Feeding the Family for Less

christmasdinner

Food is central to the festive period. The most important meal of the year and the focal point of the big day, it is imperative to get the meal right! Here we have some top tips on how to improve your Christmas dinner and feed the family for less.

Gravy

Gravy can make or break a roast; it’s as simple as that. Getting it right means that even if you overcook the turkey or burn the roast potatoes, you can get away with it by splashing a great tasting gravy over the top of it. While your average gravy powder will make consistently average gravy, you can go all out and make some spectacular gravy from scratch that’s remarkably cheap. After all, no guest wants a dull tasting, thin textured gravy, do they!?

Ingredients

½ glass of red wine
1pt stock
Pan juices from roast meat
2 cubes of butter

Method

Firstly, once your roast meat is cooked remove it from the oven and let it rest. Spoon away any excess fat from the roasting pan and put the roasting tin over a high heat until the juices begin to bubble. Pour in the red wine and scrape together all the juices from the bottom of the pan until you’re left with a thick sticky gloss – be warned as this is a very quick process. Add the stock and mix well, sieve into a saucepan and reduce by one-third over a medium heat. Add any juices from the rested meat and finally mix in the butter.

Stuffing

Stuffing is another essential component to any good Christmas dinner. As with the gravy, it always seems like an easy option to buy the ready-made stuff, however it’s incredibly easy to make your own stuffing that is far better than any you could buy from the supermarket.

Ingredients

6 slices of good, stale bread
1 onion
15 sage leaves
25g butter
1 egg
Salt and pepper

Method

Put the bread, roughly chopped onion, sage leaves and diced butter into the food processor and pulse only a couple of times – do not over process! The mixture must be kept coarse for full flavour – add seasoning and the egg for a final mix. Make into small balls and put into an oven proof dish and bake for 20 – 30 minutes alongside your roast and then enjoy your feast!

Mince pies

Exemplifying their importance to our mince pie loving nation, every year there are countless reviews of mince pies with all the major supermarkets tweaking their recipe to gain the coveted crown; this year Iceland are happily sitting pretty beating even Harrods in the taste test! However, you can easily make your own that not only taste delicious but are also easy on the pennies. These delicious little cups of festivity only come around once a year so why not use it as an excuse to show off your culinary skills!

Ingredients

1 jar of mincemeat
Zest of 1 orange
1 glug of brandy (optional)
320g shortcrust pastry
1 egg
Icing sugar

Method

Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200C. Line each of the holes of a 12 hole pie tin with pastry. Grate the orange zest into the mincemeat and add the optional glug of brandy. Spoon the mixture in to the pies. Using a star press, cut out 12 stars with the remaining pastry and cover each of the pies. Beat the egg and brush the tops of the pies. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and leave to cool. Finally, lightly dust with icing sugar.

There are some top tips to give your Christmas meal that extra love and care that it deserves. None of these delicious recipes take more than 30 minutes to make so you’ve got no excuse not to go that extra yard this year.

When doing your shopping, be sure to make the most of 2 for 1 offers and loyalty schemes – these can build up over the year and help you save a significant chunk off your food bill. Don’t forget to order through us too and you can earn yourself a heap in cashback. Check out all the great deals here and order through your favourite retailer. We’d also love to hear your feedback in the comments section.

 

Posted on 26 Nov 2014  |  Posted in  Christmas Ideas, 'How To' Articles
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