Lisa Allen's reindeer in blankets recipe

  • Serves 8
  • 1 hr 15 mins to prepare and 4 hrs 00 mins to cook
  • 825 calories / serving
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This edible festive scene is great fun for an adult and child team to prepare on a rainy day. The final dish will mesmerise and satisfy in equal measure.

Start by preparing the red cabbage. Put all of the ingredients in a large saucepan and place over a gentle heat. 

Cover the pan and slowly cook for an hour – checking it every 15 minutes or so – until the cabbage is tender.

Then, take off the lid and simmer until the cabbage mixture is syrup-like, add a pinch of seasoning and set to one side while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Now make the snow purée, take the stems off the cauliflower and throw away. Get the kids to break the head into medium-sized florets and set aside.

Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and cook the onions until softened – do not allow them to colour.

Then put the cauliflower florets in the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or so. Add stock to cover the veg and season with a pinch of salt.

Heat until boiling then turn down the heat and simmer for 8-12 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.

Strain the stock from the vegetables and reserve. Place the onions and cauliflower in a blender and add a little of the reserved stock, blitz until you are left with a purée.

Put the cheese in the blender and pulse to mix in. Season as preferred and transfer to a small saucepan - covering with a lid of parchment paper to prevent a skin forming. Place to one side while you carry on and do not allow the kids to dip their finger in to have a taste!

Heat the oven to Gas Mark 8, 220˚C, fan 200˚C.

Now make the roasties, slice the potatoes into thirds and add to a pot of cold water. Heat until gently boiling and cook until the potatoes are starting to soften up but are still firm in the centre.

Strain away the water and leave the potatoes to steam in the colander for a few minutes. Add a dash of salt and toss the potatoes to gently break them up at the edges – this will ensure your roasties crisp up while cooking.

Pour vegetable oil or duck fat into a roasting tray and put into the oven to heat up the oil or fat for 10 minutes.

Take the tray out of the oven and put the potatoes into the tray – keep the kids well away for this step, as the oil will be very hot!

Put the tray back into the oven to cook for 45 minutes - until they crisp up and are golden - turning halfway through cooking time. Once cooked, take them out of the oven but leave them somewhere warm.

While the roasties are cooking, start making Santa’s sleigh! (AKA Yorkshire pudding) Ask your little helpers to sift flour into a large bowl, then make a well in the centre.

Crack an egg into the well and use a wooden spoon to stir gently into the flour until nicely mixed in.

Let the little ones pour in the milk, water, salt and pepper and then whisk until the lumps are removed. Place to one side.

Pour the beef dripping or vegetable oil into a roasting tray that is 28 x 18cm, then put the tray into the oven for 10 minutes until scorching hot.

While the tray is in the oven, start work on the reindeer in blankets element. Wrap 1 slice of bacon around the centre of each sausage – or better still, let a child do it. Place the reindeers onto a baking tray with the ends of the bacon tucked in underneath the sausages to hold in place.

Heat in the oven for 20-25 minutes.

Then, remove the tray for the sleigh. Pour in the Yorkshire pudding batter and put the tray back into the oven for a further 25-30 minutes - until the pudding is delectably crispy and puffed up.

5 minutes before the Yorkshire pudding or sleigh is fully cooked, put the potatoes back in the oven and reheat the cabbage and snow purée in two pans set over a low heat.

When the reindeer in blankets are cooked through, take out of the oven and encourage the kids to pick 9 small tips off the rosemary sprigs to stick in one end of each sausage for 'antlers'.

Take the Yorkshire pudding out of the oven. Then, sweep the snow purée horizontally across the centre of a darkly coloured, large serving dish or platter.

Put the Yorkshire pudding at one end and get the kids to fill the sleigh with the red cabbage and potatoes.

Ask your little helpers to arrange the reindeer in 2 lines of 4 in front of the sleigh, making one at the front to be Rudolph.

Lay a cranberry in front of Rudolph to make his nose and let the kids use their creativity to decorate the rest of the dish with more cranberries and rosemary. Pour over some hot gravy and serve immediately.

See all Cooking with Kids recipes

For top tips on protecting you and your family when preparing raw meat and poultry, visit Food Safety in the Home and view the full Food safety at home video.

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  • Ingredients

  • For the reindeer in blankets

  • 9 sausages (beef, pork or lamb)
  • 9 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • 50g (1 1/2oz) cranberries
  • For the red cabbage

  • 1 red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 pinch ground cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 100ml (3 1/2 fl oz) red wine vinegar
  • 100g (3 1/2oz) redcurrant jelly
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • For the snow puree

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1l (1 3/4pts) vegetable stock
  • 50g (2oz) mild cheddar
  • 50g (2oz) butter
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
  • For the roasties

  • 6 large Maris piper potatoes
  • 150ml (5fl oz) vegetable oil (or duck fat)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • For the Yorkshire pudding

  • 80g (3oz) plain flour
  • 1 egg
  • 80ml (3fl oz) milk
  • 60ml (2fl oz) water
  • 30ml (2tbsp) vegetable oil (or beef dripping)
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch pepper
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  • Energy 3437kj 825kcal 41%
  • Fat 60g 86%
  • Saturates 18g 90%
  • Sugars 14g 16%
  • Salt 3.4g 57%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 53.8g Protein 20g Fibre 6.1g

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