Holiday dinner menu: English Countryside

Try this English countryside inspired menu for a meal you won't forget
By Photo by Ryan Szulc; Food styling by Sasha Seymour and prop styling by Catherine Doherty
Holiday dinner menu: English Countryside

Bacon-wrapped tenderloin with caramelized shallots and cranberry-port jus

Prep 40 min
Total 1 hour 35 min


1/4 cup grainy Dijon mustard
1/4 cup horseradish
750 g shallots, about 25
4 1/2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp red-wine vinegar
1 tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
2-kg filet of beef tenderloin,
9 to 12 slices bacon
1/2 cup port
1/2 cup frozen cranberries

1. Preheat oven to 500F. Set a rack in a roasting pan. Stir mustard with horseradish in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Peel shallots and trim off the roots. Cut larger shallots in half. Place in a medium bowl. Add olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt. Season with pepper. Toss to coat.

3. Pat meat dry with paper towels. Remove any string around filet. Spread mustard mixture all over meat. Drape bacon over tenderloin in an overlapping criss-cross pattern. Tuck bacon underneath tenderloin so it goes all the way around the beef. Transfer to rack in roasting pan. Add shallots to roasting pan.

4. Roast in centre of oven for 20 min. Stir shallots. Reduce heat to 300F. Continue roasting until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 145F for medium-rare, 40 to 45 more min. Transfer meat to a cutting board and cover with foil. Transfer shallots into a serving dish.

5. Set roasting pan directly over 2 burners on medium-high. Add port and cranberries. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently, mashing cranberries when tender, 3 to 5 min. Jus should measure about 2/3 cup. Top mixture off with hot water to make a full cup.

Serves 8

Per serving: 481 calories, 48 g protein, 16 g carbs, 23 g fat, 2 g fibre, 402 mg sodium.

bacon, meat, main, dinner, tenderloin, thanksgiving, christmas, holidays

Crispy roasted potatoes

Prep 20 min
Total 45 min


2.25 kg Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 tsp salt

1. Position oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven. Preheat to 500F.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cut potatoes into chunks. Add to boiling water. Boil until potatoes are slightly tender, about 10 min. Drain, then return potatoes to same pot. Cover pot and shake until potatoes are just fluffy on the outside. Drizzle oil over potatoes. Sprinkle with salt, then season with pepper. Shake to combine. Spread out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.

3. Roast in top and bottom thirds of oven, stirring potatoes and switching sheets halfway through, until potatoes are crispy and browned, about 25 min.

Serves 8

Per serving: 255 calories, 4 g protein, 45 g carbs, 7 g fat, 3 g fibre, 834 mg sodium.

sides, potatoes, vegtables, food, cooking, holidays

Lemony Swiss chard

Prep 10 min
Total 20 min


2 bunches red swiss chard
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Trim and discard tough stem ends from chard. Cut into 2-in. pieces.

2. Heat a large frying pan over medium. Add 1 tbsp oil, then half of the chard. Sprinkle with half of salt and red-pepper flakes. Cover and cook until chard is wilted and stems are tender, stirring halfway through, 4 to 5 min.

3. Drizzle with 1 tbsp lemon juice. transfer cooked chard to a serving bowl and keep warm. Return pan to heat and repeat with remaining oil, chard, salt, red-pepper flakes and lemon juice.

Serves 8

Per serving: 57 calories, 3 g protein, 6 g carbs, 4 g fat, 3 g fibre, 378 mg sodium. Excellent source of vitamin A.

chard, sides,, vegtables, lemon, dinner, food, cooking

Sticky toffee puddings with caramel sauce

Prep 20 min
Total 1 hour 23 min


1/2 (375 g) pkg pitted dates, about 1 1/4 cups (300 mL), coarsely chopped
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp ground ginger
3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
For warm caramel sauce:
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/4 cup 35% whipping cream

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Stir dates with 3/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium. Gently boil, stirring often, for 3 min. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda. Let stand 10 min.

2. Butter 12 cups in a muffin tin. Bring a kettle of water to a boil. Stir flour with baking powder and ginger in a small bowl. Beat butter with sugar in a large bowl, using a hand mixer. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in flour mixture. Stir in dates. Spoon batter halfway full into each cup.

3. Set muffin tin in a large roasting pan. Place pan in centre of oven. Pour hot water into pan halfway up sides of muffin tin. Bake for 15 min. Reduce heat to 325F. Continue baking until a skewer inserted in centre of puddings comes out clean, about 15 more min. Transfer muffin tin to a wire rack. Cool 10 min. Run a knife along inside edges to unmold puddings.

For Warm Caramel Sauce:

1. Melt 1/2 cup brown sugar with 1/4 cup butter in a small pan over medium-high. Stir in 1/4 cup 35% cream. Boil gently until slightly thickened, about 3 min. Serve warm over puddings.

Makes 12

Make ahead:
Bake puddings, then wrap and refrigerate for several days or freeze up to 2 weeks. To reheat, defrost first, then place a few puddings on a microwave-safe dinner plate. Tent with wax paper and microwave on medium just until puddings are warm in the centre, about 1 min. Repeat with remaining puddings. Sauce will keep well, covered and refrigerated, up to 2 days. Reheat in microwave on high for 1 min. before serving.
sticky toffee, pudding, caramel, dessert, sweets


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