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Rosemary Shrager's Christmas meal timeplan

by Sarah Alcock

Getting your food timings and prep right for Christmas Day can be stressful. The wonderful Rosemary Shrager has put this foolproof timeplan together so you can get Christmas lunch on the table without getting flustered.

You can find Rosemary's Christmas Day menu in our December issue

A month ahead

  • Make and steam the Christmas pudding
  • Make the blinis and freeze
  • Make the bread sauce, cranberry and brandy butter; freeze

Up to four days ahead

  • Make the gravadlax and the stuffing; chill

Christmas Eve

  • Stuff the turkey. Roll the rest of the stuffing into balls. Make the pigs in blankets. Chill both
  • Put the blinis and sauces into the fridge to defrost overnight
  • Blanch the sprouts and orange zest, boil the carrots; cool and chill
  • Lay the table

Christmas Day

  • Take the stuffed turkey out of the fridge so it comes to room temperature before roasting. The sauces, gravadlax and blinis can be kept in a cool place, out of the fridge, too. Then go back to bed!


  • Roast the turkey
  • Blanch the potatoes, ready to roast
  • Put the cranberry sauce and brandy butter into serving dishes


  • Increase the oven temperature to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6.
  • Take out the cooked turkey, transfer to a carving board, cover with foil and rest
  • Roast the potatoes
  • Bake the stuffing balls
  • Reheat the bread sauce
  • Make the gravy
  • Finish the sprouts and carrots


  • Serve the blinis topped with the soured cream, gravadlax and dill. Put the Christmas pudding on to steam


  • Serve the roast turkey with trimmings and vegetables


  • Serve the Christmas pudding with the brandy butter


  • Chill out!

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