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Feasts in a box: Fabulous Christmas dinners for when you don’t want to have to lift a finger

Can’t cook, won’t cook? Here are some stress-free options for ready-made food, writes Katy McGuinness


Luke Matthews with one of the Christmas food boxes available from Overends Kitchen at the Airfield estate in Dundrum. Photo: Frank McGrath

Luke Matthews with one of the Christmas food boxes available from Overends Kitchen at the Airfield estate in Dundrum. Photo: Frank McGrath

Luke Matthews with one of the Christmas food boxes available from Overends Kitchen at the Airfield estate in Dundrum. Photo: Frank McGrath

Dinner Box Serves 5, €70. Instagram @cluckchicken_truck

Cluck Chicken Truck, Walkinstown Roundabout, Dublin 12.

IF you’re on the hunt for a Christmas dinner without a whole heap of leftovers, the dinner box from chef Ian Ussher and his team at Cluck Chicken looks like the answer to your prayers.

You get buttermilk brined turkey, BBQ and honey-baked ham, with onion and herb stuffing, plus mashed potato, duck-fat roasties, seasonal greens (not sprouts!), roasted root vegetables and what they promise is ‘the nicest turkey gravy you’ll ever taste’. Orders close December 20, for collection on Christmas Eve.


Gleesons Butchers, Dublin and Meath.

Christmas Butcher Box serves 10-12, €75. www.gleesonbutchers.ie

You do have to cook this Christmas dinner yourself, but the work involved is minimal and the instructions couldn’t be more simple, so inasmuch as Christmas dinner can ever be idiot-proof, this is it. Included are a boneless turkey crown and low-salt home-cured ham, both of which are cooked in the bag and easy to carve. There’s also stuffing, potato gratin, roasting vegetables, cranberry sauce and gravy, with chocolates to finish. You can add in a breakfast pack for a tenner, and either collect in-store or have it delivered.


The Butcher Grill, Ranelagh, Dublin 6.

Christmas Dinner for 2/4, €75/150. www.thebutchergrill.clickandcollection.com

A great option for a couple or small family, the box from The Butcher Grill includes turkey crown rolled and packed with herb butter, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, stuffing with apricots and herbs, chargrilled broccoli with hazelnut dressing, spiced red cabbage and sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce.

The restaurant recommends you serve the pudding with rum and raisin ice cream or brandy cream, which you’ll have to pick up yourself.

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To get yourself in the festive mood, you can throw in a TBG Old Smoky cocktail. serving two, for €16. For collection at the restaurant on the December 23.


The Chef’s Table, Castletownbere, Co. Cork.

A la carte menu Instagram@thechefstablewestcork

Mark Funston and Grace Delaney are familiar faces from their Castletownbere deli and their weekly appearances at markets in Kenmare, Castletownbere and Glengarriff.

For Christmas, they have a full a la carte menu, which is handy if different guests like different dishes. If you go for the traditional menu – prawn cocktail with Marie Rose sauce, turkey ham and stuffing, a couple of sides and Christmas pudding with brandy butter - it’ll work out at around €31 per person, which sounds like a small price to pay for someone else doing all the work. For collection in Castletownbere.


3 Leaves, Blackrock Market, Dublin.

A la carte menu, www.3leaves.ie

If the idea of a traditional Christmas dinner leaves you cold, then an excellent alternative is the pre-order and collect service from the lovely 3 Leaves Indian restaurant for December 23 and 24. Dishes include lamb kebabs and prawn koliwada, murgh mumtaz and beef raseela. For collection in Blackrock.


Overends Kitchen, Airfield Estate, Dublin.

Christmas Dinner, €48pp, www.airfield.ie

The Christmas Dinner menu on offer from Overends Kitchen reads like a dream – the kind of meal that you wish you had the talent, time and energy to put together yourself. You’ll start with sourdough from Bread 41, served with cultured butter, turkey liver pate and winter leaves from the estate, followed by roasted artichoke soup with brown butter, citrus and chive, and crispy artichokes.

