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The Lidl Christmas Coach creates an easy-cook Christmas

Elaine McDonnell, the Christmas Coach: the Lidl Deluxe range has a fantastic selection of ready-to-cook succulent meats, expertly prepared sides and decadent desserts. Photo: Conor Mulhern

In the last in our food and drink series, featuring the Lidl Deluxe range, we make Christmas simple with these fantastic ready-made and easy-cook Christmas dinner alternatives.

It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year, but are you feeling less comfort and joy and more stress and pressure? It’s quite common to feel overwhelmed right now – particularly if you haven’t had time to prepare as much as you had hoped.

We strive to create the perfect Christmas for those we love and food plays a central role in that. So if you find yourself not quite prepared, don’t worry, as it’s possible to put together a delicious and impressive Christmas table without giving away valuable family time.

The Lidl Deluxe range has a fantastic selection of ready-to-cook succulent meats, expertly prepared sides and decadent desserts.

All of these ready-made dishes come with simple and easy-to-follow instructions. A lot of them even come with their own foil baking tray which means less washing up. My advice would be to always preheat your oven as instructed and if you have defrosted your dish, adjust your timing accordingly.

I decided to be a little bit different in my choices this year but for those of you who prefer the more traditional meats, they too are available ready to pop into the oven. Try the stuffed Irish boned and rolled turkey joint and the dry-cured bacon loin joint with glaze in a baking tray – it really is prepared with ease.

My wish for you is that your home be filled with warmth and good cheer. Try these alternative ideas to make your Christmas perfect.

Let's start with sides

Sides can be tricky and tend to get forgotten when planning menus. The Lidl Deluxe range offers a fantastic variety of prepared sides, giving you back valuable time. Less effort certainly doesn’t mean less taste. Enjoy deliciously creamy, cheesy potato gratins; crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside roast potatoes with goose fat or delightful little Duchess potatoes.

I loved the green beans wrapped in bacon but you might prefer the sprouts with bacon and cranberry or the roast parsnips with grated parmesan.

Pigs in blankets, stuffed mini mushrooms, cauliflower cheese, fresh seasonal gravy and stuffing are all ready-made and there to make your day easier.

Easy alternatives: stuffed goose or a three-game roast

Deluxe easy carve stuffed goose with an apple, chestnut and raisin stuffing (serves 6)

I really enjoy goose but it’s not a dish I cook too often as there isn’t always as much meat on a goose as you might expect – but not in this case. The Lidl Deluxe goose serves six and is really easy to carve and serve.

The breast joint is wrapped in streaky bacon and stuffed with an apple, chestnut and raisin stuffing, resulting in an exceptionally succulent dish.

Three game roast with pork, cranberry and orange stuffing, topped with smoked streaky bacon (serves 4)

The three meats in this ready-to-cook joint are duck breast, goose breast and guinea fowl breast.

This is a beautifully moist dish wrapped in smoked bacon. The zesty pork, cranberry and orange stuffing compliments the joint so well, with the citrus elements balancing the fattiness of duck and goose.

To keep things simple the joint comes in a foil tray with easy-to-follow instructions.

Easy alternatives: rack of lamb

Deluxe French-trimmed lamb rack (serves 2)

A French-trimmed lamb rack is always an impressive-looking dish. The Deluxe lamb rack comes with a Provencal herb and garlic rub which adds delicious flavour and is accompanied by a redcurrant and ruby port sauce. The sauce is simply heated in a saucepan making this a really easy and delicious dish to impress your guests.

Easy alternatives: crumbed salmon

Premium salmon side with an aromatic French-style herb crumb (serves 4)

Fish is a beautiful alternative to meat for Christmas day. This Lidl Deluxe side of salmon is topped with an aromatic French herb and cheese crumb which cooks in just over an hour. This is a great dish to have in your freezer for the days following Christmas for a lighter dinner or perhaps if you are entertaining unexpected guests.

Easy alternatives: nut roast

Hazelnut, cashew and cranberry nut roast (serves 3)

This is a beautiful and festive meat-free dish to serve on Christmas Day. It is made with hazelnuts, cashews and cranberries with cheddar cheese and seasoned with rosemary, thyme and black pepper.

This nut roast is cooked in the container it comes in, making things even easier, and is ready in just 40 minutes.

Although I don’t have any vegetarians for dinner this year I will be serving it as a side on our Christmas table.

Easy alternatives: desserts

Deluxe croquembouche (serves 20)

This dessert is an absolute show stopper. A croquembouche is a dessert of French origin made up of cream-filled choux pastry balls. To make it yourself would definitely be a challenge but the ready-to-build Deluxe Croquembouche from Lidl requires just a little bit of simple construction. It’s something that children will love getting involved in. It comes frozen, so remember to give time to allow the Choux pastry balls time to defrost.

Deluxe luxury chocolate or caramel bombe (serves 2)

This is a beautifully decadent dessert. You can choose from a Belgian chocolate bombe or a salted caramel bombe. They cook in minutes in a microwave or can be steamed. Delicious with ice cream.

Deluxe luxury hand-finished festive yule log (serves 10)

It was the copper-lustered white chocolate curls that caught my eye as I browsed through the dessert section.

They really glistened and I thought ‘here is a dessert that will present beautifully on the dinner table’.

This is an irresistible dessert made from chocolate sponge and chocolate buttercream and it tastes every bit as good as it looks.

The Lidl Christmas Coach

Christmas offers so many ways to celebrate with food and drink.

To help plan for success, we asked cook, restaurant manager and party planner Elaine McDonnell to take Lidl’s Deluxe range as her inspiration and coach us through the Christmas party season.

Over the four-part series she tackled cocktail parties, a traditional Christmas and lots more. In this instalment, she chooses some luxury alternatives from the Deluxe readymade and easy-cook range.

More for everyone this Christmas

Everyone’s favourite time of year is fast approaching and here at Lidl, we want to make every moment as easy for you as possible.

We’ve put together an amazing range this year and we think you’ll be as excited about it as we are.

With top-quality, fresh turkeys and hams, locally sourced fruit and veg as well as our premium Deluxe and Favorina ranges on offer, you’re sure to have the most special Christmas yet when you shop with us – while stocks last.

(Fresh Irish turkeys on sale from Dec 20th)

For more great offers, see lidl.ie/en/christmas

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