Tommy Banks' top tips for Christmas dinner

Tommy Banks, head chef at the Michelin-starred restaurant The Black Swan, shares his essential Christmas dinner tips for an extra special meal.

Tommy Banks headshot

How do you make the perfect mince pie? What's the definitive way to serve controversial Brussels sprouts? What's the secret to making perfect roasties? We've got the answers from Yorkshire-based chef Tommy Banks. For even more festive inspiration and recipe advice, check out our Christmas kitchen hub

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

Baked glazed ham on serving board with champagne and cutlery
Keep it traditional. It's the only time of year you can eat lashings of bread sauce, a very boozy Christmas pudding, pigs in blankets and crumbly mince pies. 

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

Christmas cake in tin with spoon
Prepare all the veg the day before so you can concentrate on cooking the meat on Christmas Day.

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

Christmas pudding topped with walnuts and holly sprig
Booze. Lots and lots of booze. The last thing you want is a dry Christmas pudding – and it can really dry out – so add as much alcohol as you can.

4. How do you make the perfect mince pie?

Mince pie with bite taken on plate
Adding orange and lemon zest to your pastry creates a lovely, aromatic base for the pie. 

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

Parmesan coated roast potatoes in bowl
Use lamb fat, rather than traditional beef or goose fat. This isn’t necessarily as crispy, however it creates an amazing thick, chewy layer around the fluffy inside of the potato. 

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

Turkey pad Thai in wok and bowl with chopsticks
I make a 'turkey turnover’. It's a turkey, ham and leek pie made with puff pastry and a grainy mustard white sauce. 

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

Pomegranate sprouts on serving dish with spoon
Thinly shred them with a knife, then pan-fry with chestnuts and bacon. 

Found these helpful? Read our other celeb top tips...

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

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

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