Then it’s on to smoked Airfield bronze turkey and slow-cooked Higgins Ham with proper gravy, redcurrant sauce and onion and herb stuffing, served with duck-fat roasties, three cheese cauliflower, sprouts with chestnuts and bacon, and braised red cabbage.

The veggie alternative is a Badger Flame beetroot Wellington with hazelnut cream. To finish, it’s dark chocolate mousse with clementine and you can add Irish cheese for €10pp, after which you’ll be ready for a nice lie down. For collection.


Deane’s Eipic, Belfast.

Christmas Box, serves two, £150 (€176), www.michaeldeane.co.uk

If a fine-dining Christmas dinner appeals, then Michael Deane’s menu may be just the ticket. You’ll start with artichoke, crispy chicken and truffle, followed by pine-smoked salmon with beetroot, pickle and black garlic served with treacle-glazed brown soda bread with Abernethy butter.

The main event is beef Wellington with roasted winter vegetables, pommes puree and beef fat sauce followed by spiced pudding, toffee apple sauce and custard. If you have any room left, there are pastilles, chocolate and Baileys to finish. For collection on Christmas Eve.


The Brehon, Killarney, Co Kerry.

Christmas Dinner Hamper Box, €65pp, www.thebrehon.com

The box from Chad Byrne at The Brehon contains everything you need for a tasty and hassle-free feast.

The dishes are prepped and oven-ready, and come with simple instructions … there are even suggestions for leftovers. You’ll kick off with Brehon breads, hazelnut pesto and smoky tomato dip, and start the meal proper with smoked salmon, Dublin Bay prawns, and apple and fennel salad.

The main course is traditional turkey and smoked gammon with all the sauces and trimmings, including the essential duck-fat roasties and Brussels sprouts with pancetta.

For dessert you’ll be tucking into apple crumble with Baileys custard, Christmas log with brandy caramel, and mince pies. For collection on December 23 or 24.


The Box, Dublin.

Serves 6-8, €349, www.thebox.clickandcollection.com

A collaboration between Mulberry Garden, Brookwood, Bloom Brasserie and Fairmental, The Box is a full Christmas dinner delivered directly to your door.

The menu is traditional, starting with cream of celeriac soup with toasted hazelnuts. The main course is a supreme of roast turkey with honey-glazed ham, herb, cranberry and bone-marrow stuffing, and all the trimmings – creamy mash, duck-fat roast Brussels sprouts, honey-glazed carrots, gravy and parsley sauce, followed by Irish whiskey baba and fresh cream, and Cashel Blue and crackers.

Most of the work is done for you and you’ll just have simple instructions to follow to get the feast on the table. Delivery on December 22 or 23.


James Whelan Butchers.

Beef Wellington, €60, www.jameswhelanbutchers.com 

Christmas dinner doesn’t always have to be turkey, and beef Wellington is an elegant alternative that feels properly festive. It’s challenging to make at home, though, which is why this dry-aged fillet of Angus beef – coated with mushroom duxelle, wrapped in pancetta and covered in flaky pastry – is going to be very popular this year. For delivery nationwide.


Peperina Garden Bistro, Dublin 6.

Christmas Dinner for two, €110 www.rosta.ie

Peperina Garden has Christmas dinner packages to suit two to eight people. with a menu that features chicken liver parfait to start, traditional turkey and ham with stuffing and all the trimmings including Brussels sprouts, roast carrots and parsnips, mash and duck-fat roast potatoes, followed by Christmas pudding with brandy butter and creme anglaise. If you prefer to pick and choose, there’s an a la carte menu too. For collection.


Eatto, Dublin. Festive

Feast, serves 4, €89.95, www.eatto.ie

With step-by-step instructions including a timing guide, this is a foolproof traditional Christmas dinner that you can have delivered directly to your door. If you’d prefer to cook the turkey and ham from scratch yourself, you can order an All the Trimmings box (€59.95 for 4) containing the vegetables and sauces that take up so much time. Nationwide delivery available.


Berman & Wallace, Dublin 4.

Christmas Dinner from €28.50pp, www.berman-wallace.clickandcollection.com

Berman & Wallace’s Christmas dinner offering is a la carte, with a main course of free-range turkey and organic ham, plus all the trimmings, priced at €28.50 per person.

