Easy Christmas recipes with Simon Delaney

Aviva Home Insurance

Christmas is special for many reasons, but let’s be honest, the food is one of the absolute best parts! The magic of Christmas dinner will be taking place in our own kitchens this year, so we wanted to find a way to make it extra special (and tasty) for each of you.

We’ve enlisted the help of none other than cook extraordinaire, Simon Delaney to whip up some delicious recipes to help you create a taste of home this Christmas. We’ve got a starter, main course and dessert guaranteed to impress everyone in your home this Christmas Day.


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00:00:00 Music playing in background

00:00:00 On screen: A taste of home this Christmas with Simon Delaney

00:00:05 Simon Delaney speaking

Hi folks, Simon Delaney here and welcome to Aviva’s ‘taste of home this Christmas’.

Home is where the heart is they say and never more so than at Christmas time but this year, well it’s like no other and it looks like many of us are gonna have to stay at home and cook Christmas dinner with our immediate family.

So, if you’re a complete novice or if you’re more of a dab hand like myself I put together three recipes for you that will help you recreate a traditional taste of home this Christmas.

00:00:34 Simon Delaney continues

Right, let’s start at the beginning with our starter. Nothing says home more than Guinness. So, I’ve worked out a way to get Guinness into our starter – you’re welcome.

We’re gonna go with smoked salmon and Guinness treacle bread. So for this, you’re gonna need some porridge oaks, some plain flour with a little extra for dusting, some butter, some stoneground wholemeal flour, salt, bicarbonate soda, brown sugar, some treacle, some eggs, some buttermilk and some Guinness.

And then to serve you’ll need some black pepper, some butter, some smoked salmon, some lemon wedges, some chopped dill or chives and some dressed missed leaves.

Now don’t forget all the recipe details including the ingredients and a full step-by-step guide are available below this video.

00:01:21 Simon Delaney continues

So, I’ve preheated my oven to 180 degrees and the first thing you’re gonna want to do is you’re gonna want to grease your loaf tins – nice and simple. A little bit of melted butter and a pastry brush and just a little dab of butter around the tin, your plain flour and why are we doing this? Cause it’ll make it easier to get our loaves out of the tin when they’re cooked.

So, the first thing we’re gonna do is get our dry ingredients mixed together so into our bowl we add in our stoneground wholemeal flour and then we’re gonna sieve in our plain flour so just get the plain flour in there and then we’re gonna add our bicarb.

We’re now gonna add in our salt and our brown sugar and we’re gonna mix all of those together.

00:02:13 Simon Delaney continues

Our next job is to combine our wet ingredients, so into our measuring jug add in your Guinness, followed by your buttermilk, then our eggs then last but by no means least, our treacle and all you do is just combine those together.

So next thing is we’re gonna combine our wet ingredients with our dry, nice and simply pour your wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and then using a wooden spoon just combine them. The great thing about this recipe is, there’s no kneading, no proving – once we have the wet and the dry ingredients combined, they go straight into our tins and into the oven.

All we do then is get our two greased loaf tins and just spilt the mixture between the two. What you’re gonna do is grab a spatula and just spread them out so you get a nice level top like so and then grab yourself a sharp knife and just score a line down the middle and what that does is that means it will crack but the loaf will spread nice and evenly when it cooks. And then to finish some gorgeous Irish porridge oats.

Then, these are ready for the oven!

00:03:32 Simon Delaney continues

So, to cook these, we pop them into our preheated oven for 45 minutes at 180 degrees.

00:03:37 Now these, smell absolutely incredible.

00:03:57 Simon Delaney continues

And do to serve just add a couple of slices of smoked salmon, a little pinch of black pepper, some gorgeous fresh dill, a little bit of lemon juice and a lovely mixed leaf salad.

So, there you have it folks, a nice simple starter packed fill of favour and it won’t take hours of your time away from the big focus; the main course.

Now coming up next, I’m going to create the perfect Christmas roast turkey dinner, you won’t want to miss that. Stay tuned.

