Traditional English-ish Christmas Dinner

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:49 am on Wednesday, December 16, 2009

savvyhousekeeping goose for christmas
(Image courtesy Gourmet)

For Christmas this year, I’m making a goose. I have never made a goose before, or even eaten a goose for that matter, but I’m not a stranger to making strange meat for a major holiday, so I’m not scared.

Since I’m doing the goose, I decided to have an traditional English Christmas theme this year. You know, weird puddings and crab apples and brandy butter and God bless us everyone and and next thing you know, we’re spending the evening in Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.” That’s the plan, anyway.

Obviously I’m not English and I’m no expert as to what makes up a classic British Christmas dinner. But I did a little research and came up with a partial menu of dishes that I’m probably making. I still need one or two more sides, but here’s the rundown so far:

* Spice Roast Goose with Dried-Fruit Pan Sauce–Pictured above.

* Roasted Potatoes

* Yorkshire Pudding–This is a kind of roll made out of pan drippings. Usually it’s made with roast beef drippings and served with the same, but whatever.

savvyhousekeeping yorkshire pudding

* Brussels Sprouts–I will probably cook them in a cream sauce since that’s my dad’s favorite.

* English Trifle–This is an impossible-to-mess-up dessert–layers of whip cream, custard, lady fingers, and fruit or jam. I got a trifle bowl for my birthday that I’m itching to use.

savvyhousekeeping english trifle

* Flaming Plum Pudding–I admit I’m confused by this dessert, which isn’t a pudding and contains no plums. It has dried fruit and looks like this:

savvyhosuekeeping flaming plum pudding christmas

But! You pour alcohol on it and light the pan on fire, which sounds fun.

* A Nonalcoholic version of Wassail punch–Pretty much hot apple cider.

That’s all I have so far. As I mentioned, I still need another side and some little touches that will cement the theme, but it’s a good start.

What am I missing?

7 Comments »

Comment by J.

December 17, 2009 @ 10:57 am

You need satsumas (clementines) and nuts in the shell for snacking on while the meal is cooking. And some Christmas crackers (the kind with party hats and fortunes inside) for everyone’s place setting. And sherry and/or port to drink before/after–or a lovely Pimm’s cup, which can be very festive. And cheese. You might also do a second veg and some kind of bread or roll.

My stepmother is an old-school British cook (her mum was Irish, her dad was from Brighton), and she always serves bread of some kind at dinner (along with meat, potatoes and 2 veg). She once got really adventurous in the kitchen and made a stirfry–then she baked rolls as a side dish. She has elected to do a Christmas brunch this year instead of dinner, and I have to admit, I’m a little sad. She usually does a roast beef or turkey instead of goose (which in years past has been harder to find in the Midwest), and for some reason the Christmas turkey always tastes better than the Thanksgiving one.

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

December 18, 2009 @ 9:09 am

J–Thanks for the tips. I definitely will add the satsumas and nuts. And I can’t believe I forgot about port!

Comment by Geli

December 18, 2009 @ 5:27 pm

We had goose for Thanksgiving – it was delicious!
Brined it for 2 days prior (rub the goose in kosher salt, put in an air tight plastic
bag and leave in the refrigerator). Before preparing the goose for the oven,
wash all the salt off. Brining makes the goose so juicy.

We’re having venison this Christmas, but I am having second thoughts now,
after looking at your mouth watering picture here…

Comment by Katherine

December 21, 2009 @ 6:17 am

I’m British and although we’ve never had goose (always a turkey) for Christmas your menu is looking good. The secret to Yorkshire puddings is to make the batter in advance and put it in the fridge for half an hour, make sure the oil is hot when you put the batter in the trays and they should rise nicely.

With the christmas pudding you should have brandy butter or port sauce (or both), you should also have mince pies for tea time.

Comment by Savvy Housekeeper

December 22, 2009 @ 9:57 am

Geli and Katherine, thanks for the tips. Have a great holiday.

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