How do you feel about cooking the Christmas dinner? I absolutely love having Christmas at home and I’m never happier than when I’m in the kitchen (made even nicer now we’ve knocked the wall down to the dining room so everyone can chat and mingle together). We’ve gone out on Christmas Day before, but we all prefer to be at home so we can relax and have a drink (and also, eating out is expensive – I’ve had a couple of emails from local pubs and restaurants advertising Christmas lunch menus, and they’re all around the £60 – £75 per person mark). I do know, though, that even if you love to cook, Christmas dinner is a big undertaking: there’s all the planning and shopping, and you might already have lots to do with buying gifts, maybe getting ready to have relatives to stay. I was pretty interested, then, when recipe box company HelloFresh got in touch and asked if I’d like to try the HelloFresh Christmas Box. Here’s how I got on.
What’s in the box?
The HelloFresh Christmas Box basically contains everything you’ll need to make Christmas Dinner at home. The box is delivered to your door and is packed with all the ingredients: turkey, sprouts, herbs and spices, etc, plus a step by step recipe guide to walk you through the entire process.
The HelloFresh Christmas Box contains the ingredients to make:
Butter basted roast turkey with pigs in blankets
The BEST rosemary roast potatoes
Creamy brussel sprouts with garlic and pancetta
Honey & thyme roasted root veggies
Slow cooked spiced red cabbage with apples
Rich and delicious make ahead gravy
The Premium Box also includes an indulgent pudding:
Chocolate orange pots
What I loved
The box arrived with all the ingredients really well packaged and ready to be cooked: a really good quality Gressingham turkey crown, vegetables and other ingredients that you just unpack and pop straight into the fridge. The recipe guide was really easy to read, with clear pictures and a numbered checklist, starting the night before Christmas with a lot of prep, including making the gravy from roasted veggies and chicken drumsticks, leaving Christmas Day much easier to manage.
How it went
The prep advice for the night before is really useful, and I felt really confident on my trial ‘big day’ that I had everything under control. I usually write out a timed plan for my Christmas dinner, starting with the time we want to sit down to eat, working backwards to when everything has to be done. The HelloFresh guide just tells you to start three hours before, but then I got myself into a muddle with the turkey timing: ‘return to the oven for 20 minutes to melt the butter’. I forgot to set the timer for the 20 minutes, and then couldn’t remember when I’d put the turkey in, so had no clue how long the turkey had been cooking for or when the dinner would be ready. On Christmas Day, I would have known what time I was planning to sit down to eat and could have worked it out, but on my test run, I messed it up. It was all fine, of course, but I still recommend writing a few timings down just so you don’t get caught out!
I also forgot to add the cream to the brussel sprouts with pancetta (I wondered what the cream was for!) but they were delicious anyway.
What we loved
The turkey crown was absolutely gorgeous, with no waste and an abundance of delicious, tender turkey meat. The gravy was also delicious, although I still prefer to just make mine from the turkey juices – I just find it a bit easier. The rosemary potatoes were a revelation and I’ll definitely be pinching their recipe (not going to give it away, you’ll have to buy the box!). I didn’t roast the carrots as I knew I’d get moans about that, but the thyme roasted parsnips were great. I would also add stuffing, and of course a Christmas pudding!
How much is it?
My standard box which was for four people (but honestly would have fed six, easily) was £69.99 (with the premium one including the dessert starting from £89.99) but you can get one that feeds ten people at £129.99, which is great value. The HelloFresh Christmas box can be ordered from now until Tuesday 19th December with delivery taking place on Friday 22nd December (and hurry, there are limited boxes available). To order your box visit hellofresh.co.uk/Christmas.