Cooking a festive feast that everyone is happy with can be a daunting task.
Not only are there lots of components and timings to keep track of, but when there are dinner guests with allergies it can make whipping up a feast even more complex – especially for those who don’t live with allergies themselves.
Whether you have a niece who suffers with coeliac disease, a brother-in-law with a nut allergy, or an aunt who is lactose intolerant, it’s important to know you’re making a meal that is safe for them to eat.
So Metro.co.uk enlisted the help of MasterChef Winner, chef and restaurateur, Kenny Tutt, to ensure you’ve got some staple allergen free Christmas dinner recipes.
Easy Christmas gravy (gluten free)
This Christmas gravy is an easy win if you’re looking to get some things prepped ahead of time.
- 1kg chicken wings
- 4 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 leek, chopped into chunks
- 2 onions, peeled and quartered
- 2 star anise
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly (most are GF, but check before buying)
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- Drizzle of sunflower oil
- Sea salt & black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC/gas 4.
- In a large baking dish, lay your chopped carrots, leeks and onions and add the star anise, thyme and rosemary. Place the chicken wings, drizzle with oil and season well with salt and pepper. Add a little splash of water.
- Roast the chicken and vegetables for 1 hour until the chicken is golden brown and soft.
- Remove the tray from the oven and scrape all of the chicken and veggies into a large saucepan. Deglaze with a little water to get all of that flavour. Add 2 pints of water and bring to a gentle simmer for 1 hour.
- Using a sieve, strain the liquid into a large bowl and squeeze out as much liquid as possible using a spoon or a ladle. Add all of the broth back into a pan.
- Simmer the gravy for 30-45 minutes until thickened/reduced and then add the redcurrant jelly. Mix a little corn flour with a few tablespoons of water and add to thicken if needed. Taste and season you’re gravy with a little salt if desired.
- Allow your gravy to cool and then add to an airtight container or bags ready for Christmas day.
When attempting any of the recipes – if you’re cooking for someone with a severe allergy like coeliac disease or a nut allergy – it’s key that there is no contamination in the kitchen.
This means cleaning everything thoroughly before use (with a new sponge and hot water), using separate spoons for stirring things and washing your hands.
Herb and apple stuffing (gluten and nut free)
Kenny says: ‘This recipe uses mushrooms to add a natural meatiness and with no nuts or gluten in sight, it’s a perfect allergy free alternative.
‘The apple brings a lovely sweetness which goes wonderfully on any festive plate. Flaxseed is used as a great egg alternative to bind the mix.’
It’s important to note that this recipe is not suitable for those who suffer from a sesame allergy.
- 10 slices of gluten free mixed seed bread (double check the bread for allergens)
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 leeks finely sliced
- 6 chestnut mushrooms, finely diced
- 2 apples such as Braeburn or Cox, roughly chopped.
- 1 tbsp flaxseed powder (blitz flaxseed or from health shops)
- 4 leaves of sage, finely chopped
- 3 thyme sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped
- Pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper
- Drizzle of sunflower or rapeseed oil.
- Preheat your oven to 160ºC/gas 3.
- Roughly break up the bread into smallish pieces and place on a baking tray with a drizzle of oil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until golden. remove and set aside.
- In a large pan over a medium heat add a little oil and sweat down the onion, mushroom, leek and apple for 5-8 minutes. Mix through the chopped herbs and a good pinch of nutmeg. Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Mix the flaxseed with 3 tablespoons of water and stir until it becomes gelatinous.
- In a large bowl add the bread, apple mix and flaxseed and combine well. Check you’re happy with the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Oil a baking dish and add the mix. drizzle with a little oil and roast in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden on top,
- This can be frozen ready to reheat in the oven on the day.
Crispy roast potatoes with rosemary and garlic (allergen and gluten free)
‘There’s nothing quite like a perfectly roast potato. Soft and fluffy on the inside with a crispy golden coat,’ says Kenny.
‘They are the king of potatoes. This recipe is allergen and gluten free to be enjoyed by everyone.’
