Advertisement

Three wise dishes for a stress-free Christmas dinner

Simple hacks will take the stress out of the big day  (Sorted)
Simple hacks will take the stress out of the big day (Sorted)

If you’re cooking, Christmas is a tricky time of year. Save the stress and dial down the amount of washing up by cooking these three wise dishes with a festive feel.

As part of our Budget Bites column – where we’ve teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month – we’ve brought you three easy Christmas dishes that’ll make Friendsmas a breeze. These not only maximise on taste, but also minimise on mess, and also make the most of your staple ingredients while keeping your fresh shopping list minimal.

We’ve also provided a handy shopping list for the ingredients (though hopefully most of it will be knocking about already), which are used across all recipes to ensure minimal food waste. You just need to decide where to shop, whether it’s locally or online.

Shopping list

  • 6 cloves garlic

  • 400g echalion shallots

  • 650g loose white potatoes

  • 400g Brussels sprouts

  • 20g fresh sage

  • 8 pork sausages

  • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon

  • 2 sirloin steaks

  • 375ml milk

  • 300ml double/heavy cream

  • 50g hard Italian cheese

  • 4 tbsp olive oil

  • 12 tbsp vegetable oil

  • 1 chicken stock cube

  • 1 beef stock cube

  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon

  • 2 cloves

  • 70g dried cranberries

  • 70g dried panko breadcrumbs

  • 75g coarse dried polenta/coarse cornmeal

  • 800g tinned cannellini beans

  • 187ml red wine

Wine recommendations from Perfect Cellar

Château Saint-michel Bordeaux Supérieur 2014, £14.95

Owned by the Delon family of Château Léoville las Cases in Saint-Julien, this small property has produced a dense wine. Château Saint Michel is winemaking at the pinnacle of technology. This medium-bodied red possesses a fine, silky texture and nice balance all the way through the finish. There is a lovely elegance to this wine made from 90% Merlot and 10% Cabernet Franc grape varieties. IWR: “The 2014 Château Saint-Michel opens to pretty aromas of cherries and spices woven together with mineral, fresh cut floral and tobacco. This medium-bodied red possesses a fine, silky texture and nice balance all the way through the finish, which lingers with fresh red fruits, tobacco and spices notes. There is a lovely elegance to this wine, and I expect it to flesh out and continue to take shape in bottle over the next few years.” Simply Fantastic.

BUY NOW

Pigs in blankets and white bean traybake

A cosy dish that will bring joy to your festive gathering (Sorted)
A cosy dish that will bring joy to your festive gathering (Sorted)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

200g Brussels sprouts

800g tinned cannellini beans

4 cloves garlic

4 tbsp olive oil

1 chicken stock cube

4 pork sausages

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon

50g dried cranberries

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C – this will be for the tray bake later. Fill the kettle with water and get it on to boil – this will be for the cranberries.

2. Thinly shred 200g of Brussels sprouts.

3. Tip 2 undrained 400g tins of cannellini beans into a large roasting tray. Peel, then finely grate in 4 cloves of garlic, crumble in 1 stock cube, drizzle in 3 tbsp of oil, and season with a pinch of salt. Add the shredded sprouts and fold everything together.

4. Wrap 4 sausages in 1 rasher of bacon each.

5. Add the pigs in blankets. Lay the wrapped sausages on top of the beans and drizzle over 1 more tbsp of oil.

6. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until the sausages are golden and cooked throughout. Crack on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

7. Add 50g of cranberries into a small bowl and cover with boiling water from the kettle. Allow them to soften while you crack on with a bit of washing up.

8. Once the tray bake is ready, drain the now soft cranberries, squeeze out any excess moisture, and scatter them over everything. Take the tray to the table and tuck in!

Chef’s tip: Switch out cannellini beans for butter beans if you can’t find them.

Steaks with roast potatoes and festive peppercorn sauce

A festive feast that’s sure to delight your taste buds (Sorted)
A festive feast that’s sure to delight your taste buds (Sorted)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

650g loose white potatoes

200g echalion shallots

2 cloves garlic

10g fresh sage

12 tbsp vegetable oil

2 sirloin steaks

187ml red wine

20g dried cranberries

150ml double/heavy cream

1 beef stock cube

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C, then fill the kettle with water and put it on to boil – this will be for the potatoes later.

2. Peel, then quarter 650g of white potatoes. Add them to a medium saucepan, season heavily with salt, and cover with boiling water from the kettle.

