takeaway christmas dinner
Fri, 11 December, 2020
Christmas dinner, homemade and delivered, ready to cook with foolproof instructions: the turkey roll, the potatoes and the roast mixed vegetables. That’s how you can make an inexpert cook happy on Christmas Day!
Christmas takeaway – can there be a better gift? Presenting someone you care about with lovingly prepared disposable trays of Christmas feast, ready to go in the oven, with instructions even the ineptest cook will find easy? This year or another year for different reasons, it might become the most desirable recipe.
Or perhaps you are in sore need of a new dish to bring round on Christmas Day, since so far year after year you have done a potato salad which sits on the table not touched much?
It is very often true that in spite of guests bringing food round it is the host who takes care of the basics: the roast and the sides. Fancy desserts or novelty slaws are all very well if we know there will be turkey with trimmings waiting for us.
This is my idea for a takeaway Christmas or a Christmas takeaway – if you deliver it cooked. Simple and easy to serve, if not super-simple to prepare. But that’s the gift after all: making something you can do well for someone more talented in another field.
I would not suggest gifting an intimidating slab of meat or, worse, a whole bird with bones, wings and all. Assuming the person at the receiving end is not as keen on cooking as we are, the roast must be totally easy to execute and consume.
No daunting (and unpopular) drumsticks or the challenge of carving: bung in the oven and go. That’s why a boneless, stuffed roulade is the perfect candidate.
Turkey is naturally the most fitting because most people don’t object to it; and a roll made from one large breast fillet will feed eight with leftovers. You can also halve it once constructed, for two smaller Christmas lunch parties.
The recipe, with video, is on the Stuffed Turkey Roll page – dive there for the roast and come back for the sides.
You really can’t beat classic roasties and these can be made oven ready; just resist the temptation to fridge them overnight, presuming you’re preparing your gift the day before. Bog-standard potatoes, parboiled until they almost fall apart, seasoned and kickstarted in hot fat can sit in the dish happily at kitchen temperature overnight.
The roast vegetable mix
The root vegetables plus sprouts is my favourite selection. And don’t omit garlic – the squishy cloves will be worth fighting for at the table. Veggies will benefit from marinating in spices and oils; they will be divine when simply roasted for 40 minutes with a shake-and-toss halfway through.
I know disposable dishes are wasteful but it’s a special occasion – foil containers with lids are completely fit for the purpose. The lid can be used for covering the turkey instead of foil, as long as not on too tightly.
That, fortunately, doesn’t pose a problem! Find a pretty gift box and fill it with mince pies, stollen bites, mini panettone, zimtsterne, spongata, black Christmas cake, fruitcake slices or whatever your heart wishes to gift. Merry Christmas!
takeaway christmas dinnerServings: 4-6Time: 3 hours
- For the turkey roll, see recipe and video below
- For the roast vegetables:
- 1 sweet potato
- ½ celeriac bulb
- 3 parsnips
- 600g carrots
- 1 head of garlic
- 4 rosemary springs
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tbsp. salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp. maple syrup
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- furikake seasoning (optional)
- For the roast potatoes:
- 1 kg all-purpose potatoes
- black pepper
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp. butter
1. For the turkey roll and the gravy, go to recipe or see the video below. When it’s rolled and ready, place it in a disposable foil dish and cover with a lid. Strain the gravy into a tub. Store both in the fridge for up to 3 days, bring to room temperature on the day of cooking.
2. Peel all the vegetables and cut them into thick sticks. Place them in a large bowl with the unpeeled garlic cloves, add all the seasoning and shake the bowl well around to toss the vegetables in the marinade.
3. Pour them with any liquid into a disposable roasting tray. Cover with a lid and store in the fridge overnight, bring to room temperature on the day of cooking.
4. Peel the potatoes and halve or quarter them into twice a bitesize chunks. Place in a pan of salted water and bring to the boil; simmer for 20-30 minutes until soft.
5. Preheat the oven to 200C and heat up a disposable roasting tray with ¼ cup olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter on the middle rack. Drain the potatoes and shake the pan to fluff them up.
6. Remove the tray with hot fat from the oven and toss the potatoes gently in the fat; season generously with salt and pepper and leave to cool. Store covered with the lid at room temperature overnight.
7. First put in the turkey: preheat the oven to 190C fan if available /375F/gas5 with the rack in the middle. Loosen up the lid so it is not on too tightly.
8. Roast the turkey roll with the lid on for the required time (20 minutes per 500g of weight; weigh your roll before gifting so the instructions are precise).
9. Turn the heat up to 220C/425F/gas 7 and take off the lid. At this point place the vegetable tray, uncovered and potato tray, uncovered next to it under the turkey on a lower rack. If they don’t fit, shape the trays gently to make them narrower.
10. Roast the turkey for 20–25 minutes until the bacon is crisp. Take it out of the oven and loosely cover with the lid.
11. At this point shake the vegetable tray about to toss and turn them over.
12. Now transfer the potatoes onto a higher rack, over the vegetables, and turn them over roughly with a spatula. Roast both for another 20 minutes (40 minutes in total), until tender (the veg) and crispy to your liking (potatoes).
13. Heat the gravy on the hob while the turkey roll is resting. Once the turkey is off the roasting dish, pour the juices into the gravy and stir.
14. Serve everything immediately and enjoy it!