00:04:33 Video ends

Smoked salmon with Guinness treacle bread

Serves 6-8


  • Butter, for greasing
  • 55g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 400g stone-ground wholemeal flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 150ml buttermilk
  • 250ml Guinness
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 rounded tsp black treacle
  • Porridge oats, for sprinkling

To serve:

  • Butter
  • 200g smoked salmon
  • Fresh dill, chopped, or fresh chives, snipped
  • Lemon wedges
  • Black pepper
  • Mixed leaves, dressed


  1. Preheat your oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4.
  2. Grease two 450g loaf tins with butter, then coat the insides with flour, shaking out any excess.
  3. In a large bowl, sieve together the flour and the bicarbonate of soda. Stir in the salt and sugar.
  4. Place the buttermilk and Guinness in a measuring jug and stir in the egg and treacle.
  5. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine well using a wooden spoon. The mixture will be quite wet.
  6. Divide the mixture between the prepared loaf tins and spread out evenly using a butter knife or spatula. Slash a line down the centre with a knife so that it will crack evenly while cooking, then top with a generous sprinkling of porridge oats.
  7. Bake for 45 minutes or until the bottoms of the loaves sound hollow when tapped, rotating the tins halfway through. Turn out onto a wire rack and set aside to cool.
  8. To serve, slice the brown bread and spread with butter. Top each slice with some smoked salmon, some fresh herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add plenty of black pepper and serve two slices per person, with extra lemon wedges and some dressed mixed leaves on the side.

Per Serving: 303kcals, 7.2g fat (3.4g saturated), 46.1g carbs (2.5g sugars), 13.7g protein, 6.4g fibre, 1.012g sodium

Main course

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00:00:00 Music playing in background

00:00:00 On screen: A taste of home this Christmas with Simon Delaney

00:00:05 Simon Delaney speaking

Hi folks, Simon Delaney here and I’m about to take you through part two of Aviva’s ‘taste of home this Christmas’.

Now, this year has really all been about staying at home with our families and of course, Christmas will be no different.

So, I have prepped a beautiful, delicious recipe for you that I know is going to be a big hit in your home this Christmas.

Now, if you have missed my starter which was smoked salmon and Guinness treacle bread, make sure you check out that recipe on aviva.ie.

This video is all about the main course and there’s no messing about here lads. We’re getting the big guns out. I’m cooking an oven-roasted turkey, crisp golden roast potatoes, and bacon roasted sprouts.

00:00:48 On screen – Oven roasted turkey

Simon Delaney continues

So, I’ve got all of my ingredients here in front of me and you’ll find a list of the ingredients plus a step-by-step guide and all the measurements and quantities below this video.

Now, I’ve pre-heated my oven to 180 degrees to get it up to temperature. I’ve taken the giblets out of the turkey and I’ve seasoned the cavity with salt and pepper. I’ve already stuffed the turkey just with an onion and a lemon just to impart some flavour from the inside.

I want to put some butter in there to help keep the bird nice and moist during the cooking. From this end, very gently all you want to do is you want to separate the skin from the actual breast. I’ve created a couple of little pouches that you can now put your butter into.

So, the next step in getting our turkey ready for the oven is just to truss the legs. You want to keep that gorgeous flavour of that lemon and onion in there. I’m just going to paste some melted butter right across the turkey, and we just hit that with some salt and some pepper. You want to cover it loosely with some tin foil.

The rule of thumb is 20 minutes per 450g of turkey meat. When you are cooking the turkey take the tin foil off for the last hour of cooking and that will give you that lovely golden colour.

Now, how do we know it’s cooked? Stick a fork into the thickest part of the breast, press beside it and if the juice runs clear it’s done. Or, if you have a meat thermometer pop it in there and if the turkey says 75 degrees, it’s done.

00:02:15 On screen – Roast potatoes

Simon Delaney continues

It’s time to concentrate on the roast potatoes. So, what I’ve done is I’ve par-boiled these potatoes. That means quite simply cooking them for about ten minutes. I’ve drained them and given them a bit of a shake. I just want to rough up the edges so they are nice and crispy when they come out of the oven and also, the potatoes will be lovely and fluffy when they are cooked. So, in a separate tray, I’ve got some goose fat which I’ve already had in the oven and I’ve melted, so this is very, very hot.

You drop your potatoes into the goose fat, like so. You want to season them with a little bit of salt and pepper, and a little bit of rosemary. They’re going to go into the oven for about 45 minutes, and every so often just open the oven, give them a little bit of a turn so they all end up gorgeous and golden and crispy.

00:03:01 Simon Delaney continues

Probably the most controversial vegetable in existence. In my house, they’re a big favourite though. Especially when you cook them like this. Couldn’t be simpler.

Get yourself a roasting dish, pop the sprouts in there. I’ve already seasoned them with a little bit of salt and pepper and a little drizzle of olive oil, but the added ingredient here is a little bit of bacon that I’ve chopped up. Now, these will take about 20 minutes to cook in the oven, and they cook at the same temperature as the turkey and the roast potatoes.

