Cooking Up a Festive Feast With Rosemary Shrager
Renowned British Chef, Rosemary Shrager is best known for being an haute cuisine teacher on the reality television programme Ladette to Lady, and as a judge on Soapstar Superchef. She also made an appearance on the reality TV series I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here!
Here, she shares her top Christmas Tips for cooking up a festive feast.
Plan ahead - Planning is crucial. That's the first thing I always say to people. Without planning you can't be efficient and you'll find yourself all over the place – it's so easy to get mixed up and in a flap at Christmas. So, make a checklist of things to do well in advance, and actually check them off when you've done them. It will be a load off your mind.
Pre-cook and freeze - There are so many things you can make in advance and freeze until you need them. If you're doing stuffing you can prepare it, freeze it and take it out a day or two before Christmas. Bread sauce freezes like a dream and so does cranberry sauce. I always pre-cook things like vegetables, so all I have to do is heat them up on the day. I even par-roast my potatoes the day before.
Gravy - For a good gravy, put vegetables like onions, carrots, celery and garlic underneath the joint or bird. The veg will caramelise and get covered in the juices from the meat, and this caramelisation will give great depth to the gravy.
Stocking up - Don't panic, the shops are always open. People overdo it when it comes to stocking up. We're only talking about one day because on Boxing Day you can eat leftovers. What I do is allow a little more than you need for Christmas Day, so it means there'll be leftovers. If anything, I would get extra salad, potatoes, and cheese. Things go off, so keep fresh food to a minimum.
Create a menu - I always like to make a menu for the occasion. You have something to stick to and your guests know what they're getting, too
Delegate - I've always given my children duties. Everybody needs to have a hand in things because that's what Christmas is all about: everybody working together as a family. Get some people to lay the table and others to serve drinks etc.
Keep it fun - My main tip is don't make it such a big thing. It's all about having fun. Keep it less materialistic and more about what you're doing together as a family.