Christmas Food 2018: Here's Where To Find The Best Mince Pies, Turkey And More

We're getting hungry.

Halloween isn’t even here yet and we’re already looking forward to what we’ll be stuffing down our necks come Christmas.

For those looking to get the best out of their Christmas shop this year, you might want to head to Aldi. The budget retailer has come up trumps in Good Housekeeping’s annual blind taste test of festive food.

A whopping 10 Aldi products starred in the top five for categories such as mulled wine, mince pies, beef roasting joints, yule logs, pigs in blankets and stuffing – basically all of the essentials.

M&S also performed well, appearing in the top five of eight different categories including for affordable Champagne and turkey crowns.

Diana Miller via Getty Images

Caroline Bloor, consumer affairs director for Good Housekeeping, revealed that judges tried 401 products this year in the quest to find the best of the best, taking samples from 58 retailers across the country.

Let’s cut to the chase. Here are the winners...


Best Frozen Turkeys & Crowns

Iceland’s easy carve turkey with streaky bacon, £26 for 4.2kg. Tasters loved its gamey, rich flavour and honey sweetness.
Runner up:
M&S British turkey crown with pork, sage and onion turkey stuffing with bacon lattice, £21.60 for 1.68kg.
Best of the rest:
Loué free-range bronze turkey, £69 for 5kg.
Eversfield organic bronze turkey, £95.70 for 6kg.
Sainsbury’s whole basted turkey, £25 for 5-6.49kg.
COOK stuffed crown of turkey, £45 for 2.1kg.

Best Stuffing

Lidl’s Deluxe apricot and white stilton stuffing, £2.39 for 300g.
Runner up:
Aldi’s Specially Selected stuffing croquettes, £2.99 for 300g.
Best of the rest:
Asda’s Extra Special British pork and caramelised onion stuffing with bacon wraps, £3 for 300g.
Heston from Waitrose Christmas stuffing Bundt, £9.99 for 475g.

Best Pigs In Blankets

Co-op mini chorizo wrapped in pancetta, £3 for 170g.
Runner up:
Aldi’s Specially Selected three little pigs £2.99 for 288g.
Best of the rest:
Asda 10 Extra Special pigs in blankets, £2.98 for 210g.
Aldi Specially Selected pigs in blankets, £2.69 for 250g.

Best Beef Roasting Joints

Aldi’s Specially Selected bone in rib of beef joint with salt and pepper, £14.99 for 1.2-2.7kg. It was praised for its juicy meat and melt-in-the-mouth texture, plus it’s half the price of its runner up.
Runners up:
The Ginger Pig Cote de Boeuf, £54.40 for 1.6kg.
M&S The Collection dry aged rib of beef, £28 per kg for 1.3-1.75kg.
Best of the rest:
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference boneless beef rib topped with sticky honey, mustard and horseradish glaze, with spicy mustard seed and herb crumb, £35 for 1.7kg.
Eversfield organic beef rib joint on the bone, £60 for 2.4kg.

Best Meat-Free Mains

COOK Portobello mushroom wellington, £10 for 360g.
Runner up:
Booths roasted beetroot, feta and pine nut tart, £7.50 for 400g.
Best of the rest:
Morrisons The Best mushroom, spinach and madeira en croute, £5 for 465g.
Aldi roasted butternut squash roast, £2.99 for 400g.
Co-op butternut, goats cheese and red onion rosti, £3 for 321g.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference festive jewelled squash and pistachio pilaf, £7 for 750.

Best Smoked Salmon

St James Smokehouse scotch reserve gin and tonic Scottish smoked salmon, £5.69 for 100g.
Runners up:
Tesco ready to eat smoked salmon slices, £6.25 for 240g.
Aldi Specially Selected whiskey smoked salmon, £3.79 for 100g.
Best of the rest:
The Pished Fish the sozzled Santa smoked salmon, £7.45 for 100g.
Asda Extra Special heather honey and black pepper smoked salmon, £3.99 for 120g.

