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Christmas: Scene-stealing side dishes for turkey

Want to up your side-dish game this Christmas? Forget boiled sprouts and old-school roasties: we asked three top local chefs to share their favourite sides

Sprouts: The Bedford Lodge Hotel, Newmarket

Charred Sprouts with Parma Ham

Charred Brussels sprouts (53242100)
Charred Brussels sprouts (53242100)

“I love the flavour that comes from the roasted ingredients here. The most interesting part of this dish is the almost creamy and nutty flavour that comes from the finely grated chestnuts” - Lee Cooper, head chef at The Bedford Lodge Hotel


1½ lbs Brussels sprouts trimmed and halved

4 cloves garlic very roughly chopped

1½ tbsps extra-virgin olive oil

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp black pepper

2 tbsps freshly grated chestnuts

6-8 slices pancetta or Parma ham cut into small pieces


Place a rack on the top shelf of your oven and preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the Brussels sprouts and garlic in the centre of a large rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and any other desired spice additions. Gently mix until the Brussels sprouts are evenly coated, then spread them into a single layer on the baking sheet. For even better crisping, flip the Brussels sprouts so that they are all cut sides down.

Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and stir in the pancetta or Parma ham. Continue baking for 10 to 20 additional minutes, until the Brussels sprouts are lightly charred and crisp on the outside and tender in the centre. The outer leaves will be very dark too. Watch carefully towards the end of the baking time, as the cooking time will vary based on the size of your sprouts.

Remove from the oven and grate over the chestnut using a micro plane grater. Season with additional salt and/or pepper to taste.

See bedfordlodgehotel.co.uk and follow @bedfordlodgehotelspa

Stuffing: The Rupert Brooke, Grantchester

Roasted Chestnut, Sage And Apple Stuffing

Stuffing - The Rupert Brooke (53242108)
Stuffing - The Rupert Brooke (53242108)

“Christmas wouldn’t be complete without some tasty sides. Our roast chestnut, apple and sage stuffing is a firm favourite at The Rupert Brooke and, dare I say, may even outshine the turkey” - Lewis Ryan, head chef at The Rupert Brooke


1kg sausagemeat

100g cooked chestnuts sliced

4 shallots finely diced

3 cloves garlic crushed

3 Bramley apples finely diced

30g sage sliced

20g chives sliced

100g panko breadcrumbs

Maldon sea salt


Preheat your oven to 170°C. Prepare all the ingredients, keeping everything separate apart from the fresh herbs which can be kept together.

In a saucepan on a medium heat add a little oil to cover the bottom of the pan then add the shallots and garlic to cook till soft with no colour.

Once you’ve reached this stage add the chestnuts and diced apple and continue cooking for another 3-4 minutes.

Take off the heat and pour into a mixing bowl and allow to cool before adding the fresh herbs, panko breadcrumbs, sausagemeat and a good pinch of sea salt. Wearing gloves, bind the mixture together till it forms a firm ball.

Spread a length of baking parchment, approximately 40cm, on your work surface. Place a quarter of the mixture along the top of the paper lengthways and pat into a sausage shape. Lift the back of the baking parchment up and roll the paper/sausage towards you to be completely covered. Repeat the wrapping process with an outer layer of baking foil: double-wrapping makes the stuffing generate its own steam while cooking, keeping it from drying out.

Repeat this three more times with the remaining stuffing mixture, till you have four logs. Place them on a baking tray and cook in the pre-heated oven for 25 minutes.

Once cooked, take the tray carefully out of the oven and allow to cool slightly before unwrapping and cutting. Enjoy!

See therupertbrooke.com and follow @therupertbrookeuk

Potatoes: KOTA at Turing Locke, Cambridge

Mini Jackets with Chicken Skin Butter

Potatoes - KOTA (2) (53242123)
Potatoes - KOTA (2) (53242123)

“Crunchy on the outside, soft and oozing with salty chicken skin butter on the inside, these baby jackets knock the socks off roasties any day of the week. You could even pre-boil these and have them all set and ready just to pop in the oven once the present-opening carnage subsides” - KOTA, Cambridge

Ingredients (Serves 4):

1kg new potatoes or baby Maris Pipers

250g chicken skin (ask your local butcher)

500g softened butter

Large handful of chopped chives


For the jackets, first steam your potatoes until extremely soft - at least 20 to 30 minutes. Alternatively, boil for 20 minutes if steaming is tricky. Once soft, transfer them to a 200°C oven and roast them with a good slug of olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt and a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme. 30-40 minutes should do it, or until nice and brown. Keep the oven on at this stage - you will need it again.

For the chicken skin butter, begin by roasting the skin for 30 minutes at 200°C. Cool it down and chop roughly, reserving the chicken fat. In a mixer whip the softened butter with the reserved chicken fat. Add the chopped chicken skin and season with good salt and a little pepper. Add the chopped chives and mix until well combined.

To assemble, make a cross in the top of each potato. Squeeze the sides together to open the cross up and roast in the 200°C oven for a further 10 minutes. Take out and add a good amount of your chicken skin butter to each mini jacket. Return to the oven for five minutes for the butter to melt and foam.

To serve, add a few more fresh herbs and one last sprinkle of salt.

See kotacambridge.co.uk and follow @kotacambridge

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