pigs in blankets with prunes recipe from the montagu arms - kitchen - goodhomesmagazine.com

5 gourmet recipes to upgrade your Christmas dinner

December 18, 2019

From supercharging brussel sprouts to taking pigs in blankets to the next level, these side dish recipes for Christmas dinner go the extra mile when it comes to festive flavour.

pigs in blankets with prunes recipe from the montagu arms - kitchen - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: The Montagu Arms 

It’s easy to spend all your time thinking about how you’re going to tackle the turkey for Christmas dinner, but if you ask us, it’s the sides that your guests really care about.

Far better then to put your time and effort into the perfect crispy roast potatoes, ensuring there’s enough pigs in blankets to go around and trying to make sprouts more palatable for fussy eaters.

We’ve picked 5 of our favourite recipe ideas for giving your Christmas feast a gourmet twist

Pork and prune pigs in blankets with Mustard Mayonnaise

This creation, from Matthew Whitfield, head chef at the Montagu Arms in Brockenhurst, elevates the (already pretty tasty) concept of pigs in blankets to round out its flavour profiles and add a beautiful fruity contrast to the salty bacon.

  • Serves 4


  • 8 good quality chipolata sausages
  • 100g Armanac soaked prunes
  • 8 rashers of bacon
  • 20g thyme from the kitchen garden
  • 50g chestnut
  • 100g good quality mayonnaise
  • 50g Dijon mustard
  • 10g Wholegrain mustard


For the pigs in blankets

  1. Cut 4 prunes in half and place on the sausage. Wrap in the bacon rasher.
  2. Cook in the frying pan then place in the oven for 5-7 minutes until crispy.
  3. Place in a bowl and finish with grated chestnut and picked thyme leaves.

For the mustard mayonnaise

  1. Mix to mayonnaise, Dijon and wholegrai nmustards well together. Serve alongside pigs in blankets.

Caramelised brussel sprouts with pancetta and chestnuts

bllingtons caramelised sprouts with pancetta and shallots - kitchen - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Billingtons 

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Whether they usually love them or hate them, this brussel sprouts recipe introduces sweet caramelised flavours and salty pancetta for a side dish that even sprout-phobics won’t be able to resist.


  • 1 1/2 tbsp Billington’s Unrefined Light Muscovado sugar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 150g shallots, thinly sliced
  • 125g Italian cubetti di pancetta
  • 1kg Brussels sprouts, outer leaves removed
  • 50g hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
  • A large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped


  1. Heat some of the oil in a large pan, and add the shallots and pancetta. Sprinkle over the Light Muscovado Sugar and gently cook, stirring ecvry so often, on a medium heat for a few minutes or until the shallots begin to caramelise and pancetta goes crisp or holden. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  2. Cook the sprouts in a separate large pan of salted boiling water until just tender.
  3. Drain and briefly run under cold water to stop any further cooking.
  4. Place the shallot and pancetta mix back onto a low heat, then add the brussel sprouts and nuts, tossing everything together. Season to taste.
  5. When ready to serve, finish with a sprinkling of parsley.

Hasselback potatoes with roast garlic and rosemary

smashed potatoes and hasselback for christmas dinner recipes - kitchen - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Riverford

Hasselback potatoes are not the easiest side dish to prepare, but for a special Christmas dinner this recipe from vegbox providers Riverford deliver crispy deliciousness that the family will love.

