Inside the Waitrose Christmas food collection featuring feathered turkey crowns and luxury mince pies

By Gemma Sherlock

Several supermarkets in the UK have revealed their Christmas food collections and Waitrose is the latest to share their festive delights.

Excitement and anticipation is slightly higher for Christmas 2021, following last year's cancelled celebrations due to the pandemic.

This year's festivities should more than make up for lost time though and judging by the festive food on offer at supermarkets this year, there's plenty to choose from.

It's also worth keeping in mind that there have been several reports over possible food shortages, in particular turkey shortages.

Some farmers have told the BBC that there may not be enough turkeys this Christmas because visa changes to allow labour recruitment form abroad came too late.

However, with this in mind many supermarkets are confident shortages won't affect them - see the full list of where you can buy your Christmas turkey from here.

Waitrose have said their fresh turkeys are available online for customers to browse now, ready for orders to be placed next month (and as with every year, these orders can be picked up in the days before Christmas).

Order your turkey here.

Waitrose also have a number of other turkey products available year-round though, including turkey mince and turkey breast steaks, as well as frozen whole turkeys from later this autumn.

When asked about possible customer's concerns over turkey and food shortages, Waitrose said:

"We’ve worked really closely with our suppliers to ensure we have everything we need to make sure our customers have a brilliant Christmas."

The majority of Waitrose's Christmas food, including turkeys, will need to be ordered online by December 15.

Scroll down for some of our favourite pics from their Christmas Collection 2021.

Turkeys

Waitrose Duchy Organic FreeRange Bronze Feathered Turkey Crown (Waitrose)

Bronze-feathered turkeys are a slow-growing breed renowned for their full flavour and succulence, and Waitrose Duchy Organic Free Range Bronze Feathered Turkey Crowns come from Vincent Carr, a fourth-generation farmer based in Co Donegal, Ireland.

“Everything we do is to organic standards,” said Vincent.

“The birds are indoors at night for their protection, with straw bedding and plenty of engaging stimuli for pecking.

"During the day they roam around in the fields, just coming back in if they’re hungry.

"We’ve got fruit trees in the fields, and they’ll peck at the apples and pears that fall to the ground, and the herbs that grow there. We feed them an organic diet, but you know your birds are happy and well when they’re foraging naturally, instead of just depending on you."

Their Duchy organic free range bronze feathered turkey crown is hailed as easy to carve for effortless, delicious feasting.

This turkey is priced between £63-£75 depending on weight and feeds a minimum of five people - and is available to buy here.

This isn't the only Turkey available for Christmas at Waitrose.

They have many crowns and stuffed birds to choose from, including a bacon wrapped turkey breast priced at £25 which serves five, a No1 large free range dry aged bronze whole turkey p riced between £87-£116 which serves 12, or a best of both, free range bronze turkey crown with thighs priced at £65 and serves 12.

See their full list of turkeys here.

Turkey alternatives

Tradition may call for turkey on Christmas Day but Waitrose believe some of their alternative centrepieces will be given pride of place on tables across the nation this festive season.

This year’s showstoppers include No.1 Dry Aged Bone-in Sirloin of Beef Matured in Beef Dripping, a Three Fish Roast and Slow-Cooked Bone-In British Venison Shoulder served with a rich redcurrant and juniper jus.

Their three fish roast features succulent Scottish salmon fillet, cod and smoked haddock and comes with baby spinach in a zesty lemon and dill butter.

It's available in store and from Waitrose Entertaining - costs from £40 depending on weight and it serves eight.

If it's fish you don't fancy for the big festive day this year then there's Waitrose's boneless leg of British lamb with apricot and rosemary.

A whole boneless leg of lamb with a fruity apricot and orange stuffing, beautifully garnished with dried apricots and rosemary, serves four to six.

Available from Waitrose Entertaining and costs between £22-£30 depending on weight.

For a little luxury there's their slow-cooked bone-in British venison shoulder which costs £25 and serves four people.

A bone-in venison shoulder slow-cooked for 10 hours for delicious flavour, served with a rich redcurrant and juniper jus to make a standout centrepiece on any Christmas dinner table.

Price depends on weight. It's not yet available to buy online but keep an eye out on their website for updates.

Swapping turkey for beef? Then Waitrose has got you covered.

Not only does the supermarket have lots of beef joints to choose from, but their new No.1 Dry Aged Bone-In sirloin of beef, matured in beef dripping, has been highly rated.

This tender, succulent British beef, dry aged and matured in dripping for a real depth of flavour is available from Waitrose Entertaining.

