Food & Drink

We asked 9 top chefs how to do something a little different this Christmas

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Bobby Palmer
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Christmas turkey

Get stuffed, turkey!

Sausage-fried sprouts

Oli Templeton, head chef of Carousel

“There’s never not a good time for sausages, but Christmas is when they come into their own. Stir-fry smoked sausage with sprout tops, chestnuts and chilli.”

Duck bonbons

Tommy Heaney, owner of Heaney’s Cardiff

“You can’t beat cranberry duck bonbons; they add a real edge to Christmas lunch. I make mine from confit duck leg, served with a cranberry and red cabbage purée alongside the traditional trimmings.”

A whole pig

Ronnie Kimbugwe, group head chef of Bel & The Dragon

“I like to prepare a roast pig, stuffing it with prunes, apricots and apples, and for a Christmas kick: cinnamon and brandy. Make it a suckling pig for a real showstopper.”

Grilled eel

Michele Prompili and Carlo Deho, co-founders of Sood Kitchen at Bottles

“There is no Christmas without grilled eel. It’s one of the most superstitious dishes in Neapolitan tradition; it brings good luck. Buy it fresh and smoked, then cook it on coals.”

Goose-fat mince pies

Adam Byatt, chef patron of Trinity, Upstairs and Bistro Union

“I make mince pies using leftover goose fat. Add pieces of Stilton to make the pies more savoury – you’ll never eat a normal mince pie again.”

Venison and meatballs

Manish Mehrotra, corporate chef of Indian Accent

“Venison’s deep, rich flavour is perfect for a Christmas showstopper. Replace your pigs in blankets with turkey tikka meatballs.”

Pork-wrapped prunes

Tom Brooke, founder of Red Dog Saloon

“They’re my ‘devils on horseback’: encase a pitted prune in sausage meat, wrap with flattened bacon and seal with a toothpick. Chill, dredge in flour, beaten egg then breadcrumbs, and fry until golden brown.”

Duck stuffed with rabbit

Louis Lingwood, head chef of The Cleveland Arms

“Make the stuffing from rabbit, streaky bacon, orange zest, thyme, shallots, garlic, breadcrumbs, apricots and white wine.”

Cheesy tart

Josh Angus, head chef of HIDE, Ground

“Christmas dining is no longer as traditional as we know it, with more people becoming vegetarian. Throw away the turkey and try a parsnip, onion, thyme and chestnut baked cheddar tart, with grated truffle.”

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