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Festive Spuds, Crunchy Kale, Stuffing, Yorkshires & Gravy! Blake & Bull's Christmas Tips

 

Our recipes for the cornerstone components of Christmas dinner, what you might need and top tips! 

Equip yourself with bakeware, pans and trays that can sit alongside in the oven, and be frozen. 

Not to be overlooked, the humble spud is the foundation vegetable of Christmas dinner. Fluffy, or waxy, new & plump, here are 2 recipes for your festive feast - starting with Matthew's tried & tested roast potato recipe...

How to cook roast potatoes in an Aga range cooker

Sam, who tried this recipe 3 years ago for the first time, loved it! 

"I fell hopelessly in love with you on Christmas Day when I served your Roast Potatoes to my family!! OH, MY DAYZ!!!The whole family raved about them!! I've had phone calls from friends of family wanting.. no NEEDING the recipe! Even fussy teenagers that NEVER eat any potato in any form (apart from fries from Mcdonalds) where going back for more! 1st time I'd done them, make them all the time now :) Can't thank you enough 🤗" 

Give it a try and let us know how you get on! Matthew's top tip: 

"To my mind, these roasties taste just as good if not better when reheated so if you have a big roast to do then cook them in advance and heat them up for 15 minutes when you need them. This is particularly useful on Christmas day!"

As a set, our Fits On Runners trays offer versatility and compatibility. We are confident that they will be the best set that you have ever owned, so much so that we offer a significant multibuy saving! We have even discounted the compatible liners when bought as a set!  

Not a roast potato fan?How about spiced up HasslebackPotatoes! 

A Scandi dish that is flavoursome and adaptable too. Use a medium to large waxy potato for this one, good at holding their shape and large enough to fill the tums of your families most enthusiastic eaters! Something like a 'Charlotte' or 'Maris' potato is good.

You will need - 

Enough spuds to fill your tray!

Flavouring - this will go between the layers; bay, garlic, thyme & rosemary are good. But you could go spicy too!

A generous knob of butter, or a good olive oil.

Approx 2 Tbsp of breadcrumbs

Here's how - 

  • Get the traythat you want to use, and arrange your spuds in it, when they are cosy and snug you will know how many you need! around 8 will fit in our Half Size Fits on Runners Tray, but it depends on spuds size of course! 
  • No need to peel, cut the potatoes around 3 quarters of the way through at 2mm intervals, leaving a bit at the bottom to allow them to hold their shape.
  • Place your seasoning amongst the layers, broken Bay leaves, Garlic slices, rosemary, thyme are all good. 
  • Baste them in a good olive oil all around for a couple of mins, and then season. 
  • Pour water around the lightly brown spuds, up to a third of the way up. Place on the floor in the roasting oven until it boils, checking them and basting. Then move up on the runners and roast for 20-30 mins, basting once. Breadcrumbsare traditionally added for the final 15 mins of roasting. Serve when brown and crunchy!

How about the gravy? 

how to make gravy in advance with an Aga range cookerOne of the best things to do at your leisure a week before the big day is 'Get Ahead Gravy' (credit to Jamie Oliver here!). There is always one guest who loves to drown their meal in the stuff, and who can blame them! Make sure that you don't run out and make it ahead of time in large batches. You can always add any extra juices from the Christmas meal as you warm it. Here is our range cooker friendly recipe to add to the 'gravy pot'!

 

^ This recipe ^ is Antonia's recipe for freezable chestnut & sage stuffing 

Stuffing & Breadcrumbs - Making your own breadcrumbs is so easy, you can add your own flavours & it saves on food waste. From a couple of weeks before you do your main meal prep, start drying and storing bread ends. Whizz them up in a food processor, lightly toast/dry bake with dried herbs, a good salt and pepper and keep in an airtight container. They are the base of most good stuffing recipes and can be used in a nut roast too. Chestnuts also prepared in advance and frozen make a great side dish, eaten as a vegetable in their own right, or as a gluten-free base for a gravy, yule log or chocolate pudding.

Make and freeze your stuffing This recipe from Sarah Whitaker 'The Cast Iron Lady', is a great vegetarian alternative and can be frozen ahead of time in its tray or portioned ready to serve. 

Our half size traybake is a good size for a large family stuffing, or make a deeper smaller stuffing in a quality loaf tin. Great for nut roasts too!

 

2lb aluminium loaf tin suitable for use in an Aga range cooker

 how to make yorkshire puddings in an Aga range cookerHave you tried Matthew's yorkshire recipe yet? It is annoyingly good. I was confident enough with my recipe to take his on, and I failed spectacularly against his! We even sell a (unique to us) fits on runners yorkshire pudding tray! We are taking pre-orders now!

Top tip! Cook these first and reheat, use the oven at full heat to make them rise. They can be a bit of a flop if your turkey and spuds have exhausted the ovens of all their heat! Of course this is not an issue with an Electrikit converted cooker

Large roasting trays that fit on the runners of aga range cookers how to cook a turkey in an Aga range cooker

Here are our tips on how to cook a turkey in an Aga range cooker! Do you like a Ham alongside? Try Antonia's Cider & Mustard ham. Great as part of a boxing day buffet!

Are you ready to roast? How many of our Fits On Runners trays can you fit in your cooker? 

Here's the geeky spec bit! ...

  • The aluminium base makes the tin light and easy to handle is a great heat conductor and won't warp or buckle in the radiant heat of your oven.
  • Sits directly on the runners in your oven and gives added flexibility when cooking; more space for those roast potatoes! 
  • The hard anodised coating is super hard and long lasting; they'll stay looking great for longer! 
  • Hand wash in warm soapy water, not dishwasher safe - use a liner!
  • 🇬🇧This is a Blake & Bull original made in the UK 🇬🇧

Make washing up easier, don't forget our non-stick liners designed to fit our tins and trays! NOW available to buy in a multipack.

 

A recipe for crispy kale recipeI love crispy Kale! A simple side dish that pleases kids and adults alike! Tell the kids that it seaweed from the depths and they'll gobble it up! Cook this on a shallow bakingtray for best results. 

We wish you and yours many a happy hour cooking in the kitchen fuelled by a festive drink, buoyed by friendly chat!

Katy x

< More, yes more! Christmas tips from the Blake & Bull team! 

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