- Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Tips: from our kitchen, to yours

We asked our Resident Chef, Andy, if he had any tasty tips, personal favourites and special techniques when it comes to preparing for Christmas. Well, silly question, of course he does. He wouldn’t be responsible for innovation if he didn’t have a delicious tip or two. Enjoy these …


Finger Food - Party with Pride


Dip, fill, dollop – Stokes, Sauces for Food Lovers, offers so many quirky ways to add depth, dimension and taste to all manner of finger food.

Beef Brisket Croquettes

This is a great recipe for a starter or canapés. I love this recipe as everything can be done in advance. Here I have used a cooked beef brisket, which is available in most supermarkets. They tend to be slow cooked so are lovely and tender and full of flavour.

Stokes Devils on Horseback

I’ve created a number of festive recipes including this – HERE. I use sweet and succulent Medjool dates. They have a moreish natural sweetness that goes perfectly well with creamy blue Stilton and the relative tartness of our Fig Relish.

Cranberry & Brie Pastry Star:

Time to test your  imagination and pastry skills. Pop a brie in the middle of a baking sheet. Cover with a pastry roll. Cut and twist the ‘stars’ with a dollop of Cranberry Sauce in each. Brush with yolk and bake.

What a wonderful centrepiece!

All you need is Stokes in the cupboard, and a little inspiration:

Gruyère & Smoked Salmon Tartlets:

Again, Andy’s recipe for these tartlets can be followed – HERE.

Finish these with the punchy fruit of our Cranberry Sauce for a well-balanced offering your guests will adore.


Bold flavours combine with exquisite textures to tantalise guest taste buds – Yum.

Win smiles with these Mini Beef Yorkshire Puddings with Creamed Horseradish Sauce:

Ours is gentle, deliciously smooth Creamed Horseradish Sauce using English horseradish and fresh cream, that lets you enjoy its full flavour without bringing tears to your eyes – or upstaging your tender, sweet, roast beef.


Dipping Deliciously


Think colour, think texture, think taste and you have the perfect sharing platter of biscuits and crudités.

Now all you need are the dips:

Mango Chutney & Sour Cream

You can buy sour cream with all sorts of herbs already chopped into it. But, if you crush a few cumin seeds and fennel seeds, stir the powder into the cream with 3 or 4 spoonfuls of our Spiced Mango Chutney – wow – it’s so good, particularly served with mini poppadoms!

Beetroot Relish with Tarragon & Horseradish

This tickles all the taste buds. Just play with the combinations until you strike the right chord. Our Beetroot Relish has earthy shards of beetroot, steeped in a syrupy red wine sauce. Add a little Creamed Horseradish Sauce for gentle heat. And balance the two with freshly chopped tarragon leaves.

Bloody Mary Ketchup & Real Mayonnaise

This is the simplest combo but possibly the tastiest. Use our Real Mayonnaise as the base, adding the extraordinary flavours of our Bloody Mary Ketchup until your frown becomes a beaming smile.


Graze Deliciously - throughout the holiday



Don’t just focus on the day itself !

Too often we focus on the Big Day itself, or on a particular party we’re hosting. Then, when hungry tums reach for the fridge it’s ‘don’t touch‘ or ‘well, there’s still a little turkey left‘.

Traybake Leftovers

You’re almost bound to have leftover veg and sausages. Chop the roots evenly (so they bake at the same speed), add sausages, herbs, slices of onion and dots of wholegrain mustard. It makes a great meal served simply with doorsteps of bread and butter.

Roast Pork Cuts

Think ahead. Once you have the bird out of the oven resting and the roasties etc are done, while the oven is already at temperature – put a joint of pork into the heat to cook for slicing on Boxing Day and the days after that.

‘Whatever’s Left’ Caesar Salad

Little Gem lettuces last a good few days so – obviously Turkey Caesar Salad, but what about sausage, bacon, gammon roast pork … smoked mackerel works (add horseradish as well – yum!).

Imagination is always the greatest ingredient in any kitchen.

‘No Meat’ Stir Fry

With tofu in the fridge and Sweet Chilli Sauce in the cupboard, just add, stir fry and serve. Andy has an easy, quick recipe for you HERE.


The BIG Day - cooking ahead


The key here is preparation. As a chef, I always try and do as much as I can beforehand. Doing a veg dish that can be done in advance is always a winner.

A favourite of mine is slow cooked red cabbage.

Take finely sliced red cabbage and in a pan, season it with brown sugar, a slug of orange juice to just cover the red cabbage, mixed spice, a dash of port, salt & pepper, a handful of sultanas and, my secret ingredients, a couple of spoonsful of Stokes Redcurrant Jelly.

Slowly simmer until the cabbage is tender and the liquid should be slightly like a syrup. This can be done a couple of days in advance and kept in the fridge. On the day, it can be warmed through in the oven or with a blast in the microwave.

Roast Potato Tips


Peel the potatoes for the roasties the day before and place in a pan of water on the stove ready for pre-cooking.

On the day, bring to the boil with a pinch of salt and cook for about 10mins. Drain and allow the steam to dry the potatoes. This will give you really crisp roasties.

After that it’s up to you, as long as you have a hot oven you can use a good rapeseed oil, a little bit of butter in with the oil, or an indulgent goose fat to roast the potato.

Just before the potatoes are ready, I infuse mine with fresh herbs and our Cider & Horseradish Mustard. The wholegrain mustard seeds ‘pop’ with flavourful sensations and the horseradish lingers on the palate – delicious.

Sausage Rolls - the food of friendship


Sausage meat, rolled pastry, and a plate on which to pass them round.

If you don’t make your own already, this year, have a go at making them yourself. Own those smiles you put on guests’ faces, and share the pure joy of loving great food.

I’m no Rick Stein, but here’s a video in which I take you through one of my favourites – HERE:


Christmas Shopping - The Farm Shop



The perfect place for last-minute gifts and tasty treats.

If you’re planning festive celebrations with show-stopping nibbles & drinks; exciting platters of British charcuterie & cheese; distinctive meats & roast joints; all wrapped in charming light shows of decorations and colour themes to leave guests in awe – then take a trip to your local Farm Shop.

This is one of the nicest times of the year to visit your Farm Shop. Most make a magical effort to display so many snacking, sharing, dining and decorative ideas to make your Christmas a special one.

And, so many offer a good selection of Stokes jars of delicious joy.


This link will help you find your local (or not so local) Farm Shops, and everything you’ll need for very special ‘local’ Christmas fayre – HERE.

So, deck your shelves with jars so tasty …

…tral la la la laaaa, tra lal la laaaa.