It is not unusual for families to spend hundreds on a big festive Christmas dinner, with the prices of turkey and booze rising, but Iceland is offering an alternative
It’s the meal we’re all excited about but the cost of Christmas dinner can be hard to swallow.
Depending on how many people you’ll be serving, the cost of cooking a turkey and trimmings can rise into the hundreds – and that’s before we’ve had a tipple.
In a bid to offer an alternative, Iceland is offering a 60-minute Christmas dinner designed to give families the opportunity to spend more time together on the day.
But can it be done within that time? And more importantly, does it taste any good?
The spread comes in at a bargainous £16.79 if you include dessert (and £10.79 without) and feeds four – so is perfect for those whose purses are feeling a little light.
Despite only taking an hour, the spread includes festive favorites like pigs in blankets, luxury roast potatoes, stuffing balls and a luxury Hazelnut Dome Gateau.
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- Bacon Wrapped Basted Turkey Breast Joint 525g, £3.50.
- Luxury Perfectly Crispy Roast Potatoes 1kg, £2.00
- 12 Pigs in Blankets 252g, £2.29.
- Luxury Perfectly Crispy Roast Potatoes 1kg, £2.00
- Pork, Sage and Onion Stuffing Balls 300g, £1.00
- Button Sprouts 900g, £1.00
- Baby Carrots 900g, £1.00
- Iceland’s Luxury Hazelnut Dome Gateau 610g, £6.00
Come December 25th, the aim is to relax after such a turbulent year.
Naturally, the meal I serve will be important, but the pandemic has proven there are other things to focus on.
I’m more concerned about the company around me, and taking time to play games, tell terrible cracker jokes and simply basking in the joy of being surrounded by loved ones.
When it comes to turkey and all the trimmings, Christmas Dinner has often become a time where I slog in the kitchen for hours, only to find my family are slightly tipsy and filled up on Quality Street.
So this is where Iceland’s offerings could be a winner – either for those who are time-light or looking for a cheaper way to enjoy the festive fare.
There is no peeling or chopping, leaving plenty of time to focus on family and friends, and of course, Christmas treats.
Everything is either bunged in the oven or boiled, meaning there really is no fuss. And obviously, that’s great, but I wanted it to be tasty too.
Saving time is great, but not if I end up presenting a sub-par meal.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the timings.
- 00:00: Pre-heat the oven
- 00:05 : Put the bacon-wrapped turkey breast joint in the oven
- 00:20: Put the roast potatoes in the oven
- 00:30: Put the 12 Pigs in Blankets and the pork, sage and onion stuffing balls in the oven
- 00:50: Pop a saucepan with water on the hob
- 00:55: Add the sprouts and baby carrots to the boiling water
- 1:00: Enjoy!
Many people still view frozen food as a lesser fare – but they’re wrong, thanks to huge advancements in technology.
Studies also show that frozen vegetables can contain more nutrients than their fresh counterparts, thanks to delivery delays meaning that stock is sometimes weeks old when it arrives in a supermarket.
The hour I’ve scheduled to cook goes by quickly – but it’s all easy to prepare. I sadly didn’t have any stuffing in my order, so substituted some Yorkshires.
Traditionalists may scoff and claim they don’t belong on a Christmas dinner, but stats show most Brits choose to have them.
The bacon-wrapped joint comes oven-ready in a silver tin, which is super convenient and doesn’t take up too much time.
This is followed by the roast potatoes, and pigs in blankets, before I turn my attention to the hob.
Everything is ready within the allocated time – sadly, just enough to allow for one glass of prosecco, so there’s no chance of getting mildly drunk ahead of the meal, as I traditionally am.
But the meal looks good – and my Covid-ridden housemates look impressed, as I hand over their plates, piled high with festive fare.
And the turkey and potatoes are genuinely delicious. I half expected to take a bite and be disappointed but all the flavors are there.
Pleasingly, the roasties have the texture of a crispy waffle, while the pigs in blankets go down to treat.
The carrots and sprouts are a bit underwhelming – with extra time, you could transform them with a knob of butter and fresh herbs, followed by a quick stint in the oven.
But this dinner promised a quick and hassle-free Christmas – and that’s exactly what was provided.
I’d recommend adding a few extra – some gravy and roasted parsnips, as well as the aforementioned Yorkies, but customers will be impressed by this festive spread.
David Lennox, Head of Product Innovation at Iceland, said: “We all know that Christmas Day can become stressful with meticulous timings to create the best Christmas dinner. But we’re ready to help families all across the UK come together to relax, celebrate and enjoy a delicious meal ready in a flash.”
“We don’t want anyone to miss out on spending quality time with family this Christmas, which is why our roasting joints which can be ready in just one hour are the perfect solution.”