3. Place the pan over a high heat and boil for 6-8 minutes, until nearly softened throughout. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

4. Halve, peel, and finely chop 200g of shallots, then peel and thinly slice 2 cloves of garlic. Finely chop the leaves from 10g of sage.

5. Preheat 10 tbsp of oil in a large roasting tray in the oven for 4-5 minutes, until hot. Once the potatoes have cooked, drain them through a colander and allow them to “steam dry” in the colander while the oil heats up – this will make them more crispy later.

6. Once the oil is hot, shake the colander to ruffle up the potatoes a little, then carefully tip them into the tray. Turn them in the oil, then roast for 20-25 minutes, until crisp and golden all over. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

7. Rub 1 tbsp of oil and a generous pinch of salt over 2 steaks in their packaging or on a small plate. Remember to wash your hands after handling raw meat.

8. Place a large frying pan over a high heat – this will be for the steaks in the next step.

9. Once the pan starts to smoke, lay in the oiled steaks. Fry for 1-2 minutes on each side, until golden all over and light pink (medium) throughout. Cooking times will vary here depending on the thickness of your steaks.

10. Once the steaks are ready, transfer them to a chopping board ready for slicing later. Place the empty pan back over a medium heat.

11. Add 1 tbsp of oil, the shallots, garlic, and ¾ of the sage to the pan. Fry for 3-4 minutes, until softened slightly. Crack on with a bit of washing up while you wait.

12. Once the shallots are ready, add 187ml of red wine. Whack the heat up to high and reduce by ¾ – this should take 2-3 minutes.

13. Once the wine has reduced, add 20g of dried cranberries, 150ml of cream and crumble in 1 stock cube. Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, until the sauce has the consistency of double cream. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

14. Slice the steaks crossways at 1cm intervals. If they are a little cold, you can heat the slices up quickly in the simmering sauce if you so wish!

15. Season the sauce to taste with salt and a pinch of cinnamon, then divide it between plates and lay a sliced steak over each puddle. Pile on the roast potatoes, scatter over the remaining chopped sage and serve!

Chef’s tip: Feel free to use your favourite cut of steak for this recipe, or mix things up and use pork chops.

Easy stuffing balls with bread sauce spiced polenta

A comforting combination that adds a dash of holiday charm to every bite (Sorted)
A comforting combination that adds a dash of holiday charm to every bite (Sorted)

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

70g dried panko breadcrumbs

150ml double/heavy cream

200g echalion shallots

10g fresh sage

2 rashers smoked streaky bacon

4 pork sausages

75g coarse dried polenta/coarse cornmeal

375ml milk

2 cloves

¼ tsp ground cinnamon

200g Brussels sprouts

50g hard Italian cheese

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200C and line a small tray with baking paper – this will be for the stuffing balls later.

2. Add 70g of breadcrumbs, 100ml of the cream and a generous pinch of salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix, then set aside to soak while you crack on with the rest of the dish in the next steps.

3. Halve, peel and finely chop 200g of shallots, then chop the leaves from 10g of sage and mince 2 rashers of bacon.

4. Add the shallots, sage and bacon to the bowl with the breadcrumbs, then squeeze in the meat from the casings of 4 sausages.

5. Mix to combine, then shape into 6 even-sized balls straight onto the lined tray with moistened hands.

6. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until golden all over and cooked throughout. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

7. Add 75g of polenta, 375ml of milk, 50ml of cream, 2 cloves, ¼ tsp of cinnamon, and a generous pinch of salt to a medium saucepan. Place over a medium heat.

8. Bring everything up to a boil, whisking all the while, then reduce the heat to low. Simmer for a further 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the polenta is smooth and has the consistency of loose mashed potato. Get on with the rest of the dish in the next steps while you wait.

9. Thinly shred 200g of sprouts.

10. Once the polenta is ready, take the pan off the heat and fold through the sprouts. Finely grate in 50g of cheese, fold it through too, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

11. Divide the spiced polenta between plates, top with the stuffing balls and get involved!

Chef’s tip: This stuffing mix also tastes great baked flat in a tray and served as a side for a festive meal.

In response to the rising cost of living, we have teamed up with Sorted Food to bring you easy, affordable, quick and (most importantly) tasty recipes once a month. Find out more about Sorted and their nifty meal-planning app Sidekick at sortedfood.com/sidekick.