Chef Mike Robinson’s Top Ten Tips for Christmas Dinner

With christmas just around the corner there is no better time for me to be sent the top chef and TV presenter Mike Robinson’s top ten tips for Christmas dinner,

The Perfect Roasties

  1. Top chefs recommend goose fat  for roasting potatoes for a reason – the fat’s high burn point makes them perfectly crispy.
  2. When roasting the potatoes, always pre-boil them until the outsides are starting to soften, then drain and take them outdoors to shake vigorously – the cold air will help fluff up the outsides of the potatoes beautifully.
  3. Make sure the roasting tray for the potatoes is really hot, then add plenty of goose fat and tip in the potatoes – brown them a little on the hob before putting the roasting tray into the oven.
  4. Try roasting whole bulbs of garlic with the potatoes – the insides of the garlic cloves will become lovely, sweet and gooey.

Tender Turkey

5. For tender turkey you want the meat to be cooked through but try cooking the bird for slightly less than recommended and resting it for longer than suggested. For example if it suggests cooking the bird for 3 ½ hours and resting it for 15 minutes, try cooking the bird for 30 minutes less and resting the cooked bird for an extra 30 minutes – the result will be splendid!

Impress with Easy Veg

6.  If you are worried about timings during Christmas lunch, then pre-cook the sprouts, cabbage and other veg the day before. To do this cook the vegetables until ¾ done, then plunge them into iced water to keep them fresh. They will keep perfectly until the big day, when all they need is 2 minutes in boiling water to finish them off. 
7. Parboil parsnips and then roast them in goose fat for 30 minutes, brushing them with honey for the last 10 minutes of cooking – these taste amazing!

Try Pheasant

8. As an alternative to turkey – try roasted pheasants instead. These are great value, easy to cook and very seasonal. Try to get hen pheasants and roast them for 45 minutes at 200c. Then leave them to rest for a further 30 minutes. One hen pheasant will serve two.

Christmas Leftovers

9. Chop cold turkey, sprouts and potatoes and fry in goose fat till piping hot, stir in a teaspoonful of grain mustard, divide onto plates and top each one with a fried egg for a perfect Boxing Day brunch.
10. Try crumbling leftover Christmas pudding into a bowl of custard and churning it into Christmas pudding ice cream.

Mike Robinson is chef and patron of the award winning Pot Kiln. He is also a regular presenter and guest chef on UKTV Food and Saturday Kitchen.

Do you, like Mike, have any top tips for Christmas dinner? If you do then I would love to hear them.