Christmas Dinner and the trimmings

28 Nov 2023

Roast turkey, roast potatoes, gravy, stuffing, Pigs in Blankets, sprouts, carrot and swede mash. Ho ho ho… You’re guaranteed a merry Christmas with this delicious recipe.


4.5kg turkey (approx. 150g per person and some leftover)
Black pepper (optional)

Pigs in Blankets
6 chipolata sausages
6 rashers streaky bacon

200g bread
5 spring onions
Small bunch (10g) fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme and parsley) OR 1 x 5ml spoondried mixed herbs
50g dried apricots
50g ready-to-eat dates
Black pepper (optional)
2 eggs
20g unsaturated fat spread

1 kg potatoes
350g sprouts
300g carrots
1 small swede
1 small red cabbage
1 eating apple
2 x 5ml spoons olive oil
10g unsaturated fat spread
50ml milk
Black pepper (optional)

20g plain flour
750ml chicken or turkey stock
(see our Top Tips OR follow
the recipe for Chicken Stock
available on our website)


Weighing scales
Large roasting tray x 2
Turkey foil
Oven gloves
Basting spoon
Pan stand x 4
Sharp knife
Small roasting dish
Food processor
Chopping board
Small bowl x 2
Fork x 2
Medium saucepan x 3
Pastry brush
Medium ovenproof dish
Measuring jug
Potato masher
Wooden spoon
Large serving dish
Medium serving dish x 4


Turkey and Pigs in Blankets

  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan or gas mark 5.
  2. Remove any giblets from the turkey and place the turkey in a large roasting tray tucking the excess skin from the neck underneath.
  3. Add black pepper to taste (if using) to the turkey, cover with foil and place in the oven for 3 hours. Wash your hands after touching the raw meat.
  4. After the first 30 minutes baste the turkey by spooning the fat which has drained out over the top of the turkey. Repeat this a couple more times during cooking.
  5. Remove the turkey foil for the final 50 minutes of cooking to achieve a nice crisp and browned skin.
  6. When the turkey is cooked, check the juices run clear by inserting a small knife in the leg joint. Allow to rest for at least 30 minutes on a large serving dish covered with foil before carving.
  7. Prepare the Pigs in Blankets by wrapping each chipolata sausage in a rasher of streaky bacon. Place them in a small roasting dish, cover with clingfilm and refrigerate until required. When it is time to cook them, remove the clingfilm and bake for 25 minutes.

  8. Place the bread in the food processor and make the breadcrumbs.
  9. Wash the herbs and spring onions. Top and tail, then finely chop the spring onions. Finely chop the apricots and dates and place in a large bowl with the breadcrumbs. Remove any hard woody stems from the fresh herbs, finely chop the leaves and add them to the bowl or add the dried herbs. In a small bowl beat the eggs with a fork and add to the stuffing mix.
  10. Melt the spread in one of the saucepans and use to grease the ovenproof dish and mix the rest into the breadcrumb mixture. Add black pepper to taste (if using) and place in the ovenproof dish. Refrigerate until ready to cook then bake in the oven for 25 minutes.

  11. Wash all of the vegetables.
  12. Peel the potatoes, cut into 6cm chunks, place them in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and parboil the potatoes over a medium heat for 8 minutes. Drain over a colander and place in a roasting tray.
  13. Prepare the sprouts by removing the outer leaves and cut a cross into the base of the sprouts using a sharp knife. Place in a bowl.
  14. Peel the carrots and swede and dice into 2cm cubes. Place the cubes in a medium pan and cover with cold water.
  15. Cut the cabbage into quarters and remove the core. Slice each quarter into 1cm slices, place in a colander and wash.
  16. Cut the apple into quarters, remove the core, slice and place in a small bowl until required. Don’t worry if it turns brown as it will turn red when cooked with the cabbage.
  17. Combine the potatoes with the oil and roast in the oven for 40 minutes until golden and crisp.
  18. Place a medium pan of water over a high heat, bring to the boil, add the sprouts and cook for 10 minutes until soft when pierced with a fork.
  19. Add the sliced cabbage and apple to a pan containing 5cm boiling water. Place the saucepan lid on and cook for 8 minutes over a medium heat.
  20. Boil the carrot and swede mix over a medium heat for 12 minutes until soft. Drain using a colander.
  21. When cooked, mash the carrot and swede. Add the spread, milk and black pepper to taste (if using). Mix using a fork until smooth. Place in a serving dish.
  22. Drain the sprouts and cabbage using a colander and place in the serving dish.
  23. Take the potatoes out of the oven when cooked and serve.

  24. Measure 750ml of stock. Remove the excess fat from the turkey roasting tray and heat over a medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a paste. Gradually add the stock and simmer until the gravy coats the back of the wooden spoon.
  25. Serve your Christmas Dinner and the trimmings!

Skills used include:
Washing, weighing, measuring, peeling, chopping, beating, mixing/combining, blending, mashing,
melting, boiling/simmering and roasting.

Top Tips

  • If the turkey has giblets, take them out of the turkey the day before. To make a tasty turkey stock put them into a medium saucepan with a roughly chopped onion and a carrot chopped into ½cm slices, and cover with cold water. Grind in some black pepper to taste and add a few sprigs of herbs (parsley, thyme and rosemary) or a 5ml spoon of mixed dried herbs. Bring to the boil and simmer on a low heat for about an hour. Drain through a sieve into a jug and leave to cool. Put the stock in the fridge when cold and use to make the turkey gravy.
  • Cool the turkey as quickly as possible and store, covered in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

Something to try next time

  • Try some spices on top of your turkey to add extra flavour. Crush 2 x 5ml spoons of coriander seeds and 1 x 5ml spoon of black peppercorns, then= sprinkle over the turkey before cooking.
  • Use a combination of brown and white bread for the stuffing.
  • Make homemade cranberry sauce. Simply simmer 250g of fresh or defrosted cranberries, 1 chopped apple and 50g of caster sugar with a whole cinnamon stick or the grated rind of an orange for 15–20 minutes. Remove the cinnamon stick before serving.
  • Try adding 30g of finely chopped cranberries or 50g of finely chopped cooked chestnuts to the stuffing.
  • Try adding a 15ml spoon of cranberry sauce to the cabbage before serving.
  • Add roast chestnuts to the sprouts. Pierce 50g of chestnuts using a sharp knife and roast on a baking tray for 15–20 minutes, cool and remove the shell. Chop the chestnuts finely and refrigerate for up to 48 hours. Stir into the hot sprouts before serving.

Prepare now, eat later

  • Using your leftover turkey
    Try a turkey and leek pie. Fry 1 small chopped onion and 1 finely diced leek in 1 x 5ml spoon of olive oil. Add the leaves from 5 sprigs of thyme or 1 x 5ml spoon of dried thyme. Stir in 400g of diced turkey (breast and thigh). Add 150ml of chicken stock and 150ml of reduced-fat creme fraiche or cream cheese. Place in a greased ovenproof dish and top with ready-to-use puff pastry. Brush with beaten egg or milk and bake in a preheated oven at 200°C/180°C fan or gas mark 6 for 35–40 minutes until golden and bubbling hot.
  • Try a turkey risotto. Simply substitute the chicken for turkey using our Chicken and Butternut Sage Risotto recipe.
  • Make a salad with 200g of chopped turkey breast, 150g of salad leaves, quarter of a chopped cucumber, 10 cherry tomatoes (cut in half), the seeds from half a pomegranate and a punnet of salad cress. Make a dressing with 100ml of natural yoghurt and the juice of half a lemon and serve with the salad.