acquired taste. A Christmas ham is a great alternative too, but consider cooking it in a less conventional way. Honey-roast is fairly common and delicious, but you can use Coke instead for a novel flavour that will surprise everyone.
If you love turkey but feel your gathering will be too small to warrant the entire bird – a problem oft encountered in households where many side dishes are prepared – then don’t shy away from chicken. Not only can this bird save you a large amount of money, you can again surprise your guests with new and exciting preparation methods. Beer can chicken, for example, neither sounds nor looks festive – at least during the preparation process – but it tastes divine and you won’t be able to beat it for succulence.
In terms of side-dishes, there are of course untold dozens of options. None, however, are more disputed than the fabled Brussels sprouts. If you make these every year, only to throw out the majority at the end of the day, untouched by most, or even all of your guests. But had you thought of making them a different way? A problem many people have with them is the texture of a boiled sprout. But why not blanch them, chuck in some melted butter, a few bacon bits and some chopped up chestnuts? Alternatively, cut them in half and roast them as you would a potato. This alters the texture – in the first case, it remains crunchy rather than becoming mushy, and in the latter the roasting adds a crispy texture to the outside, especially the cut side.
Desserts are quite traditional in British Christmas, too. But Christmas pudding’s popularity is dropping off; many people find it less delicious than traditional. Why not consider a fresher dessert? A tart lemon cheesecake or a raspberry sorbet can cut through the grease and stodge of a traditional Christmas dinner better than an oily Christmas pud, and if you buy some small meringues you can easily put together individual meringues with fresh fruit such as passion fruit, citrus or raspberries yourself on the day. All you need to do is whip the cream! Some edible gold leaf can help bring it into the Christmas theme, and the freshness of the flavour will help to close off a successful Christmas dinner quite nicely.
So now you know; uncommon Christmas dinner choices can make for an amazing Christmas meal. Don’t be afraid to move away from tradition; you’ll be able to surprise your guests and yourself!