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If you’re using a frozen turkey, take it out of the freezer on 22 December and allow it to defrost in the fridge in time for Christmas Day. When you’re ready to cook the bird, remove it from the fridge to let it come to room temperature – and remember to remove the bag of giblets!
Peel the potatoes on Christmas Eve, and leave them to soak overnight in a big pan of water. Drain and replace the water before you boil them.
If some of your guests aren’t meat-eaters, substitute the goose fat for vegetable oil, or make a separate batch of roast potatoes using oil instead of the animal fat at the roasting stage.
The broccoli and cauliflower cheese can be cooked in the bottom of the oven for the final 15-20 minutes of the turkey roasting time, then give it a final blast of heat while you’re cooking the pigs in blankets to get the cheesy topping bubbling nicely.
You can make the braised red cabbage up to five days in advance. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container and reheat it on the big day.
The filling of the Wellington can be made ahead and frozen until needed. Make sure it’s fully defrosted before you encase it in pastry.
Remove the pastry from the fridge at least 10 minutes before you want to use it so that it can soften slightly, making it easier to roll out.