With a festive meal being a key aspect of Christmas Day, Mecca Bingo has conducted a survey of the “Christmas dinner must-have” to find out which trimmings are ranked as the most important.

No surprise, roast potatoes were voted top spot, closely followed by the turkey, gravy and pigs in blankets.

With supermarkets offering endless options for ingredients and preparation required, making a traditional Christmas dinner for others may feel like a lot of pressure – particularly when it comes to the roasties.

However, Alfie Cutler, head chef at Bench has shared his recipe on how to cook roast potatoes that are crispy on the outside, and fluffy on the inside.

He said: “My first big tip for Christmas Day dinner would be to make sure you get all your prep done one or two days before the big day. This can involve pre-boiling any vegetables or making up your pigs in blankets.

“You can even prep your meat of choice so that all you need to do is pop them all in the oven on the big day. More prep equals less stress so you can enjoy more time with loved ones.”

When it comes to cooking the “ultimate roast potatoes”, Alfie advises using “high-quality potatoes that are more suited to roasting”.

He said: “For me, it would be the Maris Piper potato. Portion them into nice-sized chucks as they will shrink down during roasting.”

To help get the potatoes crispy on the outside but fluffy on the inside, the chef instructs: “Get these boiled in water that has been salted well the day before, so they are super soft and fluffy then leave in the fridge overnight. This will help them keep their structure, which is super important.”

On Christmas day, fill the roasting tray with vegetable oil or an animal fat of choice and don’t be shy about it. Alfie said: “It’s Christmas so treat yourself to some lovely goose fat or duck fat. You won’t regret it.”

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees and get the oil/fat in the oven to heat up. After eight to 10 minutes add in the potatoes.

Then leave them to roast and after 15 minutes give them a turn to get “maximum crispness”.

Keep doing this every so often. When they start to look “golden and crispy”, this is the time to add in garlic, rosemary and thyme then roast for another 10 minutes.

Once the 10 minutes are up, take them out and finish with a nice sprinkling of sea salt.