For many students, student accommodation Christmas dinner is a ritual and one of the highlights of the year. It makes sense to pay homage to your newly adopted family and celebrate Christmas together and, even better, Christmas dinner doesn't have to break the bank! Here's how to get festive (with all the trimmings) for around £3 a head.
The key to bringing costs down is to cook for all of your mates and split the bill (and the washing-up – bonus).
Here's how to bring it together like Nigella!
Get the indigents right
Start of by buy value or frozen ingredients to bring the cost down. Another option is to use an app like mysupermarket - a grocery comparison app that will tell you where you can find each ingredient at the cheapest price (sometimes, if there's a good deal on it can work out even cheaper than your frozen haul!).
The main Ingredients:
- Chicken or turkey breasts (1 per person)
- Peas (frozen)
- Yorkshire puddings (ready-made frozen)
- Gravy granules
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pigs-in-blankets (that's sausages wrapped in bacon, for anyone recoiling in horror)
- Brussels sprouts
- Sage and onion stuffing
- Cranberry or bread sauce
- Garlic, honey, herbs, flour and lemons are cheap flavour enhancers to have on-hand, too.
A whole chicken works out cheapest pound-for-£ but can be tricky to get in a small oven, so you can always opt for breast meat. Or if you are wanting to go all out with turkey and do it properly this step-to-step recipe for Mom’s Roast Turkey from Simply Recipes will help.
If you're veggie, add onions, frozen puff pastry and soft goat's cheese to your shopping list so you can throw together Nigel Slater's tasty tart recipe.
Head down to Leeds Kirkgate Market to get your vegetables. These vegetables tend to be a lot fresher and generally taste better – they also come with a reasonable price tag and plenty of deals.
When the mulled wine is flowing and you’re panicking, a one roasting dish recipe makes life a lot easier. It combines all the usual Christmas dinner suspects; carrots, parsnips, red onion etc. but involves little preparation.
Simply peel and chop your vegetables, then throw them all in a pan together. Pour over about 5 tbsp of vegetable oil and season. Roast in an oven at 190 degrees for 1hr 15 mins and toss at regular intervals.
The easiest and cheapest way to make your roasties is by buying them ready made and frozen, just pop them in a baking tray and wait till the timer goes off.
Or if you fancy making them from scratch, all you need is a bag of potatoes or two, and a packet of butter. Chop the potatoes to the size you want them, boil the chopped potatoes until they’re just starting to get soft, drain the water then add in some chopped up butter (the more the merrier). Next, pop them in the oven at 180° until they are golden brown. Simple and delicious.
To keep things simple, you could head down the local supermarket and pick these up pre-made on the cheap. If you decide to get gravy from the supermarket, add the juices from the turkey or chicken and vegetables to make it tastier.
Again, if you want to do it properly, and give your mum or dad’s Christmas dinner a run for its money, use these recipes:
The Gravy: BBC Good Food: Easy Turkey Gravy
Yorkshire Pudding: All Recipes: Classic Yorkshire Pudding
Or you can go completely hassle free and head to the Food Court for a cooked Christmas dinner with all your mates.
Reserve your Christmas themed table now at one of our Food Courts. We'll set the table for you to enjoy your Festive Feast with each of our guests receiving their very own Christmas cracker.