Food & Drink

Top tips on how to avoid a Christmas dinner disaster

Wed.16.Nov.2011 GMT

Let’s face it, Christmas dinner disasters are far from rare in most households. A poll just released shows a quarter of us have first-hand experience of something going badly wrong on the 25th December.

The most common mishaps are dry meat, turkey that is uncooked or hasn’t defrosted properly, people buying the wrong size bird and those that have simply left it so late that the shops have actually run out.

Cooking a feast of massive proportions for extended families of aunties, uncles, grandparents, and children is a task daunting enough to even make a top chef break into a cold sweat, so it’s no surprise  three quarters of the great British public suffer stress as a result of buying and preparing Christmas meat. 

But the survey commissioned by The Q Guild of Butchers to launch their ‘Meat Your Butcher Sessions’ found an overwhelming 95% of the nation has never asked for expert advice about cooking Christmas dinner whilst more than half of us just head blindly go to the supermarket, and pick meat off the shelf hoping for the best. That’s despite the fact that there is usually a butcher’s shop right round the corner, who can offer quality advice on choosing, preparing and cooking meat.

So how can a local butcher help to reduce stress, focus on value and give fresh advice for your festive feast? When should you have ordered your meat by? What’s the difference between a corn-fed turkey and a gold turkey? How much do you actually need to buy so that you don’t get stuck with masses of meat, or even worse don’t have enough to feed the family? And if you don’t even like turkey, what are the great Christmas meat alternatives?

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