The Grocer – Critical Eye: Tom Kerridge reinvents Christmas food

Bored with the prospect of turkey and all the trimmings? Fear not. Doughty (and doughy) West Country chef Tom Kerridge has not just come up with a twist on the usual hideously bland (and sprouty) affair, he’s ripped up the rule book and reinvented the darned thing (Tom Kerridge Cooks Christmas, 8.30pm, BBC2, 16 December). The result was, in the words of the man himself, “proper lush” and “a-mazing”.

Not a sprout fan? Try Brussel tops cooked in chestnuts and butter. Find carrots bland? Cook them in industrial quantities of butter, sugar and add star anise. Christmas pud not for you? How about a spiced orange cake served with Christmas pudding ice cream and plum sauce?

What I loved about all the recipes is that they weren’t just manageable for the home chef, they were easy. Take the pièce de résistance, the turkey roll. Kerridge’s view is why bother with a whole bird when all people want is the breast – just buy the breast. Don’t just cook it as is though. Remove the skin, bash it out, stuff it, roll it in clingfilm, tie it and put it on a rack over water, cover with foil and pop it in the oven. When it comes out, ignore its disturbingly pallid appearance and quickly smother it in brown sauce and add crumble topping (which includes pork scratchings what more could you ask for?)

This is a menu that will change your life not mine, though, sadly. I’ve got the in-laws over. While they were ahead of the curve when it came to biscuits for breakfast, they don’t do orange cake and definitely not star anise.