Diva Tasting: British Holiday Menu…

A Traditional British Christmas Dinner Menu; my children really never liked turkey. I often opted for this menu instead…

Prime Rib


1 (6 Pound) Boneless Prime Rib Roast

2 Tablespoons Prepared Horseradish

2 Tablespoons Dijon Mustard

2 Teaspoons Kosher Salt

2 Teaspoons Coarsely Ground Black Pepper

2 Teaspoons Dried Thyme

2 Teaspoons Garlic Powder

2 Stalks Celery, Cut Into 2-Inch Pieces

1 Carrot, Cut Into 2-Inch Pieces

1 Small Unpeeled Onion, Quartered And Separated

2 Teaspoons Concentrated Beef Base (paste)

1 ½ Cups Water

1 Teaspoon Cornstarch

1 Teaspoon Water


Step 1 The day before serving, remove the roast from the package, and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Set the roast on a baking sheet, and place in refrigerator overnight. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking time to allow meat to reach room temperature. Rub the roast all over with horseradish and Dijon mustard. In a bowl, mix together the kosher salt, black pepper, thyme, and garlic powder; sprinkle the spice mix over the roast.

Step 2 Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Place the celery, carrot, and onion pieces into the bottom of a roasting pan. Place the roast on top of the vegetables.

Step 3 Roast in the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and roast until the meat is browned and an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 130 to 135 degrees F (54 to 57 degrees C) for medium-rare. Remove from oven, transfer roast to a platter, and cover with a tent of aluminum foil. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. Temperature of the meat will rise about 10 degrees during resting time.

Step 4 To make au jus sauce, skim excess fat from the pan drippings in the roasting pan. Place the pan over a burner set to medium heat, and stir in the beef base and 1 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil, scraping and dissolving any brown flavor bits from the bottom of the pan. Strain out and discard the vegetables. Combine the cornstarch and 1 teaspoon of water in a small bowl, and whisk the mixture into the sauce. Allow the sauce to thicken slightly (sauce will be thin), pour into a gravy boat, and serve with roast.

Yorkshire Pudding


4 large eggs

1 teaspoon kosher salt

cup all-purpose flour

1 cup whole milk

¾ cup melted beef fat


Step 1 Whisk eggs and salt together in a bowl until light and frothy. Whisk in flour and milk until smooth and lump-free; batter will be thin and barely coat the back of a spoon.

Step 2 Transfer batter to a 4-cup measuring cup and chill in the refrigerator, at least 15 minutes.

Step 3 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).

Step 4 Fill each cup of a 12-cup nonstick muffin tin with 1 tablespoon melted beef fat; use your finger to grease the sides and tops of the cups. Place the muffin tin on a baking sheet.

Step 5 Heat in the preheated oven on the middle rack until fat is smoking hot, 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 6 Remove from the oven and fill each muffin cup halfway full with batter.

Step 7 Bake pudding in the preheated oven until browned and fully puffed, about 25 minutes more. Remove from the oven and immediately poke a hole in the center of each to release steam. Serve hot, warm, or room-temperature.
Praline Chestnuts and Sprouts

Fresh chestnuts and Brussels sprouts roasted with shallots, brown sugar, salt, and pepper.

20 Roasted Chestnuts, Shelled

1 Pound Brussels Sprouts, Trimmed

2 Large Shallots, Thinly Sliced

Sea Salt And Ground Black Pepper To Taste

2 Tablespoons Packed Brown Sugar

2 Tablespoons Butter


Step 1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). To produce chestnuts and sprouts with a bit of crunch. Boiling both the nuts and sprouts for 15 minutes between steps 2 and 3 is recommended if you prefer them more well done.

Step 2 Arrange chestnuts and Brussels sprouts in a baking dish (see Cook’s Notes). Sprinkle shallots over chestnuts and Brussels sprouts and season with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle brown sugar over mixture and dot with butter.

Step 3 Roast in the preheated oven, stirring twice, until browned and crispy, about 40 minutes.

