With just a few days left until the Christmas dinner we’ve all been waiting for, it’s important that you have all the trimmings at the ready! If you need to make a last-minute dash to the shops, now is the time! Here at World of Spice, we’re focusing this week’s blog on the herbs and spices you can add to your Christmas dinner essentials to make it extra special. Your friends and family will certainly be coming back for seconds!
Christmas Herbs and Spices
Herbs and spices are a guaranteed way to create the flavours that we love and associate with the festive season. From rosemary to cinnamon, these delicious flavours can infuse and enhance your dishes this Christmas. Obviously, it comes down to personal taste, but there are a few necessities when it comes to the seasonings you should be using for certain foods. Here are our essentials list:
- Cinnamon (both ground and sticks)
- Star Anise
So, let’s take a closer look at traditional Christmas food and what herbs and spices you can use to make this Christmas one to really remember!
Turkey: Stuff and sprinkle with onion, garlic, thyme, rosemary and sage for a fragrant and aromatic flavour. You can even step it up a notch by adding a squeeze of lemon and orange, roasting the segments with the turkey for a fresher flavour.
Pork: For a more savoury taste, pork tastes incredible covered in a little garlic, parsley, rosemary, sage, and thyme. At Christmas, we recommended buying a pork shoulder with the potential for crackling. Score the meat, stuff with cloves, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and mustard powder. Cook in red wine with cinnamon and orange halves, baste halfway through. It’ll taste delicious, tangy and Christmassy!
Lamb: Rosemary, garlic and a little mint work beautifully with roast lamb. So, if this is your chosen meat at Christmas, use these liberally. Sprinkle a little fresh mint on top for festive decoration!
Beef: Garlic, thyme, rosemary and sage make all the difference to roast beef. Rub into the meat with a little oil and sprinkle with salt for a crispier finish. Baste in the fragrant juices halfway through and sprinkle again with a light dusting of salt and pepper.
Chicken: Chicken works with so many herbs and spices, but for a fresh kick this Christmas, try oregano and rosemary! Thyme will add a depth to the meat, so if you want things a little stronger, add this.
The star of the show for many. There’s just something about a crispy roast potatoe isn’t there? Firstly, be sure to douse your potatoes in either goose fat, oil and salt - stir to ensure a crisp. Add some rosemary and parsley to the mix and continue to stir. Be sure to turn halfway through cooking and sprinkle a little more herbs and salt on to ensure a full flavour. You can always add extra herbs too, but for us, less is more with a good roasty.
Pigs in Blankets
Sausage wrapped in bacon, mmm. Traditional pigs in blankets are a wonderful festive extra that can be easily enhanced by a sprinkling of rosemary, pepper and a dollop of wholegrain mustard on the side – delicious!
If you want good flavour to resonate through your yorkies, then be sure to stir the herbs and spices into the batter mix. We like to add rosemary and a sprinkling of mustard powder for a fiery bite, complimented by the freshness of rosemary.
Whether you’re going herb and onion, or apple and cranberry, similar herbs will work here. Add a dash of thyme and sage to lift the mix and of course, salt and pepper to enhance all of the other flavours. For reference, a 12-person serving requires 1 tablespoon of dried thyme, 1 tablespoon of dried sage, and half a teaspoon of both salt and pepper, for the best flavour.
Cauliflower cheese is a family favourite. To enhance your Christmas cauli this year, add a little nutmeg to your white sauce for a festively sweet spice. Make a mixture of breadcrumbs, cheese, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley and sprinkle on the top – trust us. Herb crust cauli cheese is just delicious!
Carrots and Parsnips: Roasted carrots and parsnips are a festive classic that everyone loves. To add a rustic sweetness to a plate, we recommend a drizzle of honey, a sprinkle of rosemary, salt and pepper.
Red Cabbage: This dish is a Christmas classic, infused with a sweet spiciness. For a large batch, add a mix of herbs and spices including – 1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, cardamom pods and a sprinkle of nutmeg. This is a side where those true Christmas flavours can be unleashed.
Sprouts: Mixing bacon and chestnuts with your sprouts will truly transform them into a Christmas treat! Add a sprinkle of garlic, coarse salt and pepper to the mix. You can choose to add thyme, dill or parsley to your sprouts too.
We all know that a good gravy can be the making of your dinner! You just can’t beat it poured over freshly steamed vegetables and Yorkshire puddings. So, we recommend making a large batch! Add the fats and remanence of what you’re cooking to the liquid. For example, beef dripping, or a ladleful of the cloves, onion and wine your gammon was cooking in. It’s an easy way to infuse those delicious flavours and make it oh so festive! You can also add strong savoury herbs like a bay leaf, marjoram, sage and thyme. A sprinkle of nutmeg can add a festive sweetness, whilst black or green pepper and onion powder can add a tangy bite.
The sweet tanginess of cranberries mean they can be very universal when it comes to seasoning. Try adding a sprinkle of cinnamon and cardamom for a festive flavour. Thyme also works really well too. We know there are other sauces than cranberry to add to your Christmas dinner plate, so take a look at our Christmas condiment blog for other festive ideas!
Get in Touch
If you want to prepare an out of this world Christmas dinner this year, be sure to add those festive herbs and spices to your food! At World of Spice, we can help you achieve amazing flavour and traditional cuisine through our herbs, spices and seasonings this winter. For more information about our bespoke services for trade and retail, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or feel free to call our team on 01277 633303. We look forward to hearing from you.