10 best alternative Christmas mains

Whether you're looking for a vegetarian dish or a delicious alternative to a traditional Christmas roast, we've picked out 10 mouth-watering recipes to inspire you, from a colourful vegan stuffed celeriac, to hearty roast beef and succulent salmon.

Chorizo-stuffed beef with roasted garlic sauce
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Chorizo-stuffed beef with roasted garlic sauce

Roast beef makes a wonderful alternative to turkey at Christmas, especially since there's no need to miss out on stuffing with this recipe. The beef is stuffed with a sweet and spicy date and chorizo stuffing and served with a rich garlic sauce and roasted butternut squash for an impressive meaty main.

  1. Preheat the oven to gas 6, 200°C, fan 180°C. For the sauce, slice the top third off each garlic bulb and discard. Drizzle the bulbs with the 2 tsp oil, wrap in foil and roast for 45 mins or until golden. Set aside.
  2. Make a deep, lengthways cut in the the beef so it opens like a book, taking care not to cut all the way through. Arrange the spinach, chorizo, cumin seeds and dates in the middle, then roll up the beef tightly to enclose the filling. Use kitchen string to tie tightly together.
  3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Season the beef and sear, turning regularly, for 4-5 mins until deep brown on all sides.
  4. Transfer the beef to a roasting tin. Roast for 15 mins, then reduce the temperature to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C. Cook for a further 1 hr 20 mins for medium-rare. For medium, cook for 1 hr 40 mins, and for well done, cook for 2 hrs. When cooked to your liking, cover with foil and set aside to rest for 30 mins.
  5. Meanwhile, put the squash and onions on a large baking tray. Toss with the lemon zest, juice, 2 tbsp oil, the spices and some seasoning. Roast for 30-40 mins, stirring halfway through, until golden and tender.
  6. To make the sauce, heat 1 tbsp oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and cook the shallots for 5 mins or until soft. Squeeze the garlic from the roasted bulbs into the pan and discard the skin. Season and add the sherry vinegar, sherry and stock, then simmer over a medium heat for 10 mins to reduce by half. Stir in the cream and parsley; season to taste. Carve the beef and serve with the squash and onion wedges, with the sauce poured over.

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  • Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2kg large beef roasting joint, fat trimmed
  • 200g spinach, wilted, drained and roughly chopped
  • 175g pack chorizo cooking meatballs, casing removed, meat chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 9 medjool dates, pitted and chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, halved, peeled, deseeded and sliced into 4cm-thick wedges
  • 4 small red onions, quartered
  • 2 lemons, zested and juiced
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • For the sauce
  • 2 garlic bulbs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, plus 2 tsp extra
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 300ml dry sherry
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • ⅔ x 30g pack flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped