Alternative Christmas Dinner Recipes

With Christmas looking a bit different this year, many of us in Scotland have had our plans changed at the last minute. Celebrations will be smaller and, in turn, so will the volume of food being prepared. But planning a Christmas dinner for less people doesn’t mean you can’t get creative.

Straying away from the traditional turkey and ham, here are 2 alternative dinner ideas to prepare for Christmas.

Beef Bourguignon and homemade mash

Beef Bourguignon is originally a French dish, with the UK equivalent being beef stew. Although it takes a few hours to prepare, Beef Bourguignon requires more time and attention than it does skills, and therefore is not that difficult to cook.


For Beef:

-1.5kg stewing beef (in chunks)

-200g pancetta (or chopped bacon)

-500g mushrooms

-1 white onion

-Minced garlic

-1 carrot

-Tomato paste

-1 beef bouillon cube

-2 cups red wine

-3 cups beef stock



-Olive oil

-Fresh parsley

-Fresh thyme

-3 bay leaves

-Salt and pepper

For mash:

-1kg potatoes

-Butter (salted or unsalted)

-Salt and pepper


-In a large stock pot, heat a small amount (about 1 tablespoon) of olive oil and cook the pancetta, then set aside in a large dish.

-Add olive oil and cook the beef (pat dry with kitchen roll first). Once browned on all sides, set aside with the bacon.

-In the same oil, cook diced onions, sliced carrot and minced garlic. Once all are softened/cooked, add the beef and pancetta back into the pot.

-Sprinkle flour (2-3 tablespoons) evenly and cook until meat is well browned.

-Add the beef stock, wine and the bouillon cube until the meat is almost fully covered, and add tomato paste (1-2 tablespoons).

-Add parsley, thyme and bay leaves, then salt and pepper to taste.

-Turn the heat to high and bring to a boil for 2min, then lower heat to low, cover and simmer for 1h45-2h.

-10min before the end of cooking time, in a small pan cook mushrooms in butter and garlic, then add to the pot.

-For the mash, boil potatoes until soft. Drain and mash well until desired texture. Add your preferred butter (salted or unsalted), then salt and pepper to taste.

Roast chicken and vegetables

For those who like to keep it a bit more traditional but haven’t ordered a turkey with all the trimmings, this roast chicken recipe can put any Christmas turkey to shame.


For chicken:

-1 whole chicken

-Butter (melted)

-Olive oil

-1 lemon

-Garlic (whole cloves and minced)

-1/4 cup white wine (dry)

-Fresh thyme (on stems and chopped)

-Fresh parsley

-Fresh or dried rosemary (on stems and chopped)

-Salt and pepper

For vegetables:

-3 carrots (sliced)

-3 courgettes (sliced)

-Minced garlic

-Olive oil


-Fresh parsley

-Salt and pepper


-Rinse and pat dry the chicken with kitchen roll

-Melt butter, then combine with olive oil, lemon juice (squeeze both halves of the lemon), white wine, and chopped parsley. (Make enough to save for later for basting whilst the chicken cooks.)

-Use a cooking brush or rub the mix over the whole chicken, hand-rub under the skin and on the inside.

-Season the outside with chopped thyme, chopped rosemary, salt and pepper

-Stuff the inside of the chicken with 2 garlic cloves, both squeezed lemon halves and rosemary and thyme stems.

-Place the chicken in a preheated oven (200°C), cook for 30-40min before basting, then cook for another 30-40. 5 min before the end, baste again.

-Once cooked, take the chicken out and cover with tin foil and set aside and for 5-10min before serving.

-For the vegetables, heat olive oil in a large pan and cook minced garlic for 2min.

-Add the sliced carrots and sliced courgettes and cook on medium heat until softened (approx..10min)

-Lightly sprinkle with cumin whilst cooking, and add chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.

We hope that although celebrations will not be the same this year, you are still inspired to cook and find comfort in good food this Christmas.

From all of us at Inspire, we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

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