Home » Roots News » Seven Steps to The Perfect Christmas Dinner

Seven Steps to The Perfect Christmas Dinner

Each year our butchers at Roots deal with questions from customers worried about ensuring their festive food and the all-important Christmas dinner is special.

You want the perfect Christmas for your loved ones.  And we understand this! We want the same thing.

We have taken the top queries and requests which our team of butchers get asked.

So here it is. Our top seven steps to the perfect Christmas Dinner and fabulous festive food.

Step one

  1. When to start planning

The weeks in the run up to Christmas are the best time to start planning your perfect Christmas menu.   Make a list, check it twice! And gather some tried and tested recipes.

Prepare any dishes which can be made in advance and freeze them.

Remember to include Christmas Pudding, Christmas Cake, the pastry for your mince pies, bread sauce, gravy stock and cranberry sauce.  Visit Roots for inspiration and ideas which will make your life easier and your Christmas dinner even more special.

Step two

  1. Four weeks before

Start to stock up on all the non-perishable items you need for Christmas day.  Call into Roots Farm Shop and make sure you have all those delights ready to serve over the festive season.

Decide what you are serving for starters, main course and dessert and start to compile your list. Make a meal plan and a check list of everything you need.

Make sure you have a festive tablecloth.  Check out Roots Curiosities and Gift Shop for cute tableware including candle holders and place mats.  Have you got enough crockery, cutlery and glassware?

Make sure you have room in your freezer for the extra food. Maybe give it a clear out.  Or just eat some of the food in there!

Step three

  1. A week before

Check your meal plan and from it make your shopping list.  Work out what can be bought now and what needs to be bought closer to the big day.

Remember the drinks you need over Christmas, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.  Chocolates, biscuits, cakes, and biscuits for the cheese board. How are you going to make your gravy? This is one of the key things which needs planning.  Speak to our butchers. They can advise about everything.

Many things can be purchased in advance. Here at Roots we have a huge selection of fine wines, spirits, local beers, and soft drinks which are produced locally.  It is tempting but DO NOT open the bottles or boxes for a sneaky taste before the big day!

Step four

  1. Meat orders

Our top tip is to order your meat in advance.  If you order from Roots, rest assured you are ordering the best grass reared beef and local turkeys, free range pork and bacon.  Whatever your choice of meat for Christmas dinner our butchers will advise and guide you with top tips for preparation and cooking. They can tell you which cuts of meat will suit your recipe or requirements.

Even if this is the first time you have cooked Christmas dinner, our butchers are experts. They will guide you and help you make the right purchases.

At Roots you can collect your orders right up to when we close for Christmas.

Don’t forget to order bacon, sausage and black pudding! Christmas day breakfast or even Boxing Day breakfast is an essential.

Step five

  1. Last few days before Christmas

Time to buy or collect your fresh foods. Your meat, vegetables, puddings, and pies if, like us, you haven’t got time to make everything. We stock a range of extra special puddings and pies, perfect to provide you with time to focus on the main course.

Milk! We always worry about running out of milk as we make the 500th cup of tea of the day. Buy EXTRA milk. We stock organic milk from Acorn Dairy. Everyone’s favourite.

Don’t forget key ingredients such as stuffing and pigs in blankets.  There would be a mutiny in our house if we forgot the pigs in blankets. And we simply do not have time to make them.

Cheese! Even if you can’t manage it after Christmas dinner, a cheese board is an essential for Christmas Day tea.

Allow plenty of time to collect your meat. This is the busiest time of year for our team of butchers. When you collect your meat from Roots, enjoy a complimentary mulled wine or spiced apple juice to really get you in the festive mood.

Need a last-minute gift? Relax and browse Roots Gifts & Curiosities.

Step six

  1. Christmas Eve

Time to get cracking!  Read your recipes. Know your cooking times and work backwards from the time you wish to serve your dinner, so you know when to put the oven on and the meat in.

Time to use the tech.

Set reminders for yourself of key times on Christmas morning ie. “Time to put the turkey in” or “Time to baste the beef”. Your mobile phone or smart home device such as Alexa can help.

Start the food preparation for the big day. Christmas Eve can be a great time to prepare fresh vegetables, set your table and chill wine.  Enlist help from family and friends. Share out the chores. Especially peeling the veg! Put on some favourite Christmas tunes and get in the mood. Even peeling sprouts is more fun when accompanied by “Fairytale of New York”.

Step seven

  1. Christmas morning

It’s finally here. The excitement of Christmas morning is one which everyone enjoys. And preparation is everything! If you have followed our seven steps it is time to reward yourself with a glass of something delicious. You have earned it because:

  • Your meat is roasting, filling the house with delicious aromas.
  • Your vegetables and gravy are prepared ready for cooking.
  • Your table is set, wine chilled, pudding prepared.

It is time for you to enjoy our best bonus tips –

  • Have fun unwrapping gifts and making memories.
  • Listen for your phone or Alexa reminders for those key cooking moments.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Happy Christmas from all at Roots Farm Shop & Café, East Rounton, Northallerton.

As featured in Living North Roots Farm Shop