Chef Andrew Sheridan’s Tips for the perfect Christmas Lunch

Executive Chef Andrew Sheridan tells us how he’ll be celebrating this Christmas and offers some tips!

We caught up with Andrew Sheridan to find out how he’d be switching off this Christmas and whether he’ll be allowed to put his feet up or has to cook for his family!

Where are you spending Christmas this year?
I’m going back home to North Wales to spend Christmas with my Mum & Dad, my brother and my kids. It’s the first time in several years that I’ve been with my kids on Christmas Day. They’re still little so Christmas is a magical time for them.

What will you be eating?
We usually have a Rib of Beef – I just prefer it to turkey! We’ll cook a turkey too but it doesn’t always get eaten! I’m a bit of a traditionalist and like a good roast ham too with a nice glaze on it.

What do you have with it?
All the traditional things roast potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding and carrot and swede mash.

Do you have starters?
I’m not sure you need a starter before a big Christmas lunch or you won’t have room for your pudding! Just some light nibbles while the meat rests perhaps. In the restaurant we’re serving a light picked crab dish with tart apple folded through it.

What about pudding?
I’ve lost my sweet tooth as I’ve got older and I’m not a fan of Christmas pudding. I’ll be happy with a generous cheese board and a good bottle of wine to go with it!

As a chef, I like to turn puddings on their head taking traditional flavours, like cinnamon and cloves that you recognise as soon as you smell or taste them, but doing something completely different with them like our Christmas Pudding Ice Cream which we serve with a Salted Caramel Tart.

So do your family let you put your feet up, or do you find yourself stuck in the kitchen?
We all cook together, usually, I do the meat while my Mum and brother will do all the veggies.

Do you have any tips for cooking Christmas lunch at home?
Try braising your turkey legs to pack them full of flavour. Take the legs off your turkey a couple of days before and make a rub using salt, garlic and rosemary. Smother the legs in the rub and leave them in a Tupperware pot in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Then before you go to bed on Christmas Eve put plenty of oil in a roasting dish with the turkey legs, then put them in the oven at 90 degrees overnight. By the time you sit down for Christmas lunch, the meat will be falling off the bone and packed with flavour. Absolutely delicious and so easy to do!

What do you recommend for vegetarians or vegans for lunch this Christmas?
Salt-baked swede or celeriac has as much flavour as any meat dish and vegetarians or vegans definitely won’t feel they’re being treated like second-class citizens if you serve them that. It’s easy to do and can be quietly roasting while you prepare all the other veg.

Just make a dough out of equal quantities of plain flour and salt with a bit of water to bring it together to make a dough. Roll out the dough and wrap it around the swede or celeriac and seal it as tightly as you can. Roast it in the oven at 180 degrees for 2 hours and then take it out and when it’s cool enough crack open the crust and remove the veg. Then cut it into slices (in the restaurant we cut them neatly with a biscuit cutter but you don’t have to be that neat at home). Then to serve it make a honey glaze by warming some good honey in the pan and drizzling over the swede or celeriac as you serve it. The meat eaters will be jealous!

Do you have any family Christmas traditions?
Yes, after lunch we all squeeze on to the sofa to watch a DVD or the classic sitcom The Royle Family Christmas with Ricky Tomlinson and Sue Johnston. It’s still hilarious after all these years!