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John Torode’s make-ahead festive sides!

Looking for festive sides that will steal the show this Christmas? John Torode joins us in the kitchen to show us how to create sides that you can make ahead of the big day! 


Serves: 8-10


30g butter

2 medium sized onions, chopped

6 rashers streaky bacon, chopped

10 leaves of sage, torn

100g fresh breadcrumbs

360g vacuum packed cooked chestnuts, finely chopped or crumbled

3 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled and grated

200g pork sausage meat

10 sage leaves, for garnish

6 rashers of bacon, to top

Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 180C, 160C fan, gas 4. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the onions over a medium heat until transparent, then add the chopped bacon and cook for 3 minutes.

2. Add the chestnuts and sage and season well, cook for a further two minutes, then remove from the heat.

3. In a large bowl, soak the breadcrumbs and grated apple in 50ml water.

4. Add the rest of the ingredients and beat well with a wooden spoon for about three minutes to incorporate some air, which will expand during cooking and give you a fluffy rather than stodgy stuffing.

5. Spoon into a baking dish and top with the bacon slices. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until fully cooked through and piping hot in the centre, and the top is crisp.

Red cabbage

Serves: 6-8


30g butter

300g onion, finely chopped

1 red cabbage, about 1kg, cut into 1cm slices

2 large apples, peeled, quartered and cored

Finely grated zest of 2 oranges

200ml red wine vinegar

150g brown sugar

20g juniper berries, crushed

2 bay leaves

5g salt

5g freshly ground pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 160C, 140C fan, gas 3. Melt the butter in a large pan, then add the onion and cook until soft. Add the cabbage and sweat for another 5 minutes.

2. Add the apples, orange zest, vinegar, sugar, crushed juniper berries, bay leaves, salt and pepper.

3. Cover the pan with a lid and cook in the oven for 1½ hours, or until the cabbage is tender. Taste before the end of cooking to adjust seasoning.

Horseradish peas

Serves: 6-8


2 shallots, sliced thinly

20g butter

White pepper, finely ground

1 large branch of rosemary

1 chicken stock cube

400g frozen peas

Small tub of creme fraiche

1 tsp creamed or fresh horseradish


1. Cook the shallots in the butter with the white pepper. Add the stock cube and cook for a minute .

2. Add the frozen peas and a good splash of water, shake, place the rosemary on top and pop on a lid for a few minutes so they are defrosted and hot - use a fry pan, it cooks quicker than a saucepan.

3. Lift the lid, stir, take out the rosemary, and then the creme fraiche and horseradish. Give it a stir and let it bubble. Place the rosemary back on top, stir and serve.

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Weekdays 10am-12:30pm