Tommy Banks headshot

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.

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

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


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?


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? 


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?


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?


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?


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?


Thinly shred them with a knife, then pan-fry with chestnuts and bacon. 

Found these helpful? Read our other celeb top tips…

12 ways to do Christmas like Nigella
José Pizarro’s top tips for Christmas dinner
Raymond Blanc’s top tips for Christmas dinner
Nadiya Hussain’s top tips for Christmas dinner

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