Gourmet Christmas side dishes

Festive accompaniments with Private Chef Christos

This month Private Chef Christos shares his recipes and tips for side dishes to accompany your Christmas roast. These can all be prepared ahead of the big day, leaving you more time to spend with the family and not stuck in the kitchen.

Giant pig in a blanket

One of the most amazing and awesome pig and blanket recipe, that’s easy to make and you can make it ahead of time and cook it on the day you need it.


  • 500 gr of good quality sausage meat
  • 10-12 rashers of smoked pancetta or thin cut smoked streaky bacon


On a clean work surface lay out 3 sheets of cling film overlapping each other, it needs to be big enough to wrap around the sausage meat roll. Lay the rashers of smoked pancetta or smoked streaky bacon over the cling film overlapping each slice by ¼ inch (1cm) at the sides and by 1 inch at the ends.

Place the sausage meat roll in the middle of the pancetta and shape into a log. Wrap it tightly in cling film, refrigerate overnight to firm it up. Before you cook it, heat your oven at 190c, and remove the cling film. Drizzle a frying pan (large enough to fit the sausage roll) with sunflower oil and when the oil is hot, add the sausage roll and cook until the bacon is browned. Transfer to a baking tray if your frying pan isn’t oven proof and roast in the oven for approximately 40 – 60 minutes until the bacon is crispy and the sausage meat cooked through. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Braised red cabbage with apples and maple syrup 

Braised red cabbage is a Christmas classic and perfect for Sunday lunch or with any game dish


  • I medium size red cabbage
  • 2 red onions
  • 3 apples
  • 75 gr Canadian maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Sea salt / ground white pepper
  • 150 ml water
  • 2 tsp of mixed spices
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp redcurrant jelly


Halve then quarter the red cabbage. Slice out the thick, hard core in the middle and peel off any torn outer leaves and discard. Slice the cabbage finely. Peel and finely slice the red onion. Quarter the apples and slice out the cores and seeds. Chop the apples. Put the red cabbage and red onions in a large casserole dish or heavy-based pan, top with the apples. Add all the spices, maple syrup and redcurrant jelly and season with salt and pepper. The redcurrant jelly helps to preserve the red colour and stops the cabbage becoming purple. Add the sunflower oil and bring to medium heat and cook for around 10 minutes. Add the water or, for extra flavour use deep red wine first and when reduced add the water. Pop on a lid or cover with cling film. Turn down the heat to low setting and let it simmer for 2.5 hours, keep stirring regularly and ensure there is enough liquid. When ready, uncover the cling film or lid, and adjust the seasoning. Add more maple syrup if you prefer it sweeter or extra salt to taste. Leave it to cook uncovered until the liquid is evaporated and it becomes glossy. This can be reheated in the microwave, but it can be enjoyed hot or cold.

Roast honey glaze carrots 


  • 1 bunch of baby carrots
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin oil
  • 2 tbsp clear honey
  • Rock salt and ground white pepper
  • Dried oregano
  • Garlic and rosemary


Preheat the oven to 190c. Top and tail the carrots. Line a roasting tray with baking parchment (this makes the washing up easier). Season the carrots with the dry spices and herbs. Put the carrots onto the roasting tray and roast for 25 minutes and then drizzle with some of the honey and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.

Welsh honey roasted Brussels sprouts with smoky streaky bacon and hazelnuts 

Brussels Sprouts for me are like marmite – ‘love them’ or ‘hate them’. Boil them and I will definitely run away – roast them and you will transform them to something else. Add hazelnuts and smoked streaky bacon and you can transform this humble vegetable into a delicious, nutty, smoky and sweet dish.


1 kgr Brussels sprouts
1 tbsp extra virgin oil
3 tbsp Welsh honey

4 rashers smoked streaky bacon cut into 1 cm pieces

50 grams skinless hazelnuts coarsely chopped

Sea salt and ground white pepper to taste


Prepare your sprouts by cut-ting off the end of the stalk, removing a 2-3 of the outer leaves and cut a cross shape at the end and of the stalk. Heat your oven at 190c.

Place the sprouts in a large roasting tin, sprinkle over the chopped bacon and add the extra virgin olive oil and Welsh honey. Stir well to coat. You can also add peeled chestnuts at this stage if you want. Roast in the centre of the oven until the sprouts are brown and firm to the touch and the bacon is crispy – this will take approx 30 minutes. Add the coarsely chopped hazelnuts after 15 minutes of cooking the sprouts. Season well to taste and serve warm.

Roasted Welsh New Potatoes with Garlic and Rosemary

Quick, easy and delicious, these roast potatoes make a fab alternative to traditional roast potatoes.


  • 3 tbsp duck fat of sunflower oil for vegetarian option
  • 1kg new potatoes cut in half or quarters depending on size
  • Rock salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 sprigs rosemary (leaves only) chopped finely
  • 5 cloves garlic whole or crushed


Preheat your oven to 190c. Place the potatoes into a large saucepan with the duck fat and bring to medium heat. Add the garlic and pan sear for 10 minutes. Transfer the potatoes to a roasting tray, add the rock salt and rosemary and put in the oven for about 25 minutes until golden and crispy.

PRIVATE CHEF CHRISTOS – 07858070125 Email: privatechefchristos@gmail.com






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