Crispy roast potatoes and moist turkey are the hardest parts of a Christmas dinner to master.
A survey of 2,000 adults who celebrate Christmas found that 13% struggle with the stuffing, and 23% make a lumpy sauce for the cauliflower-cheese. This led to them having to start over.
12 percent said that sprouts are the greatest struggle when it comes to vegetables while 11 percent said that carrots were their downfall.
Despite 76 per cent claiming it’s one of their favourite things about Christmas, 49 per cent are relieved when it’s not their turn to host, with 46 per cent saying expectations are always set too high.
It emerged nearly a quarter (24 per cent) struggle to get Christmas dinner timings right with 32 per cent admitting they’ve had to make something again from scratch after messing it up.
Laura Rowe, gravy guru and food expert at Ocado Retail, which commissioned the survey, said: “For many people, Christmas dinner is their favourite part of the big day, however, being responsible for such an eagerly awaited meal can come with high expectations from guests.
“We believe there’s a fun side to festive cooking so want to encourage the nation to enjoy the cooking just as much as the eating.”
Yuletide-loving adults will prepare the dinner seven days ahead of time. It will take them 5.6 hours to finish the actual day.
Two thirds prefer to be left alone in the kitchen while cooking the meal, with 64 per cent feeling happy once it’s finally been served, and a further 47 per cent feeling relieved.
31% of Christmas dinners are made with gravy. This is because people will most likely have to start over after making mistakes. Yorkshire puddings (28%), and roast potatoes (27%) follow closely.
When it comes to gravy consistency, 22 per cent make it too lumpy while 20 per cent always end up with a gravy that’s too watery.
According to OnePoll research, more than a fifth (22%) feel pressured to get the gravy right. Twenty percent of these people end up in a hurry.
Ocado Retail has teamed with Mark Miodownik, a scientist, to combat this problem.
Professor Miodownik analyzed the research findings and determined that this is the ideal jug to gravy.
- Volume: 115ml – Enough to coat the centrepiece, and all the trimmings.
- Mix for 2.5 minutes to obtain a smooth, lump-free consistency.
- The highest level of depth of flavour, on a scale of 1 to 5, should be at 5. This means that your roast juices must be included along with any additional seasoning.
- Served at a temperature of 69°C.
Laura Rowe added: “To make it a little easier to perfect even the trickiest of elements, such as the gravy, we’re sharing our favourite flavour-enhancing ingredients.
“We’ve even teamed up with a scientist to crack the code for the perfect jug of gravy, every time.”
Laura Rowe’s top tips on how to create a festive gravy glow.
- MARMITE – Whether you love it or hate it, a little bit of Marmite can make a huge difference in beef and vegan gravies. It’s also perfect for glazing vegan pastry centrepieces.
- BLACK GARLIC – A match made in Heaven for lamb and beef. You can simmer your gravy while adding the flavour of finely chopped whole garlic cloves. Or, for convenience, add a few teaspoons of pre-made black garlic paste.
- GOCHUJANG – Gochujang is a Korean fermented red chilli pepper paste with a kick that’ll add sweet, savoury and spicy layers to your gravy – perfect with a pork roast for any non-traditionalists out there.
- RASPBERRY JAM – Jam melts quickly, contributing a sweet smoothness, which is perfect for turkey, or even goose – just make sure you opt for seedless.
- SHERRY – Dry sherry such as a Fino is a great way of adding depth to white meat gravy just like if you were adding a glass white wine.
- MUSTARD – Dijon mustard is a great addition for turkey gravy. Its mild heat, rounded tanginess and sweetness are ideal for brightening rich sauces and adding a flavorful backbone to your turkey feast.
- SOY SAUCE – This ingredient’s umami, salty notes serve to enhance and darken your gravy, whilst bringing out those meaty flavours.
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