Having a turkey dinner on Christmas day is a tradition that dates back to the 16th century and is still upheld by millions of families today, but why? It was Henry VIII who first introduced the turkey into the traditional Christmas feast. Served alongside geese, chicken, beef, boars, swans, and peacocks; turkey began to appear in Christmas dinners as an additional extravagance.
Over four hundred years later, people are still enjoying turkey with their festive meals and it’s no surprise as to why. People in the UK love tradition. It’s also a much bigger bird and therefore suitable for feeding larger groups of people.
Although some things have stayed the same, the Christmas dinner that we know and love today has certainly evolved a lot since Henry VIII’s time. Whilst we don’t go to the extent of having multiple birds and huge feasts to feed the masses, we have developed some of our own extravagancies over the years, that make up The Ultimate Christmas Dinner.
Traditions vary from family to family, and there is no ‘correct way’ to do your Christmas dinner. Many families choose to repeat traditions that have become unique to them over time, which are then passed down through the generations. For us, croquet potatoes are a must. I don’t know why.
Along with all of the personal and quirky additions to people’s Christmas roasts, these are the hardline essentials:
Roast Turkey - Roast turkey is a classic centrepiece for a British Christmas dinner. It's often stuffed with a combination of herbs, breadcrumbs, and sometimes sausage meat. When people think of Christmas dinner, they think of turkey, so it is no surprise that in the UK alone, around 10,000,000 of them are eaten at Christmas, each year
(Source: ‘Animal Aid’)
Stuffing - This can be sage and onion stuffing or different variations with other herbs and ingredients. Some people also make sausage stuffing
Pigs in Blankets – The elite side dish on the Christmas dinner. Small sausages, wrapped in bacon, and enjoyed with cranberry sauce and gravy
Roast Potatoes - Crispy, golden roast potatoes are a must. They are typically roasted in goose fat or vegetable oil
Brussels Sprouts - These small green vegetables are often boiled or steamed and served as a side dish. Some people LOVE them, and some aren’t as enthusiastic but, either way, they’re still a hardline Christmas tradition
Carrots and Parsnips - Roasted carrots and parsnips are common side dishes, adding some sweetness and colour to your plate
The Condiments – Gravy, bread sauce, and cranberry sauce are all important Christmas condiments, served to add rich and exciting flavours to the meal
I don’t know about you, but I am getting hungry just thinking about it. With only two weeks left to get everything you need to make Christmas dinner 2023 the best yet, click on each element in our ‘Ultimate Christmas Dinner’ list, to shop our Christmas essentials.