Tom Kerridge's top tips for Christmas dinner

Get set for Christmas with Tom Kerridge's top tips for catering to a crowd, including prep work, the secret to a good pud and crispy roasties.

Tom Kerridge head shot

If you want to achieve the juiciest turkey, the crispiest roasties and the most luscious Christmas pudding possible while still enjoying a hassle-free Christmas Day, read Tom Kerridge's expert advice for getting ahead. If you're still in need of guidance, check out our Christmas dinner hub which has everything you need for the biggest and most extravagant meal of the year. 

1. What’s your top tip for cooking Christmas dinner?

spiced Christmas gammon on carving board
Organise yourself. Make sure that you can prep-cook vegetables and just be ready to reheat them. Above all else, really don’t stress about cooking. Enjoy it. If you enjoy it, the food will taste loved and that’s the most important thing.

2. Do you have any tips for getting ahead with the Christmas dinner?

Pigs in blankets on tray and parsnips in bowl
Blanch your veggies and freeze them ahead of time, or blanch them the night before and put them in the fridge overnight. Lots of veggies used in a Christmas dinner can be prepared this way, and it takes some of the stress out of the prep on Christmas morning.

3. What’s the most important ingredient in a Christmas pudding?

Christmas pudding topped with pecans and syrup on plate with spoon
For me its glacé cherries – sticky, chewy and sweet!

4. What’s your tip for making the perfect mince pie?

Mince meat in jar with spoon
I let my wife Beth do it. She makes amazing puff pastry mince pies every year, dusted in icing sugar.

5. Do you have a secret to the perfect roast potato?

Christmas dinner plate with turkey, gravy and vegetables
A lot of people would suggest parboiling them before they go into the oven, but I cook them all the way through on a gentle simmer. Let them dry and cool on a rack so they get a nice dry skin on them (they can be stored overnight in the fridge at this point if you need), then fry them in hot oil, turning infrequently. I usually choose Maris Pipers and I use English rapeseed oil – it’s clean and crisp, so I prefer it to cooking with fat.

6. What’s your favourite meal to make with Christmas leftovers?

Bowl of gyoza, vegetable sticks and prawns
I love a bit of bubble & squeak on Boxing Day. It’s controversial but I prefer it to the Christmas dinner! Served with cold turkey, cold ham and piccalilli, you can’t get better than that.

7. What’s the best way to serve Brussels sprouts?

Brussels sprouts mixed with stuffing in bowl
Halve them and quickly stir-fry them with some chestnuts, bacon and some soy sauce. Keep them bright, crunchy and delicious.

Like these festive ideas? Read other celeb top tips...

Tommy Banks' top tips for Christmas dinner
Raymond Blanc's top tips for Christmas dinner
Nadiya Hussain's top tips for Christmas dinner
José Pizarro's top tips for Christmas dinner 

What are your top Christmas dinner tips? Leave a comment below...

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21st Dec, 2018
My top tip is to get someone else to do the cooking or go out! Such a lot of hype and hassle to try and attain the perfect this, and the perfect that. The whole meal just becomes really stressful. I have done a lot of advance prep this year and have a couple of kitchen elves to help out but it will still be a strain. Roll on January 1st when life returns to normal!