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How to rescue gravy that is too salty, lumpy or runny – Christmas cooking advice you need to know

CHRISTMAS dinner just isn’t complete without a good gravy, but the delicious sauce is harder to make than most people think. But don’t fear if you have a kitchen disaster – here&#…

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CHRISTMAS dinner just isn’t complete without a good gravy, but the delicious sauce is harder to make than most people think.

But don’t fear if you have a kitchen disaster – here’s how to fix it…

 Gravy is what hold the Christmas dinner together Gravy is what hold the Christmas dinner together

What to do if your gravy is lumpy?

So you got distracted with the hundreds of other things that need doing and forgot to whisk the gravy, so now it is lumpy.

The solution is easy.

Try straining the gravy through a fine sieve to separate the lumps.

Or, if you have one, use a food processor or stick blender to whizz the gravy until it is smooth.

What to do if your gravy is runny?

 You can thicken your gravy using a mix of cornflour and stockGetty Images You can thicken your gravy using a mix of cornflour and stock

Gravy looking a little runny and not coating the food you’re pouring it on?

You can thicken it by adding a solution of equal parts cornflour and cold water or stock.

Or you can make a paste using melted butter and plain flour.

Once you have done either, whisk it into the gravy over a low heat until it is simmering.

Continue whisking until the gravy is the consistency you’re going for.

What to do if your gravy is too salty?

 Gravy too salty? No problem, add a potatoGetty Images Gravy too salty? No problem, add a potato

You may be tempted to add a small amount of sugar if your gravy has become too salty.

Don’t do this. You will end up with a weirdly sweet tasting sauce that won’t accompany your roast very well.

Instead, add potato.

Chop up a small potato and add it to the gravy.

Stir over a simmering heat for about 15 minutes then remove the lumps of potato.

The potato will absorb any excess salt and leave it perfect for serving.

What to do if your gravy is flavourless?

 You can improve the flavour of your gravy with soy or Worcester sauceGetty Images You can improve the flavour of your gravy with soy or Worcester sauce

Worked really hard on the gravy but it is still bland?

Try adding a splash of soy sauce or Worcester sauce to give it more body?

If you’d rather steer clear of these options, try adding a pinch of salt.

Sauteed onion or mushrooms will also give the flavour of your gravy more depth, as will adding a little bit of browned butter.

Want to cook the perfect gravy?

Mary Berry revealed her recipe for sauce that will go perfect with your Christmas gravy.

Thrifty food blogger reveals how YOU can cook Christmas dinner for less than £1

Food

McDonald’s is launching a radical new burger… and fans can’t wait to get their hands on them

McDONALD’S is launching a new vegan burger after fans went mad for the meat-free meal during a trial run. Dubbed the McVegan, the burger had been trialled in a few Finnish restaurants during …

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McDONALD’S is launching a new vegan burger after fans went mad for the meat-free meal during a trial run.

Dubbed the McVegan, the burger had been trialled in a few Finnish restaurants during the autumn – and now the hippy dish is coming out for good.

 The McVegan is unlike anything else Maccies offers - and now it's coming out for good@mcdonaldssuomi The McVegan is unlike anything else Maccies offers – and now it’s coming out for good

At first, you’ll only be able to get hold of one in Scandinavia, but with veganism growing in popularity here in the UK, it’s likely that the McVegan will end up making its way to Britain before too long.

Vegans don’t eat meat or any other animal products, so eggs, milk and butter are all off-limits.

To avoid these ingredients, Maccies’ latest burger is made from tasty-sounding soya protein instead.

And after the meat substitute went down a storm with customers, the McVegan is set to crop up in 210 Swedish outlets and 60 Finnish stores later this month.

 Customers at the fast food chain praised the new, meat-free burger during its trial runAlamy Customers at the fast food chain praised the new, meat-free burger during its trial run

The Daily Mail reports that the burger was developed by a vegan brand called Anamma, part of Swedish company Orkla.

Staffan Ekstam, head of food strategy at McDonald’s in Sweden, said the McVegan was “fun and exciting.”

Meanwhile, Henrik Eriksson, Orkla head honcho, said the burger could even be sold with different flavour combos, depending on customers’ tastes in different regions.

He said: “It is developed to be neutral and then it’s possible to add on different flavours.”