Parsnip & Carrot Puree


8 Parsnips, Peeled And Cut Into 2 Inch Pieces

2 Carrots, Peeled And Cut Into 2-Inch Pieces

¼ Cup Snipped Chives

6 Tablespoons Butter, Divided

Sea Salt And Freshly Ground Black Pepper To Taste


Step 1 Place the parsnips and carrots into a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Drain; return vegetables to pot. Turn heat to low, stir in the chives and 3 tablespoons of butter.

Step 2 Begin to puree mixture using an immersion blender. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and continue to puree until mixture is smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Brown Sugar & Port Cranberry Sauce


1 (12 Ounce) Bag Fresh Cranberries

¾ Cup Packed Dark Brown Sugar

1 Large Orange, Juiced And Zested

9 Tablespoons Port Wine


Step 1 In a large saucepan, combine the cranberries, brown sugar, orange zest and juice, and port wine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the cranberries have popped and the sauce has thickened, about 15 minutes. Cool, and refrigerate overnight before serving.

English Trifle


1 (8 Or 9 Inch) Bundt Pound Cake

2 Pints Fresh Strawberries

¼ Cup White Sugar

1 Pint Fresh Blueberries

2 Bananas

¼ Cup Orange Juice

2 (3.5 Ounce) Packages Instant French Vanilla Pudding Mix

2 Cups Half n’ Half®

1 Large Tub of Whipped Topping Thawed and Divided

2 Cup Blanched Slivered Almonds or Toasted Pecans or Walnuts; Separated

12 Maraschino Cherries


Step 1 Slice strawberries and sprinkle them with sugar. Cut the bananas into slices and toss with orange juice. Combine pudding mix with milk and mix until smooth. Fold in 1 cup of chopped nuts. Cut the cake into 1 inch cubes.

Step 2 Use half of the cake cubes to line the bottom of a large glass trifle bowl or small punch bowl. Layer half of the strawberries followed by half of the blueberries, and then half of the bananas. Spread half of the pudding over the fruit. Spread a thin layer of the whipped topping on top of pudding. Repeat layers in the same order.

Step 3 Garnish with maraschino cherries and choice of nuts.

Traditional Christmas Plum Pudding


1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour

2 ½ Cups Fresh Bread Crumbs

4 Ounces Shredded Suet

3 Eggs, Beaten

1 Small Carrot, Grated

1 Apple – Peeled, Cored And Shredded

½ Cup Dark Brown Sugar

½ Cup Chopped Blanched Almonds

2 Ounces Preserved Stem Ginger In Syrup, Chopped

Cup Ground Almonds

½ Cup Chopped Walnuts

Cup Halved Candied Cherries

Cup Dried Currants (Optional)

⅜ Cup Golden Raisins (Optional)

4 Ounces Candied Mixed Fruit Peel, Chopped

4 Plums, Pitted And Chopped

1 Lemon, Juiced And Zested

1 ½ Teaspoons Mixed Spice

¾ Teaspoon Baking Powder

½ Cup Ale


Step 1 In a large bowl, combine flour, bread crumbs, suet, eggs, carrot, apple, brown sugar, chopped blanched almonds, stem ginger, ground almonds, cherries, raisins, currants, golden raisins, mixed peel, plums, lemon juice and zest, mixed spice, baking powder and ale. Let each family member take a turn stirring and make a wish. If you have used more dry fruit than fresh, add a little extra ale to make the mixture less stiff.

Step 2 Grease 2 large or 4 small pudding basins. Fill with pudding mixture about 7/8 full. Cover tightly with greased waxed paper, then foil; secure with string. Stand pudding on a trivet in a large pot of boiling water that reaches halfway up the sides of the pudding basin. Steam puddings over medium-low heat in boiling water 10 hours for large puddings, 5 hours for small puddings, topping off water regularly until quite firm and set.

Step 3 If not serving immediately, let cool completely, then replace covers with fresh waxed paper and foil and store in a cool, dry place, basting from time to time with rum or brandy, for up to 3 months. To serve, reheat by steaming 2 to 3 hours.


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