- 2kg of flour potatoes like Maris Piper or King Edwards
- 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked and roughly chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 6 tbsp of sunflower or rapeseed oil
- Sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 180ºC/gas 4.
- Peel the potatoes and cut to roughly the same size. Put them in a large pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil for around 15 minutes until cooked through but not completely falling apart.
- Drain the potatoes by tipping gently into a colander and leave to drain and cool off for a few minutes. Place the potatoes on a tray in a single layer and put in the fridge. This can be done a day of two before and will dry the potatoes out to ensure a super crunchy spud.
- When you’re ready to roast the potatoes, place the oil in a large baking tray and preheat in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the oil is really hot.
- Carefully place the potatoes in the hot oil in a single layer and put them in the oven. Leave to roast undisturbed for 30 minutes. Carefully turn the potatoes and cook for a further 20 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary 5-10 minutes before the end and turn the potatoes again. Finish your golden crunchy potatoes with a generous sprinkle of sea salt.
Beef wellington (gluten and dairy free)
Kenny says: ‘This is a real show stopping centerpiece fit for Christmas Day. This recipe uses beef fillet which is expensive but is of course a real treat for the time of year.
‘Using a decent gluten free pastry makes the whole process much easier. You can also prepare your wellington a few days in advance ready to pop in the oven.’
- 1kg beef fillet, in one piece
- 280g Gluten free puff pastry sheet (I used Jus-Rol)
- 250g chestnut mushrooms
- 1 banana shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
- Splash of red wine
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 4 slices of prosciutto
- 1 egg
- 100ml oat milk (It must be a specifically gluten free oat milk, as oats are a high risk food for coeliacs)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 egg and 100ml oat milk whisked together (again specifically gluten free oat milk)
- Make the mushroom mix by cooking the finely chopped mushroom, shallot, garlic and parsley in a pan with salt and pepper and a splash of red wine. Cook out for 10-15 minutes until the wine is absorbed and the mixture holds together well. Set aside and allow the mix cool.
- Oil and season the beef fillet well and cook in a pan over a high heat on all sides for 9–10 minutes to seal it. Allow to cool and then brush with the Dijon mustard.
- It’s now time to build the wellington. Lay a large sheet of cling film on a work surface and place 4 slices of Parma ham in the middle, overlapping them slightly, to create a square. Spread half the mushroom mix evenly over the ham.
- Place the beef fillet on top of the mushroom-covered ham. Using the cling film, roll the Parma ham over the beef, then roll and tie the cling film. Chill in the fridge for 20-30 minutes to set. this will make it easier to work with.
- Brush the pastry with the egg wash. Take the cling film off of the beef then wrap the pastry around your fillet. Trim the pastry and brush all over with the egg wash. When you are ready to cook the beef wellingtons, score the pastry lightly and brush again with the egg wash.
- Cook the wellington in the oven at 200c/gas 6 for 20 minutes for a medium beef fillet. The pastry should be cooked through and golden. Make sure to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.
Kenny’s Christmas cooking tips:
Kenny says: ‘You want to spend time with loved ones over Christmas not hours at the stove, so get what you can done well in advance. Sauces, gravy, vegetables and sides such as stuffing can all be done well in advance and frozen ready just to bring back to life.’
Turkey is a very lean meat so it’s really easy to dry out. Brining meat can seem pretty daunting but it is really very easy. You can easily get hold of a meat injector online and it will completely transform your Christmas bird game.
Make a simple chicken stock using a stock cube and water. Stir in 1 tsp. of caster sugar and dissolve. Use the injector to inject into the breast and thighs of the bird for juicy turkey every time.
Kenny says: ‘For me sprouts are for not just for Christmas. Packed with vitamins and so versatile we need shake the reputation of overcooked, unappealing green morsels.
‘Try halving your sprouts. Coat with honey, thyme, squeeze of lemon juice, seasoning and a splash of water.
‘Roast in a baking tray at 170c for 20 – 30 minutes from beautiful sweet crispy sprouts that will turn even the most die-hard sprout hater.’