 At first, you will only be able to bag a McVegan in Scandinavian branchesAlamy At first, you will only be able to bag a McVegan in Scandinavian branches

And Vegan Maccies customers are really lovin’ it.

Taking to Twitter, one said: “Pumped that the McVegan that McDonald’s has been serving in Scandinavia will be permanent!

“I had a couple of them in Norway, and they were pretty freaking tasty.”

Pumped that the McVegan that McDonald’s has been serving in Scandinavia will be permanent! I had a couple of them in Norway, and they were pretty freaking tasty. When will they bring the McVegan to the states though??

— Haley Marie Shaw (@spargelsaftchic) December 13, 2017

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Food

How to cook turkey – size guide and how long it takes to defrost and cook in the oven for your Christmas dinner

IF you’ve agreed to cook Christmas dinner for your family this year, the pressure is on to make the perfect roast. Most Brits tuck into turkey on December 25 but, if you only cook this meat o…

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IF you’ve agreed to cook Christmas dinner for your family this year, the pressure is on to make the perfect roast.

Most Brits tuck into turkey on December 25 but, if you only cook this meat once a year, it can be tricky to get it right.

 When it comes to the size of the bird, allow 1lb or 500g per personGetty Images When it comes to the size of the bird, allow 1lb or 500g per person

What size turkey do I need?

When picking the perfect turkey, you’re considering more than the roast dinner itself.

Part of the fun of Christmas is having enough leftovers for turkey sandwiches in the evening, and maybe a home-made curry or pie the next day.

However, this doesn’t mean you need to panic buy the biggest bird in the store.

This would be unnecessarily expensive and the bigger the bird, the longer it will take to cook.

The general rule of thumb is to allow 1lb, or 500g, per person.

Whole birds are the best value, but crowns are easier to carve – because the legs have already been removed.

 Your cooking calculations need to take into account time for defrosting, roasting and resting the birdGetty Images Your cooking calculations need to take into account time for defrosting, roasting and resting the bird

Is a 12lb bird big enough?

Yes, unless you are cooking for around 12 people.

For a group of six to eight, you’re recommended to buy an 8lb turkey – but some birds grow to much larger than that.

This farm in East Devon produced three 60lb turkeys in 2016. The enormous birds are eight times the average weight of baby born in the UK.

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Food

You can now get a Christmas Dinner LASAGNE… but it may not be for everyone

THE traditional Christmas dinner has been well and truly turned on its head by a restaurant which decided to bung the whole load into a lasagne. And you may not be so keen on stuffing your face wit…

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THE traditional Christmas dinner has been well and truly turned on its head by a restaurant which decided to bung the whole load into a lasagne.

And you may not be so keen on stuffing your face with turkey when you see the Christmas dinner lasagne – a wacky creation which does exactly what it says on the tin.

 Behold the Christmas dinner lasagne, a wacky Italian spin on the festive mealMister Lasagna Behold the Christmas dinner lasagne, a wacky Italian spin on the festive meal

Cooked up by a London-based restaurant called Mister Lasagne, the festive dish contains all the trimmings of the big dinner, served up between sheets of pasta.

The restaurant offers 21 different varieties of lasagne, but their Italian spin on Chrimbo dinner is surely the oddest.

Chefs have taken turkey, roasties, Brussels sprouts, pancetta and caramelised red onions and layered them with a béchamel and cranberry sauce, Londonist reports.

The dish will cost you £5.90… if you’re keen on the idea of slathering your roast in a thick cheese sauce and serving it up alongside a load of pasta.

 Pasta-loving chefs decided to whack a whole roast in a lasagne and drizzle it in cheese sauceMister Lasagna Pasta-loving chefs decided to whack a whole roast in a lasagne and drizzle it in cheese sauce

Alessandro Limone, founder of Mister Lasagne, said: “This Christmas we wanted to create something special, we have given the British roast dinner an Italian twist!

“We think it is delicious and we hope our customers think so too.”

The restaurant is no stranger to offbeat meals, offering the Christmassy dish alongside staples like pumpkin lasagne and a Napoletana lasagne, served up with a boiled egg.

Meanwhile, other eateries have come up with equally mental ways to serve up Christmas dinners – including on a pizza and in a sundae.

 The London restaurant is known for its innovative spins on the Italian classicMister Lasagna The London restaurant is known for its innovative spins on the Italian classic

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