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Christmas Cooking Sorted with Le Creuset

If you’ve been brave and have taken on the task of hosting Christmas this year, then we’re here to help. Cooking Christmas dinner for everyone may be a daunting task, but if you’ve got some good recipes that you can stick to, everything will go a lot more smoothly. We’ve put together a few of our favourite recipes from one of our favourite brands: Le Creuset. These recipes should give you some Christmas cooking inspiration and could help you out on the big day. Here are a few of our favourites to impress your guests with:

Turkey Parcels with Christmas Stuffing

Roast Goose

Port Wine and Cranberry Mince Pies

Mulled Wine

Braised Red Cabbage

Spiced Lamb Shanks


 

Turkey Parcels with Christmas Stuffing

This recipe is perfect for cooking a big roast whilst saving on space in the oven for vegetables and any other sides. These turkey parcels have all of the delicious seasonal flavours you want from a Christmas roast, but they also cook a lot quicker than a whole turkey if you’re looking to cut down on cooking time.

Note: If you’re looking to make Christmas lunch as easy and stress free as possible, why not buy some ready-made, fresh turkey gravy and ready-to-cook prepared vegetables. That way everything will be ready to go in the oven and you can focus on enjoying Christmas, rather than being stuck in the kitchen cooking all day!

Serves: 8 people

Cooking Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 12 x 140 to 150g turkey or chicken breast fillets or slices
  • 48 rashers thin-cut smoked streaky bacon (1kg)
  • 50g butter
  • Clingfilm and tin foil

For the Christmas Stuffing

  • 50g butter
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 500g pork sausage meat
  • 80g dried cranberries
  • 18 cooked chestnuts, chopped
  • 140g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 2 lemons, zest
  • 4 tsp dried thyme
  • 4 tsp dried sage
  • 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C fan / Gas Mark 4.
  2. Place the turkey or chicken fillets in between two sheets of clingfilm and bash with a rolling pin to flatten them to a thickness of 1½ cm.
  3. To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a pan over a low to medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until they are softened but not brown. Move the onion and celery into a bowl and allow to cool, then add the remaining stuffing ingredients to the bowl and mix well.
  4. Lay the meat escallops on a work surface. Place equal amounts of stuffing on top of each and flatten out with your hand to cover the surface. Roll up the stuffing-topped escallops like a Swiss roll. Place a small knob of butter on top of each roll and wrap each one in two rashers of bacon, enclosing the butter, to make a parcel.
  5. Place the parcels in a roaster and cook for 45-50 minutes. Remove the roaster from the oven, cover it loosely with tin foil and rest the parcels for 10 minutes.
  6. Serve the parcels whole, or for a special finish, slice and fan the meat out on to the plate. Pour over any cooking juices and accompany with fresh turkey gravy, roasted potatoes and fresh vegetables.

 

Roast Goose

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If you’ve got more time to cook you might want to try your hand at roasting a bigger cut of meat this year. Roast goose was the original bird of choice for a festive feast in the Victorian era and remains as one of the most magical things to eat at Christmas. Accompanied with roasted seasonal root vegetables and braised red cabbage, this is sure to make this year’s Christmas meal rather special.

Serves: 4-6 people

Cooking Time: 2-3 hours

Ingredients:

  • 3-4kg fresh, trussed goose (cleaned)
  • 4 Spanish onions
  • 4 carrots
  • 3 lemons
  • ½ bunch parsley
  • 2 bulbs of fennel
  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • 4 teaspoons honey
  • 400ml mead
  • Rapeseed oil

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 190°C / 170°C Fan / Gas Mark 5.
  2. To prepare the goose for cooking, remove the string then spread the legs open to encourage even cooking throughout.
  3. Peel and halve the carrots, onions, fennel and garlic then place into the roasting tray, drizzle with rapeseed oil but do not season.
  4. Place the prepared goose on top of the vegetables. Halve the lemons and juice them. Stuff the goose with the lemon halves, the lemon juice and the parsley.
  5. Mix the honey and mead together; this will be used to baste the bird during cooking.
  6. Cook the goose in a pre-heated oven for 15 minutes at 190°C/ 170°C Fan / Gas Mark 5 then lower the temperature to 170°C / 150°C / Gas Mark 3 and cook for a further 20 minutes for every 1kg of meat. Once you have lowered the temperature, baste the bird every 20 minutes until golden brown.
  7. Once cooked, rest the bird for as long as possible before carving. This will help the juices to be retained in the meat keeping it moist and succulent.

