The easy Christmas menu you’ve been waiting for

Minimum effort, but with all the epicness, this festive menu is a beautiful breeze.

What’s under the Christmas tree this year? We’re not fussed; we’re much more concerned with what’s on the table.

Our lunch and dinner festivities need to taste good. And they need to look schmick too, with elegant settings and elevated tablescaping. There are always platters because food served family-style gives off all the right vibes, then we’re going with sets of glasses with matching carafes for casual help-yourself drinks, trays for cheeses and boards for bread assortments.

As for the menu? No more mulling; we’ve got you covered. Here’s the easy Christmas meal idea you’ve been waiting for – our gift to you this season.

STARTER: Grand Aioli

Get the chicest aioli you can buy. Dollop it into a bowl. Grab a large platter, then arrange some (or all) of the following on it; washed radishes with their perky leaves attached, blanched beans and/or asparagus, baby cos (romaine) lettuce wedges, boiled and halved kipfler (fingerling) potatoes, sliced cucumber, halved cherry tomatoes, halved boiled eggs, peeled cooked prawns, and hand-carved slices of ham. You want a lovely, colourful array of vegetables and select proteins – things you can pick up and scoop into the aioli. The platter should look bounteous and beautiful; just leave room on it for your aioli bowl! 

Pair it with: A lightly chilled, subtly fruity rosé.

Set the table

Cutlery. Flatware. Serve it in style.

MAIN COURSE:

Roast Beef Tenderloin with Romesco Sauce and Leafy Greens 

Get your butcher to trim and tie a 1.5kg (3lb 5oz) beef tenderloin. Place it on a rack in a roasting tin. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in a preheated 210°C 425°F oven for 30-35 minutes for medium rare; a meat thermometer should read 60°C (135°F). Remove and rest for 15 minutes before carving. 

For the romesco sauce, combine 2 chopped garlic cloves, 120g (¾ cup) chopped almonds, 250g (1¼ cups) drained roast capsicums, 75g (½ cup) chopped sundried tomatoes, ¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar, 2 tsp smoked paprika and 100ml extra virgin olive oil in a food processor. Process until smooth. Add 1-2 tbsp of hot water to make it creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Serve the beef sliced, with the romesco and your favourite leafy green salad.

SIDE DISH:
Potato and Comte Casserole 

Boil 1.5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) peeled, chopped potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain, return to the saucepan and add 50g (1¾ oz) butter and 125ml (4 fl oz) pouring cream. Mash well. Stir in 150g (5½ oz) grated comte, a pinch of grated nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a greased 1.5 litre (6 cup)-capacity baking dish.

Combine 45g (1½ oz) panko breadcrumbs, 50g grated (1¾ oz) comte, 100g (3½ oz) grated parmesan and 60g (2¼ oz) chopped almonds in a bowl, then rub in 25g (1 oz) butter until the mixture is a bit clumpy. Scatter over the potato, then bake in a 200˚C (400˚F) oven for 30 minutes, or until golden and crunchy. Scatter with sage leaves, then serve.

Pair it with: Rioja, hands down.

Plate it up perfectly

The dinnerware and serveware that'll showcase your incredible feast

DESSERT:
Rum & Lime-Braised Pineapple with Ice-Cream

Peel, trim and halve 2 small pineapples, then cut each into 8-10 wedges. Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil in a large, heavy-based frying pan (skillet) over high heat. Cook the pineapple in 2 batches for 3 minutes each side, or until charred. Cool the pan a little. Melt 50g (1¾ oz) butter in the pan over medium-high heat, then add 100g (3½ oz) brown sugar, 125ml (4 fl oz) rum, 1 cinnamon stick and the juice and finely grated zest of 1 lime. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add the pineapple and cook, turning, for 3 minutes or until the pineapple is tender. Remove pineapple, simmer the liquid for 5-6 minutes until thick and syrupy. Serve pineapple with vanilla ice cream and a cheeky drizzle of syrup.

Pair it with: Nightcap it with an Amaretto Sour.

For the middle of the table

Carafes for cocktail mixes, sparkling water, and whatever your guests desire