5 Alternative Christmas Meats

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Traditionally in the UK most families will sit down to a large turkey roast dinner on Christmas day. Since living in our new home, we have cooked a whole roast turkey once. It was so big that we had roast turkey for the rest of January! We don’t have a big family and it will be my husband Howard, my son Ted, my mum and I for Christmas dinner this year. So I feel buying a turkey is a waste for us.

The other evening Howard and I started planning our Christmas menu. On Christmas day this year Howard suggested a Boiled Gammon which I thought was a great idea. So instead of buying a huge turkey we will be having gammon instead. It lead me to thinking about the other meats I have eaten over the years. My Dad was not a big turkey fan so we would always have different roast dinners every Christmas.

The first one I remember was venison. It was a bit dear! Boom, boom! Venison is a dark meat that has a very strong flavour. However, it was succulent and juicy. The meat is lean but it has enough fat in it to keep it moist. My Dad cooked this one and I think, he soaked the meat in red wine over night. I really enjoyed eating this meat but my husband wasn’t so keen.

My Dad was a traditional cook but he enjoyed experimenting with food. So one year we bought a goose. I have no idea why as my Dad really didn’t like to cook a whole animal. However when I asked him why, I think he told me he fancied trying something new. Geese are big birds so if you need to feed a lot of people this meat is fantastic. In the 19th century this was the meat that people would choose for their Christmas dinner. As time passed, people started to get more choice and the humble goose was left in the past. Goose when it’s roasted has a rich and crispy skin. Plus the fat from these birds makes the best crispy potatoes.

Do you always eat turkey at Christmas or do you like a different type of meat? If so what meat do you buy for your Christmas dinner? Let me know in the comments below and please don’t forget to like and follow me. Thank you.

One year my mum and I were on our own for Christmas. My Dad had to spend Christmas in hospital after his first hip operation. So I decided to cook a roast duck. It was a perfect meal for just my mum and myself. Mum brought the smallest duck she could from the local butchers. I remember her giving me £20 and then sending me with her receipt to collect it. There wasn’t much change from that twenty. So when I gave my mum the change she asked me for the rest of her change. I told her that was it and the duck I think cost about £16. My mum was shocked and I don’t think we ate it again. However the meal was delicious. I found the duck easy to cook and basting it was really simple too. There is a lot of fat from a duck so it’s easy to keep the juices flowing around the bird.

As I mentioned earlier we will be having gammon this year for our Christmas meal. Many households in the UK will be serving this as an alternative to Turkey. Gammon or Ham is a classic Christmas roast and it makes a fantastic leftovers too. The meat is very versatile. It’s not only good in a sandwich but can be used again in a leftover pie. I will be cooking my Dad’s Gammon recipe this year and that recipe is in my cook book Gifts from Grandpa. It’s a delicious way to eat this meat and I’m looking forward to eating my Christmas dinner this year.

My final alternative meat is roast beef. Christmas is the time to indulge. I honestly can’t think of a better way to treat yourself than with a piece of sirlon or rib fillet beef. My Dad was always great at cooking a roast beef. In fact I think he was the king of roast dinners but beef was one he loved to cook. When I lived at home we wouldn’t have beef on Christmas day but we would probably eat it on Christmas Eve, Boxing Day or New Years Eve. I may cook my Dad’s Roast Beef recipe on New Years Eve this year. Again this recipe is in my cookbook Gifts from Grandpa and it’s a guide to how to cook a roast beautifully.

As much as I love turkey for us as a small family it’s a big meat to cook. So that’s why we are going to be eating gammon this year. I can buy a big enough gammon for all of us and then a little bit leftover for another meal or two.