Sometimes getting the basics right for the all-important Christmas dinner can be a struggle – and this year more people that usual will be cooking at home because of lockdown measures.

For the ‘big’ dinner, for instance, getting the roast potatoes, oven-baked parsnips and that other big essential, Brussels sprouts, spot on can be a bit of a hit or miss affair. We turned to Malden Salt for some assistance in getting those essentials perfect for Xmas:

Honey roasted parsnips


• 500g parsnips

• 1 tbsp flour

• 1 tbsp honey

• 2 tbsp sunflower oil

• 2 tbsp butter

• Maldon Salt


• Top and tail 500g parsnips, cutting any larger ones in half lengthways, then put in a large saucepan, cover with salted water, bring to the boil and cook for five mins.

• Drain in a colander and let them steam-dry for a few mins.

• Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

• Sprinkle 1 tbsp flour and 1 tbsp honey over the parsnips and toss to coat.

• Put the parsnips in a roasting tin with 2 tbsp sunflower oil, 2 tbsp butter and seasoning.

• Roast for 40 mins, turning halfway, until golden.

• Add a pinch of Maldon Salt to serve.

Brussel sprouts


• 1kg Brussels sprouts, trimmed

• 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon, cut into bite-sized pieces

• 200g vacuum-packed chestnuts

• 50g butter

• Maldon Salt


• Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil, then tip in 1kg trimmed Brussels sprouts. Once back to the boil, cook for 5 mins. Drain, run under the cold tap until cold, then drain again.

• Heat a large frying pan, add six rashers smoked streaky bacon that have been cut into bite-sized pieces, and gently fry for 10 mins until crisp and golden.

• Tip out of the pan, leaving the fat behind, then add 200g chestnuts and fry over a high heat for about 5 mins until tinged. Tip out of the pan.

• Add the sprouts to the pan with a splash of water, then cover and finish cooking over a medium heat for about 5 mins, stirring now and again, until just tender.

• Uncover, turn up the heat, then add most of the 50g butter and sauté the sprouts for 2 mins more.

• Tip in the bacon and chestnuts, season generously with Maldon Salt and pepper, then serve with the last knob of butter on top.

Roast potatoes


• 1kg Maris Piper potatoes

• 100g duck or goose fat (for a luxurious taste), or 100ml/3½fl oz olive oil

• 2 tsp flour

• Maldon salt, to serve


• Put a roasting tin in the oven (one big enough to take the potatoes in a single layer) and heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6.

• Peel the 1kg potatoes and cut each into four even-sized pieces if they are medium size, 2-3 if smaller (5cm pieces). Drop the potatoes into a large pan and pour in enough water to barely cover them.

• Add salt, then wait for the water to boil. As soon as the water reaches a full rolling boil, lower the heat, put your timer on and simmer the potatoes uncovered, reasonably vigorously, for 2 mins.

• Meanwhile, put 100g duck (or goose fat or 100ml olive oil) into the hot roasting tin and heat it in the oven for a few mins, so it’s really hot.

• Drain the potatoes in a colander then shake the colander back and forth a few times to fluff up the outsides. Sprinkle with 2 tsp flour and give another shake or two so they are evenly and thinly coated.

• Carefully put the potatoes into the hot fat – they will sizzle as they go in – then turn and roll them around so they are coated all over. Spread them in a single layer making sure they have plenty of room.

• Roast the potatoes for 15 mins, then take them out of the oven and turn them over.

• Roast for another 15 mins and turn them over again. Put them back in the oven for another 10-20 mins, or however long it takes to get them really golden and crisp. The colouring will be uneven, which is what you want.

• Scatter with Maldon salt and serve straight away.