<div style="display:inline;"> <img height="1" width="1" style="border-style:none;" alt="" src="//googleads.g.doubleclick.net/pagead/viewthroughconversion/1028731116/?value=0&amp;guid=ON&amp;script=0">
6 ISSUES FOR £6 Subscribe to Cheshire Life today click here

Rachel Burden on what she’ll be eating this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 00:00 16 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:51 24 October 2015

Rachel Burden

Rachel Burden


BBC 5Live presenter Rachel Burden lives just outside Knutsford with her husband and three children. She explains how family and food - and lots of it - is what makes her Christmas special

I don’t usually welcome the premature arrival of Christmas. The roadside pubs advertising Christmas meals in August and M&S clearing the decks for the decorations. But I walked into my house from an early shift at BBC 5Live one morning a couple of weeks ago and was hit by the sharp, tangy and unmistakably festive smell of fruits and spices.

My mother was in the kitchen, mixing up the Christmas cake. Sitting on the side were about two dozen mince pies, still steaming and sticky from the oven. My reluctance suddenly swept aside, I scoffed one in a single mouthful.

Christmas cooking is a big thing in our house. Being a naturally competitive - and hungry - family, everyone likes to help out. The dishes have become increasingly elaborate – my brother’s pork stuffing in a basket of ribs last year was a thing of beauty which was as pleasurable to look at as it was to eat. We had a Christmas Eve fish-pie bake-off which left everyone incredibly well-fed, but failed to resolve the annual debate of what makes the best fish pie-topping – puff pastry or mash (although there was broad consensus on the acceptability of ketchup as accompaniment).

Christmas is also an excellent time if left-overs are your thing. They are definitely our thing. My dad’s Boxing Day favourite is Christmas pudding, reheated in a frying pan with brandy butter for breakfast. My husband will regularly eat a second Christmas dinner late at night over the poker, mixing up all the bits and pieces in a saucepan with gravy. He calls it ‘Warmed-Up’. I call it baby food.

Last year I managed to scavenge the left-overs away from the poker players to keep for a Boxing Day dinner which in the end was almost better received than the previous day’s Christmas dinner. Let’s face it, if you wake up on the 26th December to find the brandy bottle is empty and you’re down to the last strawberry creams in the chocolate tin, you don’t want to have to prepare anything overly complicated for a houseful of guests. I’ve no doubt you’ve all got your own versions of this, but if you haven’t done it before, you are truly missing out.

Boxing Day Everything Pie

Ingredients: leftovers, ready-made puff pastry, egg

Method: shove everything that’s leftover from your Christmas dinner into a pie dish (meat, ham, sausages, veg, roast potatoes, stuffing, bread sauce, cranberry sauce, gravy, the lot – avoiding crackers toys where possible). Cover it with a puff pastry lid, brush over some egg and whack it in the oven.

It’s incredibly tasty and you don’t need to serve anything with it – although we kept the left-over red cabbage and had that on the side. What’s more, a recent study suggested reheated food is better for you than when it’s cooked first time round. So tuck in with relish! It’s not gluttony, it’s good for you. Happy Christmas.

Rachel Burden presents BBC5Live Breakfast, Mondays to Fridays, 6-9am.

Tweet her at @rachelburden.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cheshire visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cheshire staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cheshire account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Food & Drink

Friday, April 20, 2018

Celebrate in style at one of Cheshire’s most beautiful venues

Read more
Friday, April 20, 2018

Proving a popular haunt for families on and off the water, the Barbridge Inn has been a highlight of towpath talk for years.

Read more
Thursday, April 19, 2018

One lucky reader and three friends will join us at our glamorous Food and Drink Awards night at Carden Park

Read more
Monday, April 16, 2018

The multi-award winning Residence Restaurant and Bar sits in the glorious, historic centre of Nantwich.

Read more
Monday, April 16, 2018

The Finest Thai food in comfortable fresh surroundings with all 3 locations being newly renovated.

Read more
Friday, April 13, 2018

Digest this mini review in 60 seconds

Read more
Manchester Restaurants
Friday, April 13, 2018

If you want a taste of mansion life, then Oddfellows on the Park in Cheadle is the place to be as Janet Reeder discovers.

Read more
Cheshire Restaurants
Monday, April 9, 2018

Rebekka O’Grady visits the White Horse in Chester, a gastro-pub very much ‘on course’ for success

Read more
Cheshire Restaurants Chester
Friday, April 6, 2018

Brasserie Blanc in Knutsford scooped the Restaurant of the Year accolade at Cheshire Life’s Food and Drink Awards. Now the hunt is on to find this year’s winner

Read more
Monday, March 26, 2018

Whether it’s a classic offering in opulent surroundings or a fun Alice in Wonderland theme, there’s an afternoon to suit all tastes in Chester.

Read more
Afternoon Tea Chester
Great British Holidays advert link

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory

Subscribe or buy a mag today

Local Business Directory

Cheshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Property Search