Divine Dinner Party

Christmas Dinner English Recipe Ideas
for an Ultra-Traditional Meal

Queen Victoria practically invented Christmas, from decorations to Christmas dinner. English recipe collections like this are the perfect thing to recreate the idea of an old-fashioned Victorian Christmas. From a traditional 18th century chicken recipe to brandied pudding ("but not too much brandy," Queen Victoria would say!), this is as old-fashioned as you get. The perfect Christmas dinner, English recipe style.

Christmas Stocking Tradtional Xmas Decorations

Looking for something more modern? Check out our simple-but-elegant Christmas Dinner Party Recipes.

Divine Dinner Party's Christmas Dinner
English Recipe Collection

Christmas Dinner: English Recipe for a Traditional Main Dish

This English Christmas dinner recipe comes to you straight from the 18th Century. Though the list of ingredients is small, the finished product is tender, juicy, and flavorful. If you want an old-fashioned Christmas dinner, this English recipe will take you right back in time-- they were eating it in England 300 years ago!

This recipe is old and English and really wonderful, but if you're looking for something more traditional for Christmas... roast a turkey. A roasted turkey is a big part of an English Christmas dinner. Serves 4.

Somerset Chicken for a Traditional English Christmas Dinner

Somerset Cider & Honey Chicken

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4 joints of chicken (whole leg/thighs)
2 tsp. dry mustard powder
1/2 tsp. salt
black pepper
1/4 pint English cider (the sparkling, alcoholic kind)
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 tbsp. honey

Instructions: 1. Place joints of chicken in a non-reactive bowl or casserole dish in a single layer.

2. Combine mustard, salt, pepper, cider, oil, and honey. Pour over the chicken and marinate for at least one hour.

3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Bake chicken in large casserole dish or roasting pan about one hour. Baste the chicken with pan drippings occasionally.

4. Skin of chicken will be brown and crisp when done (see photo). Serve hot.

Traditional English Christmas Dinner:
English Recipe for Veggies

Traditional English Brussels Sprouts Recipe with WalnutsOr veg, as they'd call it in the UK. One of the most important parts of the traditional English Christmas dinner is Brussels sprouts. Though in England they're often served with chestnuts, this recipe calls for walnuts-- I've chosen recipes that I like, and I prefer walnuts. Even people who groan at the very mention of Brussels sprouts will like these. Probably. Plus, they're healthy! Serves 3-4.

Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts

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1 lb. smallish Brussels sprouts
1 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 C. chopped walnuts
salt (optional)

Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and bring a pot of water to a boil.

2. Wash and trim Brussels sprouts. Trim off bottoms, remove outside leaves, and slice an X across the stem. (This will help the sprouts to cook evenly.)

3. Dump sprouts in the boiling water. Simmer for 5 minutes, then drain well.

4. Return sprouts to the pot, then stir in oil, vinegar, black pepper, and salt, if desired.

5. Place Brussels sprouts in a greased shallow roasting pan and bake in preheated oven for about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking.

6. Remove sprouts from oven and stir in chopped walnuts.

Bake 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Traditional English Christmas Dinner:
English Recipe for Potatoes

Tired of mashed potatoes? This is the perfect English roasted potato for a perfect Christmas dinner. This English recipe make the perfect potatoes-- crisp but fluffy, salty and peppery. They go perfectly with your English Christmas dinner, or a roast or... well, anything! A recipe to keep on hand all year. Serves 4.

Almost Too-Perfect Roasted Potatoes

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8-10 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
1-2 tbsp. salt, to taste
1-2 tbsp. pepper, to taste
1/4-1/3 C. vegetable oil

Instructions: 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Place peeled and quartered potatoes in a large pot with water and a pinch of salt.

3. Bring water to a boil. Simmer potatoes about 5 to 6 minutes.

4. When potatoes are slightly softened, drain into a strainer. Shake strainer to roughen the edges of the potatoes. This will help them to crisp up properly.

5. Leave potatoes in the strainer for a few minutes to fully dry.

6. Meanwhile, pour 1/4 to 1/3 cups vegetable oil into a large roasting pan. Use enough to completely cover bottom of pan. Place oiled pan in preheated oven for several minutes.

7. Remove pan from oven. Place potatoes in the hot oil and flip them around to coat them evenly with oil. (Potatoes shouldn't be too close together-- if it's too crowded, you may need to use two pans.) Sprinkle potatoes with the salt and pepper, to taste. (Use plenty.) Bake 30 to 60 minutes until golden and crispy.

8. Every 10 minutes or so, baste the potatoes with pan oil (try not to move the potatoes around much in the pan)

9. Halfway through cooking (after about 20 minutes), turn potatoes once (maximum twice). Keep a close eye on them at the end of the cook time-- they'll burn easily.

Traditional English Christmas Dinner:
English Christmas Plum Pudding Recipe

This perfect end to Christmas dinner. This English recipe makes the perfect sweet, fruity dessert. The beer and brandy make it deep and rich-- something the adults will like just as much as the kids. Watch out-- if you don't like fruitcake-like desserts, you may not like this. But you can't get more traditional than a plum pudding!

Note: to make this, you'll need a pudding basin or something similar. A pudding basin is a tall, slim bowl (see photo below) which must be safe to steam. A container for making large flans works, too, but is a little ungainly to steam.

Christmas Plum Pudding

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Plum Pudding for a Traditional English Christmas Dessert 2 C. golden raisins
1 1/2 C. regular raisins, chopped
1 C. prunes, chopped
1 C. mixed candied fruit
1 lemon, zest
1 orange, zest
1 large carrot, grated
1 C. butter, softened
1/2 C. blanched almonds, chopped
2 C. white breadcrumbs (fresh)
1 C. brown sugar, packed
1 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
4 eggs
1/2 C. whole milk
2 C. Guinness stout
1/4 C. brandy

Instructions: 1. Grease two large pudding (20 cm. or 1.2 liters each) basins with butter.

Pudding Basins Used for English Christmas Plum Pudding
Pudding Basins

2. Set two large saucepans of water to boil. Place a trivet or steaming rack in the bottom of each pan.

3. In large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Using your hands, mix in the butter. Add prepared dried and candied fruits and grated carrot.

4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together egg, milk, beer, brandy, lemon zest, and orange zest. Add to butter-flour mixture. Combine well using wooden spoon or hands.

5. Spoon batter into pudding basins. Leave room at the top to allow puddings to expand.

6. Cover each pudding basin with parchment paper, then two layers of aluminum foil. Secure coverings tightly with string.

7. Place the pudding basins onto racks in boiling water. The water should reach halfway up the basins. Boil 5 hours, adding new water as it boils away.

8. This can all be done ahead, and the puddings reserved in the refrigerator for several days or even weeks. Before serving a pudding, boil in its basin for one hour, or microwave individual servings before serving.

9. Top with custard, ice cream, or brandied cream. For a truly impressive end to your Christmas dinner, this English recipe is great when flambéed with brandy before serving.

10. One pudding serves one medium-sized family.

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Getting Ready to Celebrate Christmas?

Divine Dinner Party's Christmas Hub

Want to plan the perfect Christmas party, cook a special holiday dinner, or just make Christmas cookies with your kids? Visit My Christmas Dinner Party and Decorating Central for lots of great Christmas recipes, plus Xmas planning and decorating ideas.


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