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Christmas Dinner Menu Planning: The Topic


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You could do a tapas brunch. It's good, hearty and full of variety, and so can appeal to many tastes. Food 911 just did one and it actually looked pretty good. But there are so many different kinds of tapas; you could even have steak and potatoes as part of your tapas selections.

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I'm in the same spot. I couldn't decide. I wanted something slightly unusual, and was going to go Capon, but apparently they're illegal in the UK. So - I'm thinking of doing a slow roasted/ half-braised shoulder of lamb in plenty of white wine and stock, and then a few racks of lamb with honey, mustard and bread crumbs. The shoulder I should be able to do the day before, and reheat - and the rack I can sear off before hand, cover in the good gunk and bread crumbs, and then at the last minute throw it in a really hot oven for 20 mins for med-rare.

Or at least I hope that's how it will work.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

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"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Steak for 17 is going to be tricky, but if your sister insists on it you could do something like a Thai beef salad (grill steaks till rare, slice thinly, toss with halved red grapes, slivers of red chilli + dressing made with the usual Thai suspects, lemongrass/ginger/garlic/mint etc). Or do a carpaccio - had one at the Abingdon yesterday with cold and slightly sweet red wine jus, instead of the usual balsamic, mmm MMMMM it was good. And both do-able ahead of time so you get to spend time with your friends/guests. Potatoes (and finger food) could be taken care of by serving teeny weeny little roasted or steamed ones, split open, with a blob of creme fraiche and some caviare (lumpfish roe if there's 17 of you, unless you're the Russian mafia).

just some thoughts. good luck!

Fi

Fi Kirkpatrick

tofu fi fie pho fum

"Your avatar shoes look like Marge Simpson's hair." - therese

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Wot not turkey??

Seriously, this is festal cooking, that calls for large hunks of protein. Looks spectacular as well.

Cooking for largish numbers is much easier to do a large roast or something in bulk, where the chef does not have to handle individually each mouthful. I would avoid finger food. If you want beef then do a big roasting joint, say a 5 rib piece.

Soup or Lox before, and Christmas pudding after

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jackal10 - are you writing the 'how to cook a perfect turkey' thread?

And I always thought Turkey was among the hardest proteins to get right. Personally, I'd rather go with a four rib fore-rib roast, but so many of my English relatives are used to well-done beef, I just couldn't bring myself to do it. And I think the cook crying at the Christmas table would just ruin it for everyone.

For desert, though, I was thinking of an Admiral's steamed pud variation. My step mum is the queen of fruit preserves. She has some mandarins that have been soaking in brandy for 3 years - I used them for little tarts this summer, and they were unbelievably good. I'm told they don't really come into their own for at least 2 years. The structure of the fruit has almost been replaced by crystalised sugar and brandy. Indescribable.

After waiting for 3 months, Amazon finally found and sent me a copy of the famous Pudding Club's book. There's a very simple recipe for the Admiral pudding there which I'm going to use.

"Gimme a pig's foot, and a bottle of beer..." Bessie Smith

Flickr Food

"111,111,111 x 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321" Bruce Frigard 'Winesonoma' - RIP

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Obviously you could do something like a rib roast with roasted potatoes. But you could also make finger foods using steak and potatoes. eg, relatively common are slices of beef wrapped around asparagus, or in Thai/Vietnamese wrapped around lemongrass. You could wrap beef around roasted or fried spears of seasoned potatoes, too.

The question's a little broad. Do you have a direction you'd like to go? Are you looking for what goes with steak and potatoes or advice on whether 17 people would be better served by finger foods or steak and potatoes? Or what?

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I'm having 18 guests for dinner. One thing to ask yourself is what would the majority of your guests like. Make sure the menu is easy with some do ahead dishes so you are not spending all your time in the kitchen (unless you want to LOL).

This is what I am serving:

appy:

Antipasto platter (fresh mozzarella, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, olives, pickled mushrooms) & italian bread

Shrimp cocktail

Cheese and crackers (maybe baked brie)

Dinner:

Salad (baby greens w/ red onion and walnuts and goat cheese & raspberry vinegrette)

Beef Tenderloin w/ horseradish sauce

roasted garlic potatoes

I have not decided on the veggies yet (maybe green beans and/or spinach and/or glazed carrots).

dinner rolls

I have asked some people to bring dessert.

Add some wine, beer and a few cocktails; there you go!

Here is the recipe for the tenderloin I have had great success with it:

Copyright, 2001, Barefoot Contessa Parties!, All rights reserved

edited by col klink

If anyone would like to see this recipe, please email lcdm.

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  • 1 year later...

Any ideas for a decent Christmas dinner?

I'm in a quandry, I can't decide what to have for my main meaty bit.

Should it be Turkey (traditional), Goose (even more traditional), Guinea Fowl (a little different), a rib of beef or something completely different?

Whats everyone else thinking of?

R

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How many ar you?

Goose will only feed 2, or 4 if you stretch it with lots of stuffing, sausage etc.Guinea fowl is even smaller, and can be dry - better cooked as supremes wrapped in bacon.

