Most British families tend to opt for a turkey for their traditional festive dinner but did you know that the good old turkey has only been gracing the British table since the 16th century when it arrived here from America. Before that traditional British Christmas roasts would normally be geese.
British Christmas Roasts
However, poultry isn’t always the meat of choice by everyone on Christmas Day. More and more families are leaving the bird behind and enjoying more standard cuts like pork or beef (and many will cook both a turkey and other joint to mix the meal up a bit).
Whatever Christmas roast you choose there are a whole host of seasonal accompaniments that go alongside, most are interchangeable, and all are part of the traditional menu for a British Christmas.
Roast beef is one of the UK’s national dishes and often enjoyed as a Sunday roast; but beef if also a popular choice for Christmas too, especially with tasty options like rib of beef readily available.
the major part of a Traditional Sunday Roast. Despite its role in the weekly event, a Roast Beef is also very popular for a Christmas roast as well and why not, it’s not all about the turkey after all.
Like with turkey, traditional accompaniments to roast beef include roast potatoes, roast parsnips, Brussels sprouts and lashings of good gravy. If you are serving beef on Christmas day don’t hesitate to serve Yorkshire puddings and horseradish sauce (instead of Cranberry sauce which is a better accompaniment for poultry).
Long before the turkey became the bird of choice for the British Christmas table, it was the goose which had the starring role. To keep your goose joint juicy and moist cook it first in a water bath before roasting.
The roast goose is also complemented by the accompaniments of a traditional British Christmas dinner including pigs in blankets and stuffing balls.
In the past, many rural or farming households in the UK would keep at least one or more pigs. The fattening of the pig with kitchen scraps and kitchen garden waste was pretty much standard in order to provide a plentiful supply of pork products including the Christmas roast.
The keeping of pigs may be less commonplace today but pork, and roast leg or loin of pork in particular, remains one of the favourites on Christmas Day.
For its simplicity of both cooking and flavour, a buttery roast chicken is perfect for a Christmas dinner especially when served with a sage and onion stuffing. It’s also a good choice if you are having a small family gathering resulting in less waste.
Again, all of the traditional accompaniments we associate with Christmas dinner, go perfectly with a roast chicken. And it tends to be less rich and cheaper than other birds so more suitable for some peoples’ pallets and pockets.
Boxing Day Gammon
A British Boxing Day is not Christmas without a baked gammon joint. Served with left over’s from Christmas Day as bubble and squeak or just with simple boiled potatoes, a green veg and parsley sauce, you can’t beat a gammon joint for satisfaction and flavour.
What’s more, no matter what joint you have enjoyed on Christmas Day, you can add cold slices of it alongside side slices of your gammon joint for a plentiful buffet which should also include seasonal pickles and chutneys too!
Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher
Whichever meat or meats your family loves on Christmas Day, Hugh Phillips Gower Butcher has everything you could want … and more. Check our website for our full range of seasonal meats and hampers. Order by the end of November and you will get £10 off your order.