Good Housekeeping’s first UK Christmas Cookbook, ‘Christmas with Good Housekeeping’ is out now retailing at £18.99 and available in Sainsburys, Tesco, WHS Retail, Amazon, Wholesales and Indies and Waterstones.


Best Mince Pies

Morrisons The Best deep filled mince pies, £2 for 6.
Runners up:
Pret’s mince pie, £1.45 each.
M&S The Collection mince pies, £2.50 for 6.
Aldi Specially Selected mince pies, £1.35 for 6.
Best of the rest:
Iceland luxury mince pies, £1.89 for 6.

Best Gluten-Free Mince Pies

Morrisons FreeFrom mince pies, £2 for 4.
Runner up:
Cottage Delight gluten-free luxury mince pies, £3.95 for 4.
Best of the rest:
Mr Kipling Free From mince pies, £2.50 for 4, Tesco.

Best Christmas Pudding

M&S The Collection 12 month matured vintage Christmas pudding, £14 for 800g. It was praised for its warming spices and subtle orange flavour.
Runner up:
Heston from Waitrose golden delicious pudding, £14 for 800g.
Best of the rest:
Cole’s black forest, £6.99 for 454g.
Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference 18 month matured Christmas pudding, £9 for 900g.
Daylesford organic Christmas pudding, £20 for 900g.

Best Christmas Cake

Joint winners:
Morrisons The Best poinsettia fully iced Christmas cake, £12 for 1.5kg.
Sainsbury’s Taste The Difference falling leaves iced rich fruit cake, £15 for 1.3kg.
Runner up:
Waitrose and Partners 1 rich fruit, £16 for 1.3kg.
Best of the rest:
Morrisons The Best hand finished star Christmas cake, 900g for £10.
M&S six-month matured golden shimmer tree cake, £20 for 1.4kg.
Daylesford Organic fruit and nut in tin Christmas cake, £20 for 800g.

Best Yule Log

Aldi Specially Selected Belgian chocolate yule log, £5.99 for 749g.
Runner up:
Lidl deluxe chocolate yule log, £3.49 for 476g.
Best of the rest:
Daylesford chocolate and orange yule log, £18 for 750g.
Asda Extra Special yule log, £3.50 for 475g.
M&S The Collection Santa’s rooftop chocolate and caramel yule log, £18 for 860g.

Best Stilton

Iceland luxury British blue stilton, £2 for 200g. Judges enjoyed its tangy and salty taste.
Runners up:
Booths potted blue stilton, £10 for 300g.
Co-op potted stilton, £4.50 for 225g.
Whole Foods Market Colston Bassett stilton, £2.99 for 100g.
Paxton and Whitfield stilton, £6.75 for 250g.

Thatpichai via Getty Images


Best Champagne (Under £40)

Herbert Beaufort Grand Cru NV, M&S, £35. Judges enjoyed its velvety smooth bubbles and refreshing taste.
Runners up:
Les Pionnies 2012, Co-op, £26.99.
Comte de Senneval Brut NV, Lidl, £10.99.
Best of the rest:
Tesco Finest Premier Cru NV, £19.
Asda Extra Special Louis Bernard NV, £18.
Laytone Brut Reserve, Jerobams, £22.95.

Best Mulled Wine

Asda mulled wine in a box, £8 for 2.25l.
Runner up:
M&S red mulled wine, £6.50 for 75cl.
Best of the rest:
Belgars mulled wine, Ocado, £3.99 for 75cl.
Aldi mulled wine, £3.49 for 75cl.
Harvey Nichols mulled wine, £15 for 75cl.

Best Sparking Wine (Under £15)

Laborie Methode Cap Classique Blanc de Blancs Brut 2010, Amazon, £14.95.
Runner up:
Morrisons The Best Prosecco, £8.
Best of the rest:
Campo Viejo Cava Brut Reserva, Tesco, £12.
Cabalié Sparkling 2016, Laithwaites, £12.99.
L’Extra par Langlois Brut NV Crémant de Loire, Majestic, £13.99.

Read the full Good Housekeeping Christmas Tried and Tested results in the December issue of Good Housekeeping, on sale 25 October.