Some Classic English Christmas Recipes (And the Great Italian Wines That Go With Them)

Christmas is just around the corner, which can only mean one thing.

You’re already carefully planning the amazing Christmas feast that you’re going to wow all of your family and friends with. There are few things better than gathering around the Christmas table to enjoy some amazing food.

The only question now is what you should put on your Christmas menu to ensure the event goes off without a hitch.

Usually at Xtrawine, we’re quick to recommend tasty Italian dishes and the wines that go with them.

But this time around, we’re going to change things up a little bit. In this article, we’re going to look at a couple of classic English Christmas recipes and pair them with some wonderful Italian wines.

Without any further delay, let’s jump straight into the first recipe.

Yorkshire Pudding

Those outside of the UK may be surprised to learn that Yorkshire Pudding isn’t actually a pudding at all.

Instead, it’s essentially roasted batter and is a staple of English roast dinners of all kinds. The traditional Sunday roast usually has Yorkies aplenty and people even make plate-sized Yorkshire puddings that they pack with meat and veg.

Naturally, that means it’s a part of Christmas dinner too.

We’re going for the smaller side of the scale with this recipe, which comes from The Spruce Eats. It creates six servings of Yorkshire Pudding and takes about 30 mins.

The Ingredients

  • A cup of milk
  • 4 large eggs, which you should measure into a jug
  • 2 tablespoons of beef dripping
  • A cup of all-purpose flour
  • Just a small pinch of salt

The Method

  1. Heat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
  2. Grab a large mixing bowl and add your milk and eggs, along with the salt. Whisk them together thoroughly before leaving the mixture to stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Sieve your all-purpose flour into the mixture and start whisking again. You’re looking to create a lump-free batter that’s almost creamy in texture.
  4. Leave your batter to stand for at least 30 minutes. If possible, leave it to stand for several hours.
  5. Grab a 12-hole muffin tin and add a pea-sized portion of your beef dripping. Place it in the oven until the dripping starts smoking.
  6. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to your batter and give it another quick whisk.
  7. Pour the batter into each section of the muffin tin. The batter should only fill about a third of each hole.
  8. Place in the oven and leave to cook until the batter goes golden brown. This should take about 20 minutes.
  9. You can repeat steps 5-8 to use up any remaining batter.

The Wine

Traditionally, you’ll serve Yorkshire Pudding alongside a rich meat, such as beef. That means you’re going to need a powerful red wine to go along with the dish.

We recommend any wine that uses Cabernet Sauvignon as its main grape.

A word of warning though. Yorkshire Pudding isn’t a food to eat on its own. It’s more of an accompaniment to a larger meal. Trying to drink red wine with a Yorkshire Pudding on its own will lead to the wine overpowering the pudding.

Mince Pies

These are a Christmas favourite in Britain. Oddly enough, they use mincemeat to create something that’s often eaten as a dessert. We never thought we’d see such an odd combination of meat, sugar and pastry.

But it really works. Here’s how to make 18 pies, according to the BBC Good Food website.

Ingredients

  • 280g of mincemeat
  • 225g of butter (cold and diced)
  • 350g of plain flour
  • A small egg
  • 100g of golden caster sugar
  • A little icing sugar for dusting

The Method

The Pastry:

  1. Mix your cold butter into your plain flour before mixing that concoction with your golden caster sugar. You can add a touch of salt into the mix for some seasoning.
  2. Combing the pastry until it forms a big ball before kneading it. You should get a firm dough that’s almost like what you’d get when making shortbread.
  3. Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. While waiting, grab two patty tins and line 18 of the holes with pastry. You should be able to fill each hole with a walnut-sized ball of pastry, which you’ll press until it fills.
  4. Spoon your mincemeat into each of your pastry casings.
  5. You should have plenty of pastry left. Take a small ball of pastry and pat it out between your hands to create a cap for one of your pies. Repeat this step for all 18 of your mince pies.
  6. Top each pie with one of the lids you’ve created and press the pastry together to seal.
  7. Beat your egg in a small bowl and use it to brush the tops of the pies.
  8. Bake the pies for 20 minutes before removing them from the over.
  9. Leave the pies to cool in the tray for 5 minutes before removing them and placing them on a wire rack.
  10. Once the pies cool, they’re ready to serve. Dust each with a little icing sugar and enjoy.

As a side-note, you can keep your mince pies for about three days before having to throw them out.

The Wine

A sweeter wine will do the trick with mince pies. For example, a nice port will often do the job well. So will a sweeter sherry.

You may also want to try the wine with a nice Grappa. Of course, just try to keep everything in moderation. No eating all 18 pies with a glass of wine each.

The Final Word

Those are just a couple of traditional English Christmas recipes that will give your feast a new edge to it this festive season.

Those of you in the UK are sure to already have your Yorkies and mince pies planned out. But for everyone else, these should make for interesting experiments, especially if you’re planning a roast meal.

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