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Top tips for a stress-free Christmas dinner

By Rachel Ogden 20/10/2014

Everyone wants to have a glorious Christmas dinner. Not everyone, however, has the time to pull out all the stops. Rachel Ogden offers her top tips for creating the perfect Christmas spread, without the added hassle

  • Prepare what you can ahead of time – peel and chop vegetables, mix your Yorkshire pudding batter, par-boil your potatoes, wrap sausages in bacon the night before, and make sure they're well sealed in the fridge, to avoid contaminating the flavours.
  • Don't put too much pressure on yourself to home-make everything. Ready-made options are good to keep on hand and can be given a homemade spin by adding a dash of nutmeg, garlic or butter.
  • Don't have enough roasting trays in the kitchen cupboard for your once a year feast? Disposable foil trays can be used to cook the messiest dishes, then binned. A great washing-up saver too.
  • Ask someone else to bring dessert – not only a great workload reducer, but also an easy way to make your guests feel part of the celebrations.

Tips from the top

"Don't throw away your vegetable peel when preparing for the big day. Keep it all in a bag in the freezer then, once all the meat has been picked from your bird, roughly chop the bones so they fit into a big saucepan, add all your peelings and fill with water. Bubble away for a few hours to make a rich stock, then transfer into airtight containers and use for soups and stews over the next month or so." Jamie Oliver

"Cooking for a vegetarian guest is not just about providing an alternative to turkey, but making sure the rest of the meal is accessible. Instead of goose or duck fat, potatoes roast just as well in olive oil. Just before you serve them, toss them in a bit of butter and a touch of paprika, which gives them a wonderful smoky flavour."Simon Rimmer

"If you don't want to spend too much time preparing your turkey for the oven, then ask your butcher to bone out its legs and mince them. You can use the minced legs with your stuffing. Or you can use the legs to make gravy." Paul Askew

For more hints and tips, check out our other handy guides.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.