Christmas is a distance memory now and while this recipe was created to help me use up the final remaining of my Christmas dinner leftovers, it can easily be applied for any post-roast dinner. All you need is some leftover meat, cooked vegetables and only a few more ingredients and voila – you have yourself a lazy pie. This particular recipe uses filo pastry as a pie topper (because I had filo pastry sheets leftover) but if you prefer, use puff pastry for a more traditional topper.
Around 200g leftover greens (if you have any) or fresh baby spinach;
1 can chopped tomatoes;
2 sheets filo pastry, halved.
Heat the oven to 200C|180C fan|gas mark 5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the sliced onion over low heat for about 8-10 minutes, until soft and lightly browned. Meanwhile, chop the mixed leftover meat and vegetables to bite size pieces. If you don’t have any leftover greens, wilt the baby spinach by sitting it in a colander in the sink and pouring over around a litre of just-boiled water.
When the onion is soft enough, add the meat and vegetables and stir until warmed through. Add the chopped tomatoes and plenty of seasoning. Allow to bubble for about 5 minutes. Finally add the greens/spinach and stir well.
Pour the pie mix into a prepared pie dish. Scrunch the filo pastry and brush with a little oil. Bake for 10 minutes, until the pastry is golden and crunchy. Serve with fresh salad.
If you are in need of a Christmas menu, then look no further! Here’s my guide to making the perfect feast for 10, with timing and get ahead information to save you from stressing on the day. With a little prep a couple of days before the big meal, you will be ready to feed an army of hungry friends and family effortlessly!
On the day, for lunch at 1pm – turkey served between 2pm – 2:30 pm (Adjust timings as required for a later lunch or dinner).
09:00. Take out the turkey from the fridge as soon as you get up in the morning, around 9am at the latest. 09:00. Prepare the mozzarella penguins and set aside until you need them. (Or make the day ahead and store in an airtight container). 10:00. Prepare the turkey for roasting as per Step 1 from the recipe, heat oven 90C/170C fan/gas 5. 10:30: Put the turkey in the oven and roast as per instructions. 11:00: While the turkey is cooking, prepare the vegetables.
Peel, chop and parboil the roasties, set aside until ready for roasting;
Peel the parsnips and carrots and marinade in the glaze and set aside until ready for roasting;
Halve the sprouts and prepare all the rest of the ingredients for the stir-fry, set aside until ready to stir-fry. 13:20: Take the turkey out of the oven to rest for half an hour.
Put the pre-boiled roast potatoes in the oven, increase oven to 200C fan. roast for 40-50 minutes 13:30: Put the prepared pigs in blankets and stuffing in the oven and roast for 30 minutes. Put the parsnips and carrots in the oven, roast for 30 minutes. 13:45: stir fry the sprouts and start making the gravy. 14:00: Carve the turkey.
Needless to say, if you can get your partner/guests involved they can help with making gravy, stir-frying etc.
Your Christmas shopping list
2kg floury potatoes (King Edward, Maris Piper);
800g Brussels Sprouts
4-5 garlic bulbs;
300g fresh cranberries;
100g goose fat;
18 cocktail sausages;
3 packs sliced pancetta;
2 packs dry-cured streaky bacon (20-22 slices)
300g Pork tenderloin;
1050g sausage meat;
4kg turkey crown;
1 pack unsalted butter;
600g full-fat cream cheese;
300ml soured cream;
75ml double cream;
100g green olives, pitted;
1 jar cornichons;
140g white breadcrumbs;
140g cooked chestnuts;
75g light brown muscovado sugar;
250g dark chocolate digestives;
397g Carnation Caramel;
From the pantry:
I hope you find this guide helpful. If you have any feedback of what more detail and info you’d like please let me know in the comments and I will gladly adjust the guide and add more to it!
Pigs in blankets are a MUST at Christmas dinner and I, for one, cannot get enough of them. This version uses pancetta instead of bacon, which is cured in a slightly different way and is a little more fatty. You can easily use streaky bacon if your prefer, of course.
I’ve swapped the date nectar from the original recipe for honey as it is easier to find and it’s a suitable alternative.
Sticky pigs in blankets
Serves 6-8 | Prepare 10 mins | Cook 35 mins
Easy | Dairy-free
1 tbsp honey;
1 tbsp English mustard;
18 cocktail sausages, separated;
9 slices pancetta, halved.
Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas mark 6. Mix the date nectar and mustard in a large bowl and season. Toss the sausages in the bowl to coat in the mixture. Wrap each sausage in ½ a piece of pancetta, then place on a parchment-lined baking tray. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and sticky.
Waitrose magazine, issue December 2016.
Get ahead: Prepare the sausages up to 1 day in advance and bake them when required.
This sauce is perfect for your Christmas dinner, whether you are having Turkey or something else. It will go really well with most meats or vegetarian festive dishes. It can also be made ahead in advance, if you want to get ahead.
Cranberry & clementine sauce
Serves 8-10 | Prep 5 mins | Cook 20 mins
Easy | Gluten & Dairy Free | Vegan
300g pack fresh cranberries;
Juice 1 clementine;
75g light brown muscovado sugar
Place the cranberries in a small pan. Squeeze the clementine juice into a measuring jug and make up to 150ml with cold water. Add to the pan and gently bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the berries start to burst.
Add the sugar and stir. Simmer for 7-10 minutes or until the sauce is thick. Transfer the sauce to a small bowl. Serve warm or cold.
Get ahead: The sauce can be made up to 2 days ahead.
Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas mark 7. Place a roasting tray in the oven to heat up. Meanwhile, slice the carrots and parsnips lengthways into halves or quarters so that they are evenly sized.
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, honey and mustard. Add the vegetables to the bowl and toss thoroughly to coat in the glaze. Place on the hot tray and roast for 30 minutes until the vegetables are tender and caramelised.
Original recipe from Waitrose Christmas Harvest 2015, available online here.
Get ahead: Prepare and coat the vegetables in the glaze a few hours ahead of cooking time.