Our top picks for Christmas trimmings

Our top picks for Christmas trimmings

As anyone who has been involved in planning and cooking the Christmas meal will know, the trimmings are an integral part of the experience. In fact, some guests may be more concerned with which trimmings are going to be accompanying the main dish, rather than the main dish itself. As a result, it’s important that thought is given to the Christmas trimmings to ensure no one is left wanting. Trimmings also offer an opportunity to add variety to your typical spread with new choices.

In this blog, you’ll find our top picks for Christmas trimmings in 2023, along with further information and expert recommendations.

What counts as a Christmas trimming?

Tradition dictates that certain dishes are exclusively served at Christmas, or equally, should not be included as a trimming. The best example is probably brussels sprouts. Although they are readily available all year round, you’d be hard pressed to find these vegetables on a UK dinner table outside the months of November and December. Gravy, roast potatoes, and other root vegetables are among the trimmings that are most popular at Christmas, simply because they have become traditional.

That being said, it’s completely up to the individual as to whether they stick with tradition or go against the grain. The word ‘trimming’ means to add decoration or other additions to something in order to make it appear more lavish. Christmas trimmings should be no different, as they populate the dinner table with a range of delicious dishes which guests are free to serve themselves from. The key difference is that the best Christmas trimmings should add taste and texture as well as appearance.

Our top Christmas trimmings

With such a massive range of options available, picking the right Christmas trimmings for your family, friends and guests can be difficult. Everyone will have their own preferences, along with dietary and allergies. As a result, there is much to consider when it comes to trimmings even before you start making them. The choices below take preparation time into consideration alongside the dish’s flavour. This way our recommendations can help your festive meal planning go ahead with minimal hitches.

  • Gravy – proper gravy made with meat bones and leftover vegetables and off-cuts and cooked over a long time cannot be substituted in our opinion.
  • Sage and onion stuffing – stuffing does not just have to be reserved for the interior of a game bird. It can work wonderfully roasted on its own or as stuffing balls.
  • Haggis – haggis is a very versatile ingredient that brings big flavours to the table. Try making haggis bon bons or croquets to add a little flair to your trimmings.
  • Pigs in blankets – you can’t go wrong with pigs in blankets sourced from an expert butcher. Try glazing the pigs in blankets with a sticky sauce to add some sweet and spicy notes to the traditional Christmas meal.

Considerations when choosing Christmas trimmings

As we’ve talked about already, selecting your choice of Christmas trimmings can be tricky and time consuming. To make this process smoother, make sure not to leave the trimmings out of your Christmas meal planning. This will give you plenty of time to get all the ingredients you need together and pull off a great spread.

Find something for everyone

For those with large extended families, Christmas can be a challenge to cook for so many people. This is made more so when some guests have specific eating requirements or preferences. Picking trimmings that offer different ingredients and taste sensations is a good way to keep everyone happy.

Hot and cold

An issue that sometimes arises with Christmas dinner is that all the food is very heavy and leads to people filling up fast. Having a mixture of both hot and cold dishes is a great way to add balance to a Christmas menu. Cold trimmings also mean you don’t have to cook everything on the day. Instead, you can prepare the dishes the day before and simply take them out of the fridge. The time and stress this can save cannot be understated.

Make it special

Although roast potatoes and roast carrots and parsnips have been staples of countless Christmases, these trimmings are unlikely to make a lasting impression. Your guests will on the other hand be more likely to remember if they’re served a dish that they haven’t tried before at Christmas.

Be mindful of the centrepiece

Most Christmas dinners will have main dish that serves as the centrepiece of the meal. Usually, this is a Christmas turkey or gammon but it could be a beef roasting joint too. Each of these example dishes has a drastically different taste, which means trimmings should be chosen that pair well with the centrepiece dish. For example, a whole gammon joint has a lovely saltiness which goes brilliantly with sweet trimmings such as cranberry sauce or honey roast veg.

An online butchers for your Christmas needs

The Village Butchers has an extensive range of Christmas meat and trimmings which can be ordered in advance of the big day. We believe in offering exceptional customer service and value for money, which is why we only source produce from trusted farmers. Contact us today to get organised ahead of Christmas day.

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