busyfood.net – Christmas Meal Boxes From Restaurants at Home

Catering for fewer people this year? Looking for ways to treat yourself, cut down on waste and take out some of the effort? Support the UK hospitality industry this Christmas with our pick of the best festive meal kits from restaurants across the country. There are classic Christmas dinner feasts as well as alternative ideas and vegetarian and vegan varieties, with options for two, four, six and more, and various skill levels, so peruse our guide and choose whichever is most suited to you. 

Truffle turkey crown, Hame by Adam Handling, £250 for 3-4 people

A super-luxe kit with some very special touches, including two of Handling’s signatures; chicken butter and cheese doughnuts. Most of the hard work is done for you. Sourdough rolls just need to be briefly baked and slathered in butter and crispy chicken skin. A substantial oven-ready herb-truffle stuffed crown comes with a clotted cream mash that’s as good as it sounds, pre-peeled and sliced parsnips, and Brussels to be fried with pancetta in more of the chicken butter. All ingredients for a Caesar salad are included: butterhead lettuce, croutons and dressing – the serving suggestion is with the main course, but there’s nothing to stop you having it as a starter. The doughnuts require a little work (roll into balls, leave to prove for two hours, deep-fry in veg oil), so get started early or make them to have warm, with drinks, on Christmas Eve. You can choose from Christmas pudding with rum butter, spiced tarte tatin or a whole truffled Tunworth cheese. Optional extras include a main course veggie pumpkin pie (£20) and the chef’s own-label Sussex sparkling wine (£40). Our preview kit came with easy-to-follow written instructions with the promise of accompanying video links when kits go on sale. Adamhandling.co.uk

Photograph by Tim Green

A wooden table lined with a Christmas feast – turkey, carrots, bread sauce, bread, sprouts, crackers and holly

Piedmont truffle feast, Bocca di Lupo, £99 for 2 people

Rich, meat-free, a doddle to assemble and utterly special, this Soho Italian restaurant kit is an indulgent Christmas Eve or Christmas lunch treat. Cooking instructions promise that ‘sometimes too much is just right’, appropriate for a meal that starts with tonnarelli, fine pasta ribbons drenched in fonduta, sauce made of eggs yolks, parmesan and butter. It’s all pre-prepared, just snip open the packs, boil the pasta, drain, pour over the cheese sauce and smother in shavings of whole Alba truffle. (Keep the remaining truffle in an egg box in the fridge – it’ll give your scrambled eggs a whole other dimension). Next up, rabaton: the hearty chard and ricotta dumplings of this northwestern Italian region. Briefly heat, top with sage fried in browned butter, add parmesan. Pudding is easiest of all: individual bonet, plump little domes of caramel, amaretti, coffee, rum and chocolate that slip easily out of (reusuable) moulds. Add a bottle of wine from £12, or push the boat out with Piedmont’s famous Barolo (£66). Boccadilupoathome.com

Four plates of Italian dishes, one pasta, one green gnocchi, one red dessert

The Ninth Christmas Box, The Ninth, from £100 for 2 people (also serving options for 4 and 6)

This beautifully prepared meal from Jun Tanaka’s Michelin starred The Ninth is easy to finish, leaves you with no food waste and, depending on the cost of your Christmas turkey, could work out at very good value. The brined turkey ballotine only needs a quick browning in a pan before roasting, the accompanying rich, highly-flavoured gravy is a mark of the superior kitchen that produced it. Sides include souped-up cauliflower cheese, Jun’s signature hasselback Belle de Fontenay potatoes in an ocean of butter, a sweet, soothing pumpkin purée, stuffing (featuring chicken livers and smoked bacon), red cabbage cooked with pears and sweet-sour glazed carrots and parsnips. The only dish that needs actual cooking is the shredded sprouts with bacon, easily done in a large frying pan. Panettone bread and butter pudding only needs warming through. Everything comes in pouches or containers to be transferred to your own serving dishes before or after heating. The serving size is generous, the left-over turkey slices makes great sandwiches – cranberry sauce is provided. Wine matches are also available, priced per bottle. Order by 12pm on Friday 11 December. Theninthlondon.com

A green table laid with slices of turkey crown, carrots, mash, gravy, red cabbage and more

Turkey, porchetta or veg roast, Townsend, £70 for 2 people

This East London modern British restaurant was one of the first to offer Sunday roasts for lockdown delivery, so it’s had plenty of time to perfect its Christmas offering. Choose from turkey or vegetarian root veg and truffle bake mains, or the porchetta we tried for an Italian twist. Prep is minimal – pour boiling water over the pork fat the night before and leave it in the fridge overnight to create crackling. Everything else just needs to be cooked in the oven with a whole host of sides, including pigs in blankets, chestnut and sage stuffing, duck fat roasties and parsnips. On the stove, cook the sprouts, greens, gravy, bread and cranberry sauces. Top and tail it with a choice of starters: treacle-cured smoked salmon and soda bread, goat’s cheese or Paddock Farm pork and prune terrine with pickles and mustard. To end, Christmas pudding, spiced pears or a superlative sticky toffee pudding with clotted cream and custard. Order by 15 December. Townsendrestaurant.co.uk

A wooden table with a turkey, pigs in blankets, gravy boat, potatoes, veg from a bird's eye view

Restaurant-style 5-course festive meal, Simon Rogan at Home, from £95 pp

From the chef/owner of Cumbria’s famed L’Enclume, this menu is prepped in the kitchen at Cartmel. All pre-cooked components arrive in clear pouches or piping bags with easy-to-follow written instructions (plus QR code for video) for finishing at home. It’s fun, not fiddly. Start with a snack of truffle pudding, a rich truffly, croissant-based square fried and dotted with black garlic emulsion. A second course of onion broth with comté is easy to assemble: warm the bags of broth and silky onions in hot water, decorate with pretty silverskin onions and malted barley croutons. Cured trout next – serve on top of cauliflower purée, sprinkle the plate with cauliflower couscous and hazelnuts, drizzle with celeriac oil and top with crispy kale. Individual turkey portions require brief frying and 2 minutes in the oven; other sides are equally easy and quick to reheat including smoked butter potatoes, cabbage, carrots and parsnips with mustard butter, bread sauce, stuffing and turkey sauce. Dots of berry gel make a fun, cheffy touch. Serve little Christmas puds with a delicate woodruff brandy anglaise. Add on a flight of five wines (£75 for two people) or a bottle of Exton Park fizz (£35). Simonroganathome.co.uk

A table lined with turkey crown, roast potatoes and small ceramic plates of Christmas food

Farm to fork Christmas essential box, Gladwin Brothers, £160 for four people

From the brothers behind restaurants including The Shed and Sussex, this kit contains all you need to create a generous, traditional British lunch of Norfolk Bronze turkey to roast at home, and a 1.5kg gammon for Boxing Day. Make your own pigs in blankets with the chipolatas and bacon provided. Go to town on sides: roasties, carrots, parsnips, sprouts, kale, red cabbage, carrots and Jerusalem artichokes. Roasting guides and recipes are provided to make your own cranberry relish and shaved sprouts salad. All veg is seasonal and local, in line with the brother’s commitment to support British farmers, and comes from near Nutbourne, the Sussex vineyard they own. There’s also a whole stilton, Christmas pudding with brandy butter and mince pies. You can add imaginative extras, such as pigeon and apricot terrine (£8.50), tahini cookie dough ice cream (£6) and wines from £11.80. Gladwinbrothers.com

A table piled with Christmas produce including raw turkey, uncooked sausages, fresh red cabbage, fruit, gourds and more

British turkey, beef and ham plus all trimmings, Lake District Farmers and Pollen Street Social, £300 for four people (£450 for six)

Chef Jason Atherton has teamed up with the Lake District Farmers, who supply some of the UK’s top restaurants, including his Pollen Street Social, to create a box containing turkey breast, heritage beef sirloin and Aynhoe Park honey and juniper glazed ham, that will easily serve six people for Christmas lunch with meat leftover for Boxing Day. Other than roasting the meat (instructions provided – a meat thermometer is handy here) all the prep has been done. Start with a pork, game and foie gras terrine – just slice and serve with pistachio, quince and raisin chutney, ribbons of pickled cucumbers, red cabbage paste and sourdough, toasted and slicked with Ampersand cultured butter. Once the meat is in the oven, there is very little else to do: potatoes have been peeled for roasting around the same time as the pigs in blankets. A hearty cheese and celeriac gratin can be cooked when the meat is resting. Buttery mash is a cinch to warm through on the stove, as are the creamy chestnut and bacon sprouts and beef gravy. Appropriately for a restaurant with a dedicated dessert bar, the final course is a twist on tradition: a full treacle tart served with Christmas pudding Chantilly cream. Sour cherry chocolates and mandarin jellies are the final cheffy touch. This kit gets the balance just right: showcasing British producers, no-nonsense instructions and generous serves. This could also easily work as two very special festive meals; turkey, ham and trimmings for Christmas lunch, gratin and beef on Boxing Day. The box for four people comes with beef rump instead of sirloin. Lakedistrictfarmers.co.uk

A table set with a pumpkin pie, beef joint, pistachio-stuffed terrine and a bowl of sprouts

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