It costs £30 and serves between four and six people - get it here.

Shoppers can also get a classic goose for this Christmas.

This No 1 Free Range easy carve goose with quince, chestnut and bacon costs £80 and serves 12 people.

Vegetarians also have plenty of options too for Christmas.

With searches for vegan products on waitrose.com up 34% on last year, Waitrose has pulled out all the stops with their new meat-free and dairy-free Christmas dishes to ensure there’s something for everyone.

Vegan choices on the menu include canapés, desserts, mince pies and everything in between, including the Vegan Jewelled Roast with a Fruity Centre and colourful topping, which would look beautiful on any festive dinner table.

The Vegan roast is a savoury mushroom-based roast with sweet caramelised onions, chestnuts and a clove-spiced apricot centre, topped with a crunchy, colourful garnish of apricots, cranberries, crushed chestnuts, sunflower seeds and pine nuts.

It serves four and costs £9 with Vegan pigs in blankets - get it here.

There's also mushroom and cavolo nero parcels priced at £15.

These light and crispy pastry parcels are filled with rich mushroom, cavolo nero, Cheddar cheese and mascarpone, finished with a splash of Madeira.

Proof that, at Christmas, the best things really do come in small packages.

Party food and canapes

Because no one can say no to a canapé!

Perfect for intimate soirées or for a larger group of friends, Waitrose's selection of easy Christmas nibbles has something for every taste, such as jewel-coloured dim sum with a soy dipping sauce, and Mini New Yorker Style Pastrami Toasties.

Buffet dishes and starters include antipasti and cold meat platters, and irresistible gin-infused Bloody Margaret Prawn Cocktails.

Their Bloody Margaret Prawn Cocktails serve two and are priced at just £6.

Juicy prawns in a cocktail sauce with layers of cucumber, spiced tomato and gin-infused jelly, topped with smoked salmon pieces and finished with lovage.

A contemporary twist on the retro classic, created especially for Christmas - they will be available online soon.

If you're a fan of cheese then these nine mini New Yorker style pastrami toasties will be up your street.

A twist on a favourite sandwich, filled with Cheddar and Emmental cheese, pastrami, mustard and pickles, these are priced at £5.

For something a bit different there's 12 mixed Dim Sum with a spicy soy sauce - a delicious selection of steamed dim sum, including four purple king prawn har gow, four green vegetable gyoza and four king prawn siu mai with a spicy soy dipping sauce.

Priced at £6, in store only.

There's also 12 savoury vegetable pies - this delicious dozen is a mix of rich mushroom pies and creamy leek and vegetable pies, all made with light vegan puff pastry.

See their full list of party food and canapés here.

Cheese

Break with tradition this year and create a Christmas cheeseboard with a difference.

Waitrose offering includes a Chocca Mocha Wensleydale, a Baking Camembert with Truffle & Acacia Honey Drizzle and a wax-coated Cheddar star with a hint of caramelised onion, destined to shine brightly on many a festive table.

Their baked camembert with garlic and doughball is shaped like a wreath and is priced at £6.50

See all of their cheese selection here.

Mince pies

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without mince pies.

This year Waitrose has taken them to another level with their No. 1 Brown Butter Mince Pies with Courvoisier.

Encased in rich, buttery pastry made with browned butter for a nutty flavour, the mincemeat contains glacé Amarena cherries, apricots and almonds, laced with a splash of COURVOISIER® VS Cognac, making them the perfectly indulgent festive treat.

Desserts and cakes

You know you’ll find room for an indulgent dessert…

Among the showstoppers in this year’s line-up are Heston’s latest creation, The Giant Cracking Penny, and his Espresso Martini Chocolate Torte.

Waitrose also have a sparkly chocolate and salted caramel pudding, and a classic with a twist – the No.1 Black Forest Bûche de Noël.

Their raspberry and vanilla panna cotta star is also sure to be a favourite.

A creamy vanilla-flavoured panna cotta star topped with jewel-coloured raspberry jelly. A festive dessert to treasure. Priced at £7.50 available in stores.

Meanwhile, there's Heston's fun giant cracking penny.

Inspired by a childhood treat of chocolate coins glinting from the branches of the Christmas tree – a shimmering bronze Belgian chocolate shell surrounds rich chocolate mousse with hazelnut ganache, on a chocolate and hazelnut base.

It serves ten people and costs £20.

There's also the vegan winter pudding - apples, blackberries, raspberries and blackcurrants layered with bread, and soaked in a lightly spiced fruit sauce.

It serves four people and costs just £5.

See all of the Waitrose Christmas desserts here.


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