Classic Christmas Side Dishes
Hopefully my recipe for our Christmas Turkey with Pear and Chestnut stuffing will have given some of you a bit of inspiration and help with the ‘what on earth am I going to cook on Christmas Day’ anxiety.
For me, whilst Christmas is absolutely a time to take the brakes off, it doesn’t mean that you need to go overboard in terms of the volume of things you need to create. Do a few things well and everyone will be happy, well-fed and you won’t look like a mess at the end of the day. Winning!
With that in mind, here are a few simple sides to accompany your main on Christmas Day.
Classic Roasted Potatoes
Let’s start with the most controversial of Christmas topics… roast potatoes. I know, I know. Everyone has their own tried and tested method which has been passed down the generations, but this is mine and I love it because it’s super simple and works a charm. The trick is to keep the potatoes moist and not overcook them when boiling. Potatoes have a high water content naturally, so if you blast them, they’ll lose this and become really dry when you roast them.
Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 40 mins | Serves: 6
- 1.2 kilo King Edwards or Maris Piper Potatoes
- 3-4 tbsp vegetable oil or duck fat
- Salt and pepper
- Peel your potatoes and cut into 2.5 cm chunks, or quarters if not too large; you just want a nice even size for all.
- Pour water and a good amount of salt into a pot, add potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook for a total of 15 minutes (from turning the flame/heat on). Once the water boils, it will take about 5 minutes to cook in total – do not cook all the way, just enough so that a knife can pierce it.
- Drain potatoes and give a good shake to roughen edges.
- Place 3 tbsp vegetable oil on a large roasting pan and place it in the oven at 225C. Roast for 20 minutes, flip potatoes, and cook for a further 20 minutes or until golden.
- Remove and season with salt and pepper, serve in a bowl.
Honey Glazed Baby Carrots and Parsnips with Fresh Rosemary and Thyme
Still on the veggies, I like to brighten up my plate with a side of Honey Glazed Baby Carrots and Parsnips (it wouldn’t taste like Christmas without them), topped with Fresh Rosemary and Thyme.
You can use any carrots you like, but I prefer to use heritage or rainbow carrots to create a feast for the eyes, as well as the tummy.
Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins | Serves: 6
- 400g baby rainbow carrots or heritage carrots, peeled
- 300g baby parsnips, peeled and cut in half
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- 1-2 tbsp honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 sprig of fresh thyme, picked
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil and add your carrots and parsnips.
- Cook for 4 minutes until just tender. Once cooked, drain from the pot and pat dry
- Melt butter in a pan and then sauté your vegetables for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat.
- Add 1-2 tbsp honey salt and pepper (you may need to cook in batches for this)
- Remove from the pan and sprinkle with herbs.
Sloe Gin and Cranberry Sauce
Now for the side with a special Weymouth twist. I love cranberry sauce, I don’t trust people who don’t! Kidding, but seriously, who doesn’t love the stuff, so over the years, I’ve developed a recipe which includes Sloe Gin as it gives a nice twist to the classic recipe. The alcohol burns off, but the sweet, warm, seasonal flavour lingers and is really, really lovely.
Prep Time: 5 mins | Cook Time: 10-15 mins | Serves: 6 (yields about 465g)
- 450g cranberries, fresh or frozen
- 50ml sloe gin
- 1 tangerine, zest and juice (approx 50 ml juice – reserve 1 tbsp zest for garnish)
- 75g white sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp zest (for garnish)
- Place all ingredients in a heavy gauged saucepan and bring to boil
- Reduce to medium heat and simmer for about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove and serve in your preferred bowl.
- Garnish with zest.