While in the English countryside one year I found out that the English do eat and like turkey as much as many Americans. In England I have found that many people have a roast beef for the quest of honor at Christmas dinner. It is usually a very quality cut of meat like prime rib that is used not cheap stuff like a chuck roast. I found that when turkey is eaten on Christmas for bacon is often used to season it. Some people even put a bit of bacon in the stuffing. Goose is often very popular as well in England. It is prepared the same as you would a turkey and stuffed. I didn’t really like the turkey with bacon. It still tasted like turkey but the bacon just did not seem to go right with the dinner. Goose is not a bad tasting meal but it does have a high fat content relative to turkey and you will notice that in the taste. Nowadays it does seem turkey is king though and most people like to eat it.
Some popular side dishes include roasted potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce and stuffing are very popular. I have never seen mashed potatoes like we typically have in the United States. One version of stuffing the English really like is gingerbread stuffing. This is pretty much just like regular stuffing made in the United States. The difference is that you use gingerbread instead regular bread and apples are always added. I actually like this, but I don’t really like it with my turkey that much. I often will eat it as sort of a dessert.
Just about everyone in England has plum pudding for dessert. This is an English tradition. This almost turns out like a cake than a pudding. It is very delicious and no Christmas dinner in England is complete without this for dessert. This is a dish that many people in the United States may not be aware of, so I thought I would provide a recipe.
Things you will need
1 one cup of prunes
2 cups of raisins
3 one lemon peel finely sliced
4 one orange peel finely sliced
5 one cup of soft butter
6 two cups of breadcrumbs
7 one can of fruit cocktail
8 one grated carrot
9 one cup of brown sugar
10 ½ cups of almonds
11 one cup of flour
12 ½ tablespoon of nutmeg
13 ½ tablespoon of salt
14 ½ cup of milk
15¼ cup of brandy
16 1 bottle of New Castle Brown Ale beer
Begin boiling two large pans full of water. In a bowl combine all of the ingredients that are dry. Next add the butter fruits and carrot. In a separate mixing bowl combines the eggs, beer, milk, brandy fruit peels. Mix the contents of the two bowls and fold the contents of the first bowl into the second bowl. Next put the batter into two bowls that are medium sized and leave to give them time to rise slightly. To cook this you will put the mixing bowls into the pans of boiling water so that the pudding is actually being boiled to get it done. You will boil the pudding for between four to five hours replacing water as it evaporates. I really enjoy plum pudding but I hate making it.
These are some of my favorites that our friends in England have for their Christmas dinner. I hope you like it. Maybe you will try a couple of these ideas. I will caution you that the plum pudding often won’t turn out right the first time you make it. I have been told this by many people and thought I would pass along the warning. Merry Christmas and have a happy and safe new year.
All of the above is based on personal experience.