The UK’s market leader, Tesco is including everyone this Christmas. Global influences are clear in the range, while the standout items are largely based on inclusivity. From vegan eats galore to a shot at a double-stuffed turkey (with both sweet and savoury stuffings), the retailer's range this year touches all bases, including those tried and tested.
The majority of Tesco stuffing remains gluten-free and, every year, crowns and cuts of turkey become more and more important. While these cuts may not necessarily bring in more revenue for the supermarket when compared to whole birds, this is rarely an issue due to the so-called halo effect, which sees customers arrive in store to buy their turkey bits, then stay to do the rest of their Christmas grocery shopping there too.
Snacks and Appetisers
Chorizo-style Pigs in a Blanket
A European-influenced snack, chorizo-based pork sausages with smoked red peppers, paprika and garlic are wrapped in oak-smoked streaky bacon. Alternatively, try the chicks in blankets, made with chicken instead of pork.
Thai Green Chicken Baskets
Asian flavours and novelty combined, these filo pastry baskets are filled with chicken and veg in a Thai green sauce.
Tesco Finest Barbacoa Beef Tacos
These mini-sized maize tacos feature beef cooked in traditional Mexican style (hence the barbacoa, from which the term ‘barbecue’ derives). The slow-cooked, pulled meat is cooked in a rich spicy sauce and is topped with tangy pickled red onion.
Also noteworthy are the Brussels sprout bites in a light batter with a cranberry dip and king prawns in a chilli and sesame sauce, hand wrapped in rose-shaped filo pastry.
The Main Event
Turkey, Gammon and Beef Roasting Trio
Showcasing Tesco’s inclusivity this year – and needing just 45 minutes roasting – there’s something for everyone with this boneless turkey joint (pre-basted and seasoned with herbs), beef joint and gammon with a sticky maple and bourbon glaze.
Tesco Finest Free-range Bronze Double-stuffed Boneless Turkey Breast
Easy to carve and hand prepared by butchers, this bird is a roast in the bag affair and comes with a duo of sweet pork, accompanied by two stuffings: apple and cranberry, and savoury pork, sage and onion.
Tesco Finest Dressed Spruce Smoked Scottish Salmon Side
Smoked using Christmas tree spruce chippings instead standard wood chips, this exceptionally Christmassy salmon side is roasted and topped with a tangy lemon cream cheese mousse, king prawns and finished with a gold lustre.
Veg / Vegan
Sticky Chilli Cauliflower
A hit in its 2018 festive range (and a rather trendy vegetable in general), Tesco has coated these florets in a crisp and crunchy batter. It’s sold with a separate chilli sauce to pour over.
Butternut Squash, Mushroom and Chestnut Wreath
This filo pastry wreath filled with veg and Madeira, white wine, brandy and winter spices is expected to be big this Christmas.
“This vegan centrepiece of beautifully seasoned butternut squash, mushrooms and chestnuts in a crisp filo is a fabulous alternative for Christmas lunch,” said Holly Pennington-Hare, product development manager for ready meals at Tesco.
Tesco Finest Carrot & Thyme Tarte Tatin
Hand-layered sticky carrots and caramelised onions top this take on the tarte tatin, which is coated in a sherry and rosemary glaze. It’s designed to be enjoyed by everyone, regardless of diet.
Made from baked orange cheesecake on a vanilla sponge base and topped with a passionfruit mousse, gold-lustred sponge cubes, chocolate triangles and white chocolate snowballs, all led by a duo of chocolate reindeers.
“Belgian chocolate reindeers are on standby to take Santa on their sleigh of sponge silky orange cheesecake and passionfruit glaze a wow centrepiece for the whole family,” said Debbie Wallen, product development manager of chilled desserts.
Butter Pastry Deep-filled Mince Pies with Courvoisier VS Cognac
Packed with fruit, seasonal spices and infused with brandy, cognac and port.
Create Your Own Drunken Cheese
White stilton blended with candied orange peel that comes ready to infuse with an alcohol of your choice (80ml of red wine, port or gin, for example). Just leave for 24 hours to infuse before serving.
More Christmas cheer:
- Waitrose - Inspiration comes from the nostalgia for old festive favourites.
- Marks and Spencer - Over 170 different items in the Christmas range, from festive crumpets to mushroom bao buns.
- Iceland - Subtle Japanese influences, theatrical desserts and a 30-strong range with plastic-free packaging.
- The Co-op - Health and well-being, food provenance as well as free-from foods are top of mind.
- Asda - Miniature pub food and a pigs in blankets centrepiece are among the novel options.
- Lidl - Think plenty of old classics reimagined and increased decadence (but still at an affordable price).
- Aldi - Modestly priced options that still offer the opportunity to show off.
- Sparkie's top picks - A round-up of the most prevalent trends for 2019.