Here are a few recipes for preparing a traditional English Christmas Dinner. Roast Beef and Yorkshire Pudding are a family favorite, and surprisingly easy to make. The roast should be paired with a rich red wine such as a Burgundy, Bordeaux, or Cabernet. To set your Christmas table, decorate with English Christmas Crackers – a selection of high quality crackers are available from England. Enjoy a pause after dinner before serving the Christmas Pudding, and enjoy the ghostly blue light.
Roast Beef and Gravy
Start with a high quality standing beef rib roast, 4-6 pounds. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and place in a heavy roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 450˚ F. Put the roast in the oven and immediately reduce heat to 350˚ F. Roast for approximately 2 hours or until the roast temperature measures 135˚ F. Remove from pan, cover with foil and allow to stand for 15 minutes. Reserve the beef drippings for gravy and Yorkshire Pudding.
To prepare a delicious beef gravy, place two tablespoons beef drippings to a medium pot. Whisk in two tablespoons flour and heat 5 minutes until bubbly. Slowly whisk in one quart of beef broth. Bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper as needed.
While the beef roast is cooking, bring four eggs and two cups whole milk to room temperature. After the beef roast has been removed from the pan and drippings reserved for gravy, add a small amount vegetable oil if needed to bring the total volume of drippings to ¼ cup. Increase the oven temperature to 450˚ F. Beat the eggs thoroughly with an electric mixer, then beat in the milk. Beat in two cups flour and ¼ teaspoon salt until completely smooth. Pour into the hot roasting pan. Using an ovenproof spatula swirl the batter slightly to mix in the drippings. Bake about 22 minutes until puffy and golden; serve immediately.
Brussels Sprouts in Brown Butter
Brussels Sprouts are a Christmas favorite. Remove the outer leaves from and trim an x in the bottom of one pound of fresh Brussels sprouts. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Simmer the Brussels sprouts gently until tender, about 7 minutes. While the sprouts boil, melt 4 tablespoons butter over low heat and heat gently until dark golden brown. Drain the sprouts and toss gently in the brown butter with a little pepper.
Flaming Christmas Pudding and Brandy Butter
There are many recipes for making your own Christmas Pudding, a dense rich steamed fruitcake that bears no resemblance to the soft puddings of the United States. They are occasionally referred to as Plum Puddings because they contain dried plums, as well as many other dried fruits. Making a Christmas Pudding is somewhat labor intensive and the pudding must be aged for several months, sprinkling with brandy. Fortunately there are many excellent prepared puddings. An English Christmas classic is the selection of Christmas puddings from Fortnum and Mason.
Prepare the brandy butter in advance. Cream 4 tablespoons butter and beat in ¼ cup confectioner’s sugar. Gradually beat in 2 tablespoons of brandy. Cover and chill the butter until serving time. To serve a flaming Christmas pudding, warm according to package directions. Invert the pudding onto a heatproof plate. Gently heat ¼ cup brandy, pour over the top of the warm pudding, and light carefully. Serve with brandy butter.
Christmas puddings, Fortnum and Mason.