You can add on starters, trifle or Christmas pudding, and there’s even a ‘leftovers’ box containing everything you need for that late-night turkey sandwich. For collection.


Asador/Prado, Dublin 4/3.

Christmas Roast Box, serves 8, €295 www.asador.ie

This bumper feast contains everything from a starter of chicken liver parfait with brioche and spiced apple and pear chutney, to a full traditional turkey dinner, the breast with lemon and thyme butter and the leg boned, rolled and stuffed with smoked bacon, cranberry and pecan stuffing. There’s also baked ham with bourbon marmalade and ginger glaze, red cabbage, duck-fat roasties and honey-glazed carrots and parsnips, plus gravy and cranberry sauce. For dessert, you’ve got a Christmas pudding log with brandy butter and creme anglaise, and some cookie dough for Santa. A smaller box for four costs €159. For collection at either restaurant.


Rua, Castlebar, Co Mayo.

A la carte menu, www.ruadeli.clickandcollection.com

A great option if you’re not fazed by cooking the turkey and ham, but you’d like someone else to do all the other bits. Rua has stuffing and bread sauce, starters, vegetable sides and vegetarian main courses, plus a showstopper trifle in a glass bowl which you get to keep (€40). For collection.


Sweet Beat, Sligo.

A la carte menu, www.sweetbeat.ie

Sweet Beat are taking care of the vegetarians with their signature mushroom Wellington, (€30, Serves 4-5) a buttery puff pastry with a roast mushroom, onion, herb and red onion filling with sticky onion jam, and their Sweet Beat nut roast (€40, serves 6-8) with a tray of herby vegetables and special gravy. For collection on December 22, 23 and 24.


Croi, Tralee.

Christmas Takeaway Box, €55pp, www.croirestaurant.com

Not a traditional turkey dinner but a very festive meal all the same, with a starter of smoked salmon or chicken liver pate, a carrot and sesame seed salad, a fillet steak with Cafe de Paris butter and sides, and a dessert of apple and blackberry crumble or cheesecake with raspberry coulis. For collection on Christmas Eve.

Feast at Home, Clane, Co. Kildare. Luxury Christmas Dinner, serves 4-6 with leftovers, €275, www.feastathome.ie 

A full-on traditional feast that’s ready for your oven, supplied in thermal-sealed boxes that stay fresh for up to 48 hours. For collection on December 23 with delivery available for extra.


The Chef’s Creation, Dublin.

Christmas Carol Menu, serves 5, €75 www.thechefscreation.com

This is a no-frills, heat and eat, main-course option including turkey, ham, stuffing and sides that is great value, with all the work done for you. You’ll just need to buy the starter and pudding. For collection, or delivery in Dublin.


The Twelve, Barna, Co Galway.

Christmas Dinner in a Box, serves 2, €50, www.shop.thetwelvehotel.ie

For something a bit different, The Twelve’s turkey and ham hock Wellington dinner comes cooked with all the trimmings including stuffing, roast potatoes, vegetables and cranberry sauce, plus a bottle of mulled wine. All you need to do is heat everything up.

Also available are hams cooked on the Green Egg, confit duck, stuffing, gravy and a host of delicious desserts including Christmas puddings and chocolate yule logs. For collection.


Nook, Collooney, Co. Sligo.

Vegetarian and Vegan Wellingtons, €25, www.nookcollooney.com

 For vegetarians and vegans, Nook’s Wellingtons – brie, squash and lentil or lentil, mushroom and vegan cheddar – are beautifully festive. There’s also the tasty Christmas Eve Grazing Box for two (€35) .


Old Street, Malahide, Co Dublin.

Family Feast Box, Serves 4-6, €269, www.oldstreet.ie

With boned rolled and stuffed turkey, and whiskey and ginger braised ham as the centrepieces, Old Street’s Christmas Day Feast comes with all the sides and trimmings, as well as Christmas pudding and alternative desserts. 

You can add on wine pairings selected by Old Street owner Mark Fitzpatrick too.

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