Food

Christmas on a budget: How to have turkey, stuffing and all the trimmings on the cheap

Chefs at restaurant group Balans have shared their recipe for a cheap Christmas dinner which will keep your whole family happy

cheap christmas dinner

The classic Christmas dinner plate. Illustration: Matt Hollings

Christmas is getting more expensive than ever in the cost of living crisis, but The Big Issue is here to help. We’ve teamed up with top chefs and asked them for their ideas for a cheap Christmas dinner that won’t break the bank.

Ben Mulock, exec chef at restaurant group Balans, has suggested combining the turkey and stuffing to create a delicious dish. He tops it off with Brussels sprouts, Yorkshire puddings and roast potatoes! It’s a great take on a classic Christmas dinner.

Mullock said: “We’ve combined the turkey and stuffing into one delicious juicy parcel of meat and gone for some pigs and blankets Brussels sprouts for this family Christmas dinner on a budget. Also featuring our ultimate roast potato and Yorkshire pudding recipes.”

Recipe for a budget-friendly Christmas dinner

Serves 4

Ingredients 

  • 6-8 large potatoes 
  • sunflower oil 
  • a bunch fresh rosemary 
  • 1 x bulb garlic 
  • 300g carrots 
  • 1 tbsp runny honey 
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard 
  • 80g plain flour 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 200ml milk 
  • 4 x turkey breast steaks 
  • Packet of your favourite stuffing mix 
  • 200g Brussels sprouts 
  • 1 onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 x pack bacon lardons 
  • 4 x sausages, meat removed from their skins 
  • your favourite gravy granules 
  • cranberry sauce to serve

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200c. We’re going to start with the roast potatoes as we want lots of time to get them golden, crispy and delicious. 

Ben’s ultimate roast potatoes:

  • Peel and cut your potatoes into evenly sized chunks. Boil in salted water until just tender, with a couple of cloves of garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary. This will ensure the potatoes are perfectly seasoned throughout.
  • Drain and shake the potatoes about a bit to make sure there are some rough edges.
  • Get some sunflower oil smoking hot in a baking tray and carefully add the potatoes and season generously.
  • Turn them every 20 minutes. Half way through, add the garlic cloves and rosemary you used in the water to boil the potatoes to the tray. Because they have been poached, this will ensure they won’t burn but will turn deliciously caramelised. 

Honey and mustard glazed carrots:

  • Peel and slice your carrots in half or quarters. Boil for a few minutes in salted water with a sprig of rosemary until slightly tender.
  • Add to a baking tray with 1 tbsp runny honey and 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard and a splash of sunflower oil. Ensure the carrots are coated in the sticky glaze, season and put in the oven. 

Ben’s Yorkshire puddings:

  • Combine the eggs and flour together until smooth and slowly add the milk, mixing continuously until there are no lumps.
  • Leave the batter to rest for 30 minutes whilst you put a muffin tray into the oven with a generous amount of sunflower oil in each hole.
  • When the oil is smoking hot, add the salt to the batter before stirring thouroughly. Add the batter to the try and bake for 25 minutes.
  • Turn down the heat to 180C and bake for a further 5 minutes so they form an exterior crust, but do not burn. 

Turkey:

  • Prepare your packet stuffing and leave to sit. Meanwhile, get your turkey steak between 2 pieces of cling film and bash with a rolling pin to flatten.
  • Season both sides, then spread a layer of stuffing on one side. Roll the steak up into a log shape and use a couple of cocktail sticks to keep in place. Repeat with all steaks.
  • Heat some sunflower oil in a pan and fry the turkey for about 5 minutes until you get a golden brown colour on all sides.
  • Transfer to an oven proof dish and finish cooking for a further 20 mins, or until fully cooked through. 

Sprouts:

  • Trim any unwanted leaves, cut in half and boil for 3 mins until just tender. Drain and set aside.
  • In a frying pan, heat a glug of oil and add the sliced onion and soften for 5 mins.
  • Add the crumbled sausage meat and bacon lardons and cook until golden.
  • Add 2 cloves finely chopped garlic and the sprouts and cook for a further 3 mins until everything is cooked through. 

Remove everything from the oven. Make your gravy and mix in any juices that have escaped from the turkey parcels. Serve everything with a spoon of your favourite cranberry sauce and any other desired condiments. 

More recipes for Christmas dinner on a budget

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