What kind of Christmas cook are you?

What kind of Christmas cook are you?

Whether you pride yourself on providing the classic roast, a centrepiece with a twist, a flexible menu or your ability to cut corners (more time to socialise, right?), we’ve got some tips and recommendations to suit your cooking.

The Traditional Cook
The Experimentalist
The Veganista
The Short Cut Cook

See also: Christmas Orders | Alternative Christmas Orders | Christmas Recipes

The Traditional Cook

The lover of hearty, home-cooked favourites …
It’s all about the traditional family favourites – including those special (closely guarded!) recipes that your guests love to eat every year. Making food from scratch is par for the course, and preparations for the main Christmas feast start days, even weeks, in advance.

We recommend:
Turkey from Bishop Vale
If you care about provenance as much as we do, you’ll really rate the turkeys reared by long-term friends of Better Food, Bill and Emma Yeats in Wrington, North Somerset.  These birds aren’t certified organic, because the operation is small and seasonal, but actually over-shoot Soil Association standards by some margin. Bill is an experienced and thoughtful poultryman, who allows his flock to roam, roost and feed in a large field, displaying their natural behaviour.

Available on our Christmas Order Form.

We’ve got some tops tips for the perfect turkey.

Pork joints from Adeys Farm
To be honest, Adeys is our go-to for bacon and sausages too. We’ve worked with Adeys for over 25 years and they’re still a small, family run organic outfit in Berkeley, South Gloucestershire with the best levels of animal husbandry around.

We like a gammon joint, which, if you don’t have room in the oven, you can pop in the slow-cooker first thing in the morning (if you don’t have one, think about asking Santa for one they’re great for one-pot winter warmers). To slow-cook, just follow instructions depending on weight (generally 4-5 hours on medium or high). You can add a honey glaze towards the end and finish it off in the oven whilst the turkey is resting. Delicious!

Available on our Christmas Order Form.

Parsnips, sprouts and red cabbage all support the main stars of the show. Finally, as we reckon you’ve got your own favourite roasties recipe (though we have one here), we’ll just point you in the right direction for the fluffiest, most floury of perfect roast potatoes: beeline to the Valor potatoes in the produce section.

The Experimentalist

The food adventurer with an eye on the new and unusual …

Never content with the norm, you love to spice things up – with a centrepiece that’s either completely new or uber trad.  You’ll be looking to mix up the spread, maybe with a less-meat option but you’ll definitely want something more avant guard than a nut roast.

We recommend:
Salmon from Valley Smoke House
Think poultry is overrated? Slow-baked whole roast salmon makes a great menu headliner.  Valley Smoke House do more than simply smoke fish; we also buy whole fish from them, because they source from the excellent Lock Duart who were the first salmon farming company in the world to become approved under the RSPCA Assured Scheme.

Goose from Cracknell’s
If you can’t escape the draw of a roast bird, unveil the original Christmas poultry on your dinner table.  We’ve been working with the fantastic Jeff Cracknell down in Langport since we started.  Rather than reinvent the wheel, the best roast goose recipe we’ve found is from Nigel Slater in the Guardian.

Naturally, with all that goose fat, your roast potatoes will be uber trad (and scrumptious) too.

Available on our Christmas Order Form.

Meat free magic
Our own-made vegan bakes are lined up to cause a sensation on the dinner tables of Bristol’s plant-based festive feasters this year, but as you’re an adventurer, how about this Nutty Mushroom Wellington made with coconut pastry?

The Veganista

The game-changer, loving the new food landscape and the challenges it brings

You’re a pioneer, and being meat-free is as much about discovering a different way to eat as it is about your dietary choices. Food is about sharing and inclusivity. You like to surprise yourself and your friends (especially the cynical ones) with amazing meals made from wonderful alternatives to animal-based products.

We recommend:
Vegan bakes from Better Food

Take some of the stress out of the day with our vegan bakes, crafted by our chefs and certified organic. Try the Seed and Lentil Bake with a creamy vegan cheese sauce (made with almond milk and a little yeast extract or gravy powder) and a crispy roast potatoes on the side.  All you have to do is defrost and pop it in the oven – hey presto!

The bakes make a great side dish if you want to make your own centrepiece; we think the bakes go great with Nutty Mushroom Wellington made with Coconut short crust pastry.

Available on our Christmas Order Form or our Alternative Christmas Order Form.

Vegan ‘cheese’ from Nutcrafter
Wrap things up with a ‘cheese’ board – create your own from a selection of nut-based cheeses specially to order from Nutcrafter, recommended for their wonderful texture and a beautiful flavour.  All either certified organic or contain ingredients of a similar standard.  The board wouldn’t be complete without crackers of course, and we are loving the lavosh flatbread from Bristol-based community interest company, Step and Stone.

Cheeses available on our Christmas Order Form or our Alternative Christmas Order Form.

The Short Cut Cook

Big on intention, short on time, taking the pragmatic approach

Time is rarely on your side … You want to make the best impression but you’re in need of some inspiration, and, let’s be honest, convenience. Here are some delicious ideas you can rustle up quickly, with minimal fuss and maximum pizazz.

We recommend …
… you head straight to our order form!

Chicken from Cracknell’s or fish from Valley Smokehouse
Depending how many guests you’ve have, why not go for something you know and love – our large free range chickens (from Cracknell’s) and RSPCA-Approved whole salmon (from Valley Smokehouse – available smoked or fresh) come in at around the 4kg mark (which feeds 6ish people) – both really easy to cook, from suppliers you can be proud of supporting.

Trimmings from Adeys Farm
Already full of flavour and texture, you don’t need to do anything other than simply cook Adeys Farm organic sausages to make an impact on the table.  Our relationship with the Wilson family from Adeys is long and trusted, the care and attention they give their animals is second to none.

If you’re feeling adventurous enough to try something a little more involved, try using Adeys Farm sausage meat to make some quick and easy sausage rolls.

Vegan Bakes from Better Food
Love the foodie delights at the Better Food café?  Take a piece of Better Food home with you – developed and hand made by our in-house chefs, the vegan bakes are an easy addition to the table. One nutty, one seedy, both delicious, and great as part of a roast or with salad and left overs.

Cheese selection from Various Artisan Cheesemakers
For a fuss-free cheese board, we’ve made all the hard decisions for you.  Selected by our deli team to create a great all-round selection, the five cheeses are all British and all organic.  With 2 sizes of vegetarian cheese boxes for you to pre-order on our order form, all you have to do is serve with chutney and crackers and bask in the glory of a cracking cheese board successfully pulled off.

Available on our Christmas Order Form.