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour


  • 2 bulbs of garlic
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1kg small/medium potatoes
  • 50:50 mix of olive oil and sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary leaves


  1. Preheat your oven to 180 ̊C/Gas Mark 4. Cut the top centimetre from each bulb of garlic, and sit them on a square of foil. Cover with a slug of oil and a pinch of salt. Add a dash of water. Bring the sides of the foil up into a tight parcel. Place in the oven and bake for 30‐45 mins, or until the flesh is soft and turning golden brown. When they are ready, remove the bulbs from the foil and leave to cool. They should be done before the potatoes are ready.
  2. Meanwhile, thinly slice each potato without cutting all the way through. You could try to do it by eye, but a better trick is to lay the handle of a wooden spoon next to the potato to stop the knife cutting down to the board.
  3. Place the potatoes in a roasting tray. Toss in plenty of oil, salt and pepper. Roast them, sliced side up, for 30 mins.
  4. Remove from the oven and use a pastry brush to baste them with the hot oil from the bottom of the tray. Return to the oven for 20 mins, until completely tender in the middle.
  5. While the potatoes are finishing, squeeze the soft flesh from the garlic skins, like squeezing toothpaste, a strangely enjoyable task. You’ll end up with a sweet, sticky garlic purée. Mix it with the rosemary.
  6. When the potatoes are ready, use the pastry brush to brush the potatoes with the garlic and rosemary. Try to work as much as you can into the slices. Return them to the oven for a final 5 mins. Serve immediately.

Smashed potatoes with onion and sage

A simple twist on the roast potato, but the smashing action is an easy way to ensure you get a good crisp up in the oven.

  • Serves 4
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour


  • 1kg small/medium potatoes
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large red onion
  • Sliced bunch of sage


  1. Boil the potatoes, whole and with their skins on, in plenty of salted water, until just cooked. Drain well. This can be done well in advance; they can be roasted from cold.
  2. Preheat your oven to 200 ̊C/Gas 6. Line a roasting tray with baking parchment, brush liberally with olive oil and scatter with salt. Add the sliced onion and spread it evenly across the tray.
  3. Evenly space the spuds in the tray on top of the onion. Press each one down so that it flattens but stays in one piece; you could use a saucer, potato masher or the flat of your hand (if cooking from cold). Brush them with plenty of oil and season with more salt. Roast for 40 mins, or until golden and crisp at the edges. The onions will have softened beneath them as they roast.
  4. Pick the sage leaves from their stalks and toss them with a dash of oil and a pinch of salt. Scatter them across the potatoes and return the tray to the oven for a final 5 mins. The sage should darken and crisp up in the oven. Serve immediately.

Roasted parnsips with white chocolate and balsamic dressing

roast parsnips in a white balsamic glaze - kitchen - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Hotel Chocolat 

You might honey glaze your carrots and parsnips already to enhance their natural sweetness – in which case this side dish idea from Hotel Chocolat’s A New Way With Chocolat won’t sound so unusual!

  • Serves 4


  • 500g parsnips, peeled and quartered lengthways
  • 3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 70g white chocolate, broken into pieces
  • 100ml sunflower oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsps white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce


  1. Gently melt the chocolate in the microwave for 15 seconds. Remove and stir.
  2. Repeat for another 15 seconds until the chocolate has melted completely. Be careful as white chocolate can burn easily.
  3. Whisking all the time, slowly pour the oil into the melted chocolated until thoroughly blended and smooth.
  4. Whisk in the balsamic vinegar, followed by the soy sauce. The white chocolate balsamic dressing can be stored in an airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week.
  5. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Place the parsnips in a pan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain immediately without running under water. Transfer the parsnips to a tray and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Pour the oil into a roasting tin and heat on the hob until very hot but not burning. Carefully tip the parsnips into the hot oil. Using a tablespoon, coat each piece with hot oil to prevent them from sticking. Roast in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the parsnips over and roast for a further 15 minutes or until they are golden all over. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and darin on kitchen paper. Toss immediately with the white chocolate balsamic dressing.


Are you making one of these side recipes for your Christmas dinner? Let us know by tweeting us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page.



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A message from the editor:

Let us help you create the home of your dreams! Get ideas & inspiration from Good Homes every month, delivered direct to your door. Visit goodhomesmagazine.com/newsletter to sign up for the weekly Good Homes newsletter. Meet the Good Homes team at Ideal Home Show and be inspired by our on-trend roomsets.

~ Karen Walker, Editor, Good Homes