This is when you can make your freezer really work for you by stocking it with home-prepared vegetables ready for the oven and joints of meat ready to be defrosted.
There’s more choice than ever this year, in a time when we’re all not quite sure how many will be around the dinner table. From the 14 December, you can pick up your Finest Bronze Whole Turkey or Finest Bronze Turkey Crown and pop it into the freezer, ready for the big day. If you’re after a variety of sizes, you could also go with our range of frozen turkeys, which are in store now and keep frozen until you’re ready to defrost. From 19 December our chilled turkeys will keep perfectly in the fridge until 25 December, so don’t worry if your freezer is already pretty full! And make sure you remember the gravy! Our Finest Turkey Gravy is in store from the 14 December.
Of course, if turkey isn’t your pick for the big day centrepiece, there’s a huge range of alternatives to choose from, including Gressingham Large Whole Goose to Finest Sous Vide Lamb Shoulder and Finest Chicken Crown with Stuffing to suit both budget and number of people dining.
If you enjoy gammon at Christmas time, our Finest Extra-Large Unsmoked Wiltshire joint is in store from the 7 December and will keep until Christmas Day.
Don’t forget the arguably most-loved side dish, Finest 10 Pigs in Blankets, in store from the 23 November. These freeze very well and can be defrosted in the fridge overnight before cooking. Remember, just like in the fridge, it’s good practice to keep raw meats in the bottom of the freezer, or at least always in the same drawer to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
This week would be a good time to start buying in the vegetables for your roast. Carrots, parsnips, sprouts, potatoes and even leeks last well for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, so they will be fresh for Christmas Day. Potatoes will also keep for up to three weeks in a cool dark cupboard – just remember to take them out of any plastic packaging so that they don’t sweat, as moisture encourages rot.
Alternatively, prepare your parsnips and roast potatoes for the freezer, so that on the day you can cook them from frozen for ease. For both parsnips and potatoes, start by peeling, chopping and parboiling until almost tender and drain well. Shake potatoes to roughen the edges; now both can be frozen in freezer-safe containers or zip-seal bags. If you’re not looking to prepare veg yourself or are short on fridge space, why not save time and try our range of frozen vegetables, including our frozen Button Brussel sprouts and frozen Broccoli Florets available in store and online now.
Condiments and stuffing
If you have plenty of cupboard space, you could start getting in the bits that take a meal to the next level; things like Finest Cranberry & Ruby Port sauce, mint sauces and dry stuffing mixes, such as Finest Wild Sage & Buttered Onion Stuffing, that you’d hate to be without on Christmas day but are easy to forget.