Chef’s Tip: To check if the bird is cooked pierce the thickest part with a skewer; if the juices run clear and the skewer is hot then the bird should be ready. You could also probe the bird with a meat thermometer; as long as the core temperature is exceeding 72-74°C then it is safe to eat.


 

Port Wine and Cranberry Mince Pies

Christmas just isn’t complete without mince pies. Instead of getting a few packs from the shops, why not really impress your guests this year and make your own? Making mince pies is also a great activity to get the family involved in to get into the Christmas spirit.

Note: The cranberry and port mincemeat mixture will need to be refrigerated for 12 hours before it can be used, so we recommend making the mincemeat the night before and leaving it in the fridge overnight. This stored mincemeat will keep for 2-3 weeks, so you can make another batch or two after your first batch inevitably disappear!

Serves: 10-12 people

Cooking Time: 4 hours or more

Ingredients:

For the Sweet Pastry

  • 350g plain flour, plus a bit extra for dusting
  • 175g cold butter, diced
  • 85g caster sugar
  • 4-6 tbsp water, to mix
  • 2-3 tbsp milk, for the pastry tops
  • Icing sugar, for dusting

Or

  • Replace the flour, butter, caster sugar and water with 2 x 375g blocks ready-made sweet short-crust pastry if you want to save yourself some time.

For the Cranberry and Port Mincemeat

  • 225g dessert apples
  • 1 lemon, zest and juice
  • 1 orange, zest and juice
  • 225g raisins
  • 225g sultanas
  • 225g currants
  • 115g semi-dried cranberries
  • 55g ground almonds
  • 225g soft brown sugar
  • 220g shredded vegetable suet
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp mixed spice
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200ml port wine
  • 4 x 454g jam jars with screw-on lids

Method:

To Make the Mincemeat

  1. Peel, core and dice the apples finely.
  2. Place into a medium sized bowl and mix with the orange and lemon juice and zest.
  3. Add all of the remaining mincemeat ingredients and combine well.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the glass jam jars and pack down well to remove air, then put on the lids.
  5. Put the jars in the fridge and leave for a minimum of 12 hours before using.

To Make the Pastry

  1. Sieve the flour into a bowl and add the diced butter. Rub this mixture together using your fingertips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Then stir in the sugar.
  2. Add the water a little at a time and bring the ingredients together until a dough ball is formed.
  3. Handle the pastry as little as possible so the butter doesn’t begin to melt, this could make the pastry difficult to work with.
  4. Wrap the pastry in cling film or plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 30-45 minutes.

To Make The Pies

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / Gas Mark 6.
  2. Dust a work surface and a rolling pin with some flour, then roll out the pastry to approximately 4-5mm thick.
  3. Cut 12 larger circles with an 88mm fluted edged pastry cutter and 12 smaller circles with a 78mm fluted edged pastry cutter. Re-roll the pastry for the small circles.
  4. Line 12 bun cups with the larger pastry circles allowing the edges to stand up, then add 1 tbsp of mincemeat to each.
  5. Brush the edges of the smaller pastry circles with a little water and place them on top of the filling of each pie and press the pastry edges together to seal.
  6. Make two or three steam holes in each pie top and brush lightly with milk.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly golden.
  8. Allow to cool for a few minutes before removing the pies from the tin, then dust them with some icing sugar.

Mulled Wine

You know Christmas is on its way when you take your first sip of mulled wine of the season. You could go down to the Christmas markets to get some, or you could brew your own from the comfort of your own home. This recipe is perfect for serving to guests and for warming up with over the festive season.

Note: This simple recipe can be prepared in advance and gently reheated to serve. Simply follow the method below up to step 3 if you’d like to prepare your mulled wine in advance, then add the wine and reheat whenever you’d like to serve it.

Serves: 12-14 people

Cooking Time: 30 mins

Ingredients:

  • 1 dessert apple
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 1 large orange
  • 2.5cm (1 inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 225g (1 ½ cups, unpacked) soft brown sugar
  • 5 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 bottles red wine

Method:

  1. Cut the unpeeled apple into six segments and discard the core from each piece. Push two of the cloves into the flesh of each segment.
  2. Use a potato peeler to remove all of the peel from the orange in strips. Cut the piece of ginger in half.
  3. Put the pieces of apple, orange peel, ginger, sugar and cinnamon sticks into a large saucepan with 500ml (2 cups) water. Bring to a boil, then remove the heat and leave to infuse for 15 minutes.
  4. Add the wine and gently re-heat but do not boil again. Strain into a large heatproof serving bowl. Float the apple pieces, cinnamon sticks and some fresh orange slices on the top.
  5. Ladle the warm mulled wine into mugs for serving.

Braised Red Cabbage

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This recipe is Christmas in a pan. Combining classic seasonal flavours of orange, cinnamon, and Bramley apple with the hearty goodness of red cabbage, this is the perfect accompaniment to your roast goose.

Serves: 6-8

Cooking Time: 1-2 hours

Ingredients:

  • 400ml white wine
  • 100ml balsamic vinegar
  • 110g dark brown sugar
  • Zest of 2 oranges
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 1kg red cabbage, sliced
  • 2 Bramley apples, cored and diced

Method:

  1. Add the wine, vinegar, sugar, orange zest and cinnamon to the saucepan, stir to mix and heat gently to boiling point.
  2. Meanwhile mix the prepared onion, cabbage and apple in a bowl then add to the pan. Stir to mix thoroughly.
  3. Simmer gently for approximately 1 hour, with the lid on, until cooked.

Spiced Lamb Shanks

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Perfect for warming you through after trudging through the snow at Christmas time, these lamb shanks have been given an added warmth thanks to a healthy sprinkling of cumin and spice.

Serves: 4

Cooking Time: 4 hours or more

Ingredients:

  • 4 lamb shanks
  • 1 bulb of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 5cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 5 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • Rapeseed oil
  • 5 ripe beef tomatoes
  • 2 Spanish onions, chopped
  • 4 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 750ml red wine
  • Lamb stock to cover (store bought is fine)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C / 140°C Fan / Gas Mark 3
  2. Salt the lamb shanks moderately then mix with the garlic, ginger and rosemary and marinate for 2 hours.
  3. Once marinated wash the salt and marinade off the meat. Heat a little rapeseed oil in a roaster and roast the lamb shanks in the oven until well coloured then remove from the pan.
  4. In the same roaster heat the tomato paste and chopped onion then add the cumin seeds, curry powder and cinnamon stick and toast on the hob, on a low to medium heat, for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, then transfer the mixture to the casserole.
  5. Chop the tomatoes and add to the casserole followed by the red wine. Bring the mix to the boil then add the lamb shanks to the casserole.
  6. Add the lamb stock then bake in a pre-heated moderate oven, with the lid on the casserole, for 3-4 hours until the lamb is succulent and falling off the bone.

Chef’s Tip: This is a really delicious, autumnal dish. For a more earthy flavour replace the red wine with a dark beer or for a lighter sauce use white wine.


We hope you’ll try out a few of these recipes for yourself this season. Find everything you’ll need for your Christmas cooking here and find everything you’re looking for to prepare for Christmas day.

Make sure you’re following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for more tips and inspiration leading up to Christmas.



Rachel Costello

Rachel Costello

Food & Entertainment Editor

I love talking about how to fully enhance an interior space or perfect a recipe, as well as what happened on the most recent episode of Game of Thrones. You’re likely find this film and dog enthusiast searching out the most stylish trends and the most useful lifestyle tips to make your life that little bit easier.


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