00:03:33 On screen – Rest your roast turkey

Simon Delaney continues

Right, time to get the turkey out. Now, there it is in all its golden glory. Now, what I’m going to do is I’m going to let the turkey rest, and I mean by that is pop it out onto a plate, cover it back up with the tin foil and a couple of clean tea towels and let it rest, but we’re not going to throw out all these golden juices at the bottom of the pan.

So, I want you to pour them into a pot and scrape all those little bits of gold nuggets off the bottom of that pan and pop them in here too. Bring this up to a little bit of boil and we’re going to make a thickening agent so our gravy is gorgeous, thick, and tasty. Some cornflour, and some white wine, and then we are going to add those to our roasting juices. Add in your thickening agent, and just continue to stir that through until it’s thick and delicious and ready for your turkey.

00:04:28 On screen – A festive feast!

Simon Delaney continues

So, there you have it folks, and I tell you what, if this luscious Christmas feast doesn’t fill your gang up to the brim and have them heading off to the sofa for their annual Christmas snooze I don’t know what will.

Now, don’t forget all the recipe details including the ingredients, and a full step-by-step guide are available below this video.

Now, coming up next, it’s time for dessert, and yes, I have a Christmas cracker for you; Sticky toffee pudding.

00:05:03 Video ends

Traditional roast turkey with gravy, golden roast potatoes and bacon-roasted Brussels sprouts

Serves 10


The turkey:

  • 1 x 5-6kg turkey 
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 300g butter, softened
  • Olive oil, to drizzle

The roast potatoes:

  • 120g goose fat
  • 2.5kg Rooster potatoes, peeled, halved or quartered if large
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped

The Brussels sprouts:

  • 1kg Brussels sprouts, washed and trimmed, larger ones halved
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 12 rashers, chopped

The gravy:

  • Reserved turkey juices from the roasting tin
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • 120ml white wine

The turkey:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6. Lift the loose skin at the tail end of the turkey and remove the bag of giblets. Season the cavity of the turkey generously with salt and pepper and push the lemon and onion chunks inside.
  2. Place in a large roasting tin, breast-side up, and pat the skin dry with kitchen paper. Use your hands to loosen the skin from the breast meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Repeat with the skin on the legs, working from the lower side of the breast out towards the leg. Rub half of the butter in under the skin. Tie the legs together with twine.
  3. Melt the remaining butter and brush it over the outside of the skin. Season well with salt and pepper. Pull the loose skin at the tail end of the turkey back up so that it covers the cavity opening as much as possible; use a toothpick to secure it if necessary.
  4. Tent the turkey loosely with foil and roast for 20 minutes per 450g of weight, or until a thermometer registers the internal temperature at 75˚C and the juices run clear. Remove the foil for the final hour of cooking time.
  5. Transfer the turkey to a plate, cover with two layers of tin foil and add one or two clean tea towels on top. Allow to rest in a warm place for 45 minutes before carving.

The roast potatoes:

  1. Place the potatoes in a pot and cover with cold water. Season with salt and bring the pot to the boil for ten minutes. Drain the potatoes and return to the pot. Place the pot back on the heat and leave to steam dry for one to two minutes, shaking the pan to rough up the edges of the potatoes.
  2. Add the goose fat to a large rimmed roasting tray and place in the oven (at the same temperature as the turkey, 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6) for ten minutes to get it really hot.
  3. Carefully add the potatoes to the roasting tray with the hot goose fat. Season well and sprinkle with the rosemary. Roast for 45 minutes, tossing occasionally, until they are crispy and well browned, turning halfway through.

The bacon-roasted Brussel sprouts:

  1. Place the Brussels sprouts in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper.
  2. Transfer to a large, rimmed baking tray – there should be enough space for them to lie in a single layer. Scatter the bacon pieces over the sprouts.
  3. Roast (at the same temperature as the turkey, 200˚C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6) for 20-25 minutes until golden and lightly caramelised, rotating the tray and tossing the sprouts halfway through.

The gravy:

  1. While the turkey is resting, use a spatula to scrape the pan juices into a measuring jug. 
  2. When the fat rises to the top of the cup, skim off four tablespoons of fat and pour into a saucepan over a medium heat. Discard any remaining fat.
  3. In a small cup, mix the cornflour with the white wine. Stir until the cornflour has dissolved and the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining pan juices to the fat in the saucepan and whisk together.
  4. Whisk the cornflour mixture into the saucepan and cook for five minutes, whisking until the gravy thickens. Season to taste and serve with the roast turkey.

