8 Meat Alternatives to the Christmas Turkey

  • 01 of 08

    Traditional Roast Meats at Christmas

    Roast turkey for christmas
    Sam Edwards/OJO Images/Getty Images

    Most people believe that turkey is the star of the British Christmas dinner, but this new-fangled bird has only been gracing the British table since the 16th century when it arrived here from America. Before that a traditional Christmas roast would be the Christmas Goose (think Dickens and A Christmas Carol and the Cratchits off to get their goose from the baker's oven).

    A roast bird isn't always the meat of choice for many, growing up we had two roasts on the table, a roast Capon (now...MORE not available) and a roast leg of pork. My family didn't care for the turkey, and these were our preferred meats.

    Whatever Christmas roast you choose there are a wealth of accompaniments that go alongside, most are interchangeable, and all are part of the traditional menu for a British Christmas.

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  • 02 of 08

    Roast Rib of Beef for Christmas Dinner

    Rib of Beef for Christmas. Photo © Getty Images

    Roast Beef is one of Britain's national dishes and the major part of a Traditional Sunday Roast. Despite its role in the weekly event, a Roast Beef is also very popular for a Christmas roast as well and why not, it's not all about the turkey after all.

    Christmas roast beef usually involves a rib roast and is served with all the classic accompaniments of

    How to Cook a Perfect Roast Beef

    Accompaniments to the roast beef.

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  • 03 of 08

    Classic Beef Wellington

    Christmas Beef Wellington. Getty

    Beef Wellington was named after the Duke of Wellington in 1851 and has graced British tables ever since. It is based on a classic French boeuf en croute, beef wrapped in pastry.

    Classic Beef Wellington Recipe

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  • 04 of 08

    Baked Glazed Ham

    Christmas Ham

    A British Christmas is not Christmas without a baked ham. Apart from on the day, it is the intrinsic part of a Boxing Day buffet as well.

    Christmas Ham with Apricot Stuffing Recipe


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  • 05 of 08

    Ballontine of Goose Recipe

    Roast Goose - Goose Recipe - Roast Goose and Chestnut Stuffing Recipe
    Roast Goose for Christmas. Photo © StockXpert

    Long before the turkey became the bird of choice for the Christmas table, it was the Goose which had the starring role. The goose as the bird of choice took a severe decline in the 1960s when it was considered a little common and turkey more exotic. 

    This roast goose recipe is unusual as it makes the most of the flavor & texture of goose by using a boned goose which is then cooked in a water bath and then roasted. With this method, the meat remains juicy and moist. Boning a goose is easy when...MORE you know how but is time-consuming-make it easy on yourself and ask your butcher to bone it.

    The roast goose loves the traditional accompaniments of a traditional British Christmas, but I would pass on the Yorkshire puddings with this dish.

    Roast Goose Roll with Chestnut Stuffing Recipe

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  • 06 of 08

    Christmas Roast Pork with Crackling

    Joff Lee / Getty Images

    In times gone by most rural or farming households in Britain would keep at least one or more pigs. The fattening of the pig with kitchen scraps and kitchen garden waste was a studious undertaking with the result being a plentiful supply of pork for the family. The leg was often considered the best joint on the pig and as such would often be served for Christmas either alone or with perhaps a chicken or other poultry. The keeping of pigs is now something of a rarity but roast pork does remain a...MORE popular choice. As a child roast pork was always part of our Christmas table.

    How to Cook Perfect Roast Pork with Crackling

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  • 07 of 08

    Buttery Roast Chicken

    Christina Schmidhofer - Getty Images

    For its simplicity of both cooking and flavour, a buttery roast chicken is perfect for a Christmas dinner especially when served with a sage and onion stuffing.

    This very simple - but don't be fooled as it is extremely tasty - chicken recipe works wonderfully with all the traditional accompaniments of a traditional British Christmas dinner. It may be less rich than other birds for the Christmas table, which suits many (it also a lot cheaper).

    Buttery Roast Chicken Recipe

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  • 08 of 08

    Let's Not Forget Roast Turkey


    A perfect roast turkey is a wonderful bird for the Christmas dinner. Turkey is by far one of the most economical meats as a 15lb turkey will serve 15 people, which is not achievable with any other bird. A long slow cooking and you will have a moist, succulent bird with plenty for the dinner and usually for boxing day as well.

    Perfect Roast Turkey Recipe

    Turkey loves all the usual British Christmas accompaniments especially bread sauce, don't forget the cranberries