A Traditional British Christmas Dinner Menu

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close up view of Chef John's Braised Red Cabbage in a pan
Photo: Chef John

Happy Christmas! This year, turn your holiday dinner into an international affair. We've gathered together all the fixings for a traditional British holiday feast, featuring classic dishes like holiday roast beef, Yorkshire pudding, braised red cabbage, and pureed parsnips, plus classic English Trifle and Christmas plum pudding. And for fun, don't forget the Christmas crackers for the guests!

01 of 08

Christmas Prime Rib

Prime rib with juicy-looking pink interior on a white ceramic serving dish

Let this boneless prime rib rest in the fridge for a night to dry before rubbing it with horseradish, mustard, and seasonings. Serve it with the savory pan gravy. "We make prime rib every Christmas," says Donna. "This is the best recipe in my 40 years of making prime rib. I just made it for the second time in a week. It is worth ten stars."

02 of 08

Traditional Yorkshire Pudding

Traditional Yorkshire Pudding
Photo by Chef John.

Chef John gives a nod to English tradition with these quick and easy Yorkshire pudding. Cooked in sizzling beef fat, they emerge as fluffy pastries that smell like Christmas morning. "As legend has it, Yorkshire puddings were traditionally cooked in a pan of fat, at the bottom of a hearth, underneath a large piece of roasting beef," says Chef John. "The smoky heat from the fire, along with all the other goodness dripping into the pan from the meat, must've made for quite a delicious pastry. Though limited by modern ovens, we can still come close to the original by using real rendered beef fat, without which you're just eating a popover."

03 of 08

Braised Red Cabbage

Chef John's Braised Red Cabbage
Photo by Allrecipes.

Red cabbage, braised in wine, seasonings, and a pinch of caraway seeds, add a pop of pretty color to the holiday plate. The salty, sour, and sweet flavors go beautifully with the beef. It also benefits from being super easy. "There are so many ways to tweak this recipe," says Chef John. "Raisins, currants, shallots, onions, leeks, apples, and pears are just a few things that rock in this recipe."

04 of 08

Praline Chestnuts and Sprouts

low angle looking into a plate of praline chestnuts and sprouts
Buckwheat Queen

Roasting your chestnuts and Brussels sprouts with brown sugar and butter creates a crunchy praline-like crust. "You can buy chestnuts in a jar or prepare fresh ones yourself," says Escapechef, who includes a recipe for preparing fresh chestnuts in the recipe notes.

05 of 08

Parsnip and Carrot Puree

looking down at a bowl of parsnips and carrot puree
Allrecipes Magazine

Parsnips and carrots are cooked to tender and then pureed with butter and chives. They're another great partner for roasted meats and "a healthy substitute for potatoes!" says vbellz. "I followed the recipe, then added salt & some horseradish to enhance the flavor. Add a little horseradish at a time until it suits your taste!"

06 of 08

Brown Sugar and Port Cranberry Sauce

looking into a dish of brown sugar and port cranberry sauce

Tart cranberries combine with brown sugar, orange zest, orange juice, and port, the flavorful fortified wine from Portugal that's sweet and strong. "I love how the port wine adds so much flavor to this dish!" says FANTASKMANJAR. "So tasty!

07 of 08

English Trifle

English Trifle
Photo by Love2Nurse.

Trifle is a traditional English Christmas dessert with layers of white cake, vanilla pudding, whipped cream, and lots of delicious fresh fruit. Garnish with maraschino cherries and slivered almonds. "This dessert recipe came from a friend from England," says Teri. "It is delicious and elegant looking layered in a trifle bowl or individual dessert glasses."

08 of 08

Christmas Plum Pudding

a steamed pudding with blue flame, garnished with a holly sprig
"Steamed Christmas Pudding ablaze. My Steamed Christmas Pudding has become a tradition on Christmas for my family.". Cooking-n-MS

And, finally, a true Christmas classic! "This is a fairly basic British Christmas plum pudding recipe but unlike other recipes it can actually have plums in it," says HEATHER.WRAY. Unfortunately the ingredient list is so long, it isn't easy to make it in less than industrial quantities! You can substitute a mixture of fresh and dried apricots, peaches, etc. for the plums and milk for the ale if you wish. Serve with brandy or rum butter.

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