Per Serving: 1031kcals, 55g fat (24.5g saturated), 53.8g carbs (3.8g sugars), 81.3g protein, 8g fibre, 0.811g sodium


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00:00:00 Music playing in background

00:00:00 On screen: A taste of home this Christmas with Simon Delaney

00:00:05 Simon Delaney speaking

Hi folks, Simon Delaney here and welcome back to Aviva’s ‘taste of home this Christmas’, where I’m going to bring you another classic recipe to help you create the perfect Christmas feast at home this year.

Now don’t forget to check out my first two video recipes. The first one featured a pint of the black stuff in our starter, and the second was all about the main event, the turkey.

Now this time around, I’m going to give you a classic dessert. This one has been tried and tested and approved by Mrs. D – the real boss in my house. I’m cooking sticky toffee pudding.

00:00:42 On screen - Ingredients

Simon Delaney continues

For this delicious dessert, you are going to need some self-raising flour, some dates that we’ve chopped up, some brown sugar, an egg, some vanilla extract, some butter and some milk.

And then for the sauce we’re gonna need some more brown sugar, some butter, and some boiling water. Right, let’s do it.

00:01:05 On screen - Bake

Simon Delaney continues

So, to start we’re going to preheat our oven, fan assisted, to 170 degrees and then we are going to grease our pastry dish. So, a little bit of melted butter, and we’re just going to brush that around our dish. And the reason we do this is just to make it nice and easy to get our finished cake out of the dish.

So, the first thing we’re going to do is get our dry ingredients mixed together. We’re going to add our self-raising flour and our brown sugar. And we’re just going to gently mix those two together.

So, next up it’s time to get our wet ingredients combined together. So, in a measuring jug, add in your milk, followed by an egg. Our butter, which we’ve melted, and finally our vanilla extract, and mix it together with a fork.

Next up, we’re going to combine our wet ingredients with our dry, so quite simply pour all of our wet in on top of our flour and our sugar. And then, we’re going to add in our dates. We’re going to change utensils here because we don’t want to mix these in. We want to fold these in so we keep as much air as we can in the recipe. So, in go our dates, and then nice and gently using a spatula, just fold the dates through the mixture.

We have combined all of our wet and dry ingredients. We’re going to pop that into our dish, we’re going to level that out then with our spatula. Make sure we get it all in, get that right into the corners. And now for the funky bit because we’re going to make the sauce. This is a self-saucing dessert – I know, I’d never heard of one either, but watch.

We get our brown sugar and we’re going to spread that across our mixture. Then we’re going to add some unsalted butter. Just dot it across your brown sugar, get it evenly spread out across the mixture. For the clever bit, some boiling water. Now just pour that across the mixture. It’s time for the oven.

00:03:32 On screen – 30-35 minutes in the oven

Simon Delaney continues

To serve this beauty, get yourself a bowl, a nice big portion, and you can serve this with some custard, with some ice-cream and my favourite, fresh cream.

And don’t forget ingredients, method, step-by-step guide, are available below this video.

So, I hope you enjoyed me cooking these recipes for you, and I hope that they bring a small taste of Christmas into your home this year.

So, from all the team at Aviva and myself, we want to wish you a very happy and safe Christmas.

00:04:21 Video ends

Sticky toffee pudding

Serves 6-8


  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 100g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 125ml full fat milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 180g pitted dates, finely chopped

For the sauce:

  • 150g dark brown muscovado sugar
  • 25g unsalted butter, chopped
  • 400ml boiling water

To serve:

  • Vanilla ice cream, cream or custard
  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/170°C fan/gas mark 5. Grease and butter a 1.5L capacity baking dish.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour and the muscovado sugar.
  3. Pour the milk into a measuring jug and add the egg, vanilla extract and melted butter. Beat together with a fork to combine well. Pour this mixture over the sugar and flour and stir to combine. Fold in the dates.
  4. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish. To create the sauce, sprinkle the muscovado sugar over the pudding and dot with the butter. Pour over the boiling water and transfer to the oven without stirring. Bake for 45-50 minutes, until the pudding is spongy and has a rich sauce underneath.
  5. Serve with vanilla ice cream, cream or custard.

Per Serving: 350kcals, 9.1g fat (5.3g saturated), 63.9g carbs (44.7g sugars), 4.2g protein, 2.5g fibre, 0.07g sodium

#Simonsays, we’re giving away some €200 Perx gift cards to help cover the cost of your Christmas dinner food shop. Head over to our Facebook now to see how you can enter the competition. Good luck!

Did you know, that with Aviva home insurance your contents cover automatically increases by 10% through the month of December? Get your quote today.

Just in case that wasn’t enough, we have even more recipes to bring a taste of Christmas this year… if you have a sweet tooth prepare to get very excited!

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