Top Tips For Making Christmas Dinner Like No Other

We have been banging on about Christmas since it was acceptable to do so  as it’s by far our favourite time of year here at House of Coco. 

If you are planning on entertaining friends and family and doing the cooking yourself then you will be pleased to know we have called in some help to make things better than ever. 

The Wensleydale Heifer’s Christmas menu celebrates the very best in seasonal foods and indulging in sweet treats. Here, head chef, Craig Keenan, shares his top tips for making a Christmas dinner like no other.

Craig Keenan, Head Chef at Wensleydale Heifer

When is it best to start cooking the turkey? 

The main Christmas dinner ingredient, the turkey, always has to be cooked on Christmas Day. Ensure it goes into the oven early in the morning, as you want to let the turkey rest for half the time it has been cooking, which will leave the turkey tender and full of flavour.

Any new trends/flavours to make brussels sprouts more appealing?

Brussels sprouts – you either love them or hate them. Boil the sprouts until they are tender and toss in seasoned butter. More and more people are stating to add bacon to detract from the sour taste of the sprouts to create that extra bit of Christmas flavouring, which can be a nice, alternative change.

What’s the best starter for a Christmas Dinner? 

The starter needs to be very simple and quick to prepare, as the main course is what takes up the most time on December 25 and you don’t want to be in your kitchen all day. The traditional prawn cocktail is the ideal Christmas Dinner starter and won’t fill you up too much before the big dinner.

What’s the best alternative to Christmas pudding?

Christmas pudding should always be present on the dining table, but for those who aren’t keen, sherry trifle is a great substitute, as it is a seasonal classic that people still associate with the festive period.

What’s the best time of day to eat Christmas dinner? 

I would say around 1.30pm is the perfect time to start. The ideal time to finish a Christmas dinner is usually 3pm. This gives you the chance to watch some festive movies and the Queen’s speech, then it’s time to for a nap and wake up ready to start eating again late afternoon.

What’s the biggest mistake people make and how can they avoid this?

By cooking too little! You can never have too much Christmas dinner as every bit of the leftovers can be enjoyed till the New Year. We take this ethos at Wensleydale Heifer and make sure our dinner on the Big Day is something our guests will never forget.

What’s your favourite part of the Wensleydale Heifer Christmas Dinner? 

We feel humbled that so many of our regular guests come to join us for our Christmas lunch, it’s such a fantastic day every year where all the staff and guests enjoy celebrating together.

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