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Christmas Dinner Cooking Tips

Panicking about catering for the family Christmas? There’s no need as our Head Chef Michael Culley, shares his top tips for cooking the perfect food for families and having a stress-free kitchen at Christmas.

- Preparation is key – do as much as you can in advance. Stuffing, pigs in blankets and vegetables can be prepared the day before.

Plan a cooking schedule - decide what time you want to serve the food and work backwards – remember the turkey should rest for an hour loosely covered.

- Start the day itself with a good breakfast - especially if you are going to enjoy a few glasses of wine or champagne throughout.

 - Cook the turkey in a deep tray  - put it on top of carrot, onion, celery and garlic. Once the turkey is cooked, make the gravy by adding red or white wine, tomato paste flour and chicken stock to the tray - something I call “nans gravy”.

 - For great roast potatoes  - make sure all the potatoes are of a similar size, par boil and drain. When drained, give them a quick shake in the colander to fluff them up.  Make sure the oil/fat you are using to cook them in is already hot before you put the potatoes in the oven. Once they have a bit of colour, add butter to make them rich and indulgent.

 - Great Bread Sauce  - Make this by infusing the milk with cloves, onion, garlic, nutmeg and bay leaf.

 - Sprouts - If you’re not the biggest fan of sprouts you can cut the sprouts in half blanched for 3-4 minutes then cooled on ice. You pop the sprouts along with grated orange zest, grated chestnuts and pancetta in a frying pan and cook until ready.

- Seasoning - Remember to use seasoning to enhance the flavour of everything you plan on cooking

- Get the kids involved – it’s a great way for them to learn about food and cooking. They also love to set the table and make decorations

- Once it is over put your feet up - Get someone else to do the washing up! You have done all the hard work so its time to relax!

For those who want someone else to do the cooking this Christmas, We have our last few rooms remaing on our Christmas packages which includes accommodation, food, wine, beer, soft drinks and entertainment.

For anyone who would prefer a Christmas at home but a chance to relax and take some time out post Christmas then why not join us for the bit in between Christmas and New Year  (27th-30th) that we call recharger. There will be lots to do around the hotel including the indoor pool, vernadah play area with a myriad of games toys and activities. For those who would like to see in the New Year in style with us then you can join us from 30th or 31st for 2 or 3 nights and join in all the fun including gala dinner on 31st, with evening creche for our younger guests. 

Whatever you and your family get up to at this festive season – The team at Moonfleet would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!