I feel cheated if its not a traditional Turkey. But buy a good one (google for Norfolk Black or Kelly's Bronze) and don't over cook it.

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This year we are doing a joint effort with some friends, for my part I will be doing:

-A raised game pie

-Turkey (I prefer goose, infact I don't really like turkey, so this is the Meleagris sp. last chance at glory in my mouth ever).

-Mlinci with wld mushrooms, pancetta and shallots (mostly because it is traditional with turkey in my father's family, but also because of the horrific effort in making them that was seen on Full on Food).

-Yorkshire orange jelly, cowberry jelly.

-Cloutie Dumpling

Plus some other extras

Can't decide if I should get a ham or not.

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Yes, I've got the same dilemma. I'm making Xmas dinner for the first time and I want something slightly more interesting than turkey. I'm going to be feeding four adult foodies, and two children (progeny of two of the foodies, who'll eat anything). I thought of doing duck, but that won't be enough. Please, keeping throwing out ideas.

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Goose!Goose!Goose!

We had an early Christmas Dinner on Sunday, with friends who were just about to emigrate. I'd forgotten how good it is, it beats turkey hands down!

We fed 10 adults and 7 children from ours, and had plenty left for making rillettes afterwards!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Goose!Goose!Goose!

Yes, what Erica said, though maybe even with an extra 'Goose!' added for good measure. Make a proper gravy by oven roasting the giblets and use the fat for the roast potatos and veg (I cribbed from a Classic Conran recipe last year).

We had an early Christmas Dinner on Sunday, with friends who were just about to emigrate. I'd forgotten how good it is, it beats turkey hands down!

We fed 10 adults and 7 children from ours, and had plenty left for making rillettes afterwards!

Seventeen people!? What sort of nuclear-powered goose did you buy!? Kind of reminds me of that Alan Partridge vs the Farmers sketch where he's ranting on about the freakish giant chickens he alleges they keep hidden in sheds.

Cheers

Thom

It's all true... I admit to being the MD of Holden Media, organisers of the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition, the Northern Hospitality Awards and other Northern based events too numerous to mention.

I don't post here as frequently as I once did, but to hear me regularly rambling on about bollocks - much of it food and restaurant-related - in a bite-size fashion then add me on twitter as "thomhetheringto".

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[seventeen people!? What sort of nuclear-powered goose did you buy!? Kind of reminds me of that Alan Partridge vs the Farmers sketch where he's ranting on about the freakish giant chickens he alleges they keep hidden in sheds.

Cheers

Thom

Something along those lines! :biggrin:

Edited to add that I've asked those who did the cooking (not me!!) and the goose weighed about 18lb!

Edited by erica graham (log)

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Yes, I've got the same dilemma. I'm making Xmas dinner for the first time and I want something slightly more interesting than turkey. I'm going to be feeding four adult foodies, and two children (progeny of two of the foodies, who'll eat anything). I thought of doing duck, but that won't be enough. Please, keeping throwing out ideas.

Yes is is a problem.

Goose is great, the best IMO, but it just doesn't go very far This site suggests that you allow for 700 gm weight per person (due to the high bone to meat ratio) and not to choose a bird over 6 kg as extra weight is essentially fat. My grandparents farmed them so we had them for Christmas every years as a kid, from memory this seems about correct. So the largest goose will feed just over 8 adults. This might be ideal for you given your group size.

Turkey mostly is crap. As I mentioned above, thanks to Jack I now have an order for the one of the best Turkeys in the UK. I look forward to eating it.

Another option is a ham. The UK produces some ultra-good ham, a large quality ham will feed a lot of people and the best hams are utterly delcious.

This site has some interesting poultry. A few poncy chooks and and guinea fowl would be interesting.

For my first Christmas here we combined with a few other lost souls, my wife and I provided a pork roast. Mixed roasts (beef, lamb, pork) are relatively normal for an Australian Christmas (but becoming less so as after 200 hundred years, people are noticing how hot it is at that time of the year). However, a some of the Canadian guests completely freaked and wouldn't touch it as "Pork at Christmas is not right".

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With goose, because it is richer than some of the other birds, you do not need quite so much, so it should be OK for you.

I have to say that we tried Canada Goose once, but with no success, so I would stick to a farmed one!!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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I had cooked bronze turkey every year until last when I tried out Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's goose done three ways. It seems like a lot of work, but if you plan it over a few days as he suggests, it's not difficult and is really enjoyable to do. Basically, you render the fat; confit the legs (I threw in the wings too); make a sausage out of the inners and neck meat, using the neck as a casing; and roast the breast off the bone on the day.

I'm doing it again this year, but as mentioned earlier, it won't stretch to a large number, unless of course you get 2 birds, which would be perfectly feasible since they will not be roasted whole.

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Just had a flyer drop through my front door. Lidl has started a gourme range for christmass which include a 4 kg free range goose (I know they are all free-range) for £12.99! Goose for everyone!

Other interesting bargains r ducks, Irish velvet crabs, diced venison and canadian lobster.

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