Christmas Comes To Teesside With The Festive Parmo At The Ship at Redmarshall

29 Nov 2019

When I think of a typical Christmas-themed meal, my mind instantly goes to a Christmas dinner with all the trimmings. You know what I'm talking about - the turkey, the stuffing, the perfectly crispy roasties, the lashings of gravy and even the sprouts that I don't touch. I think that this image might be the thing that is conjured up in everyone's mind when thinking about Christmas food (that, or the vast selection of nibbles in Iceland's festive section), but all that has been dashed by the latest creation by The Ship at Redmarshall.

To bring the festive season to Teesside in style, the creative mind behind the menu, Toby Marshall, has put together a winning combination - Christmas and the famed regional dish, the parmo. In my mind, this was something that shouldn't work at all, but when I went along to try it, my mind was kind of blown.

You guys know how much I love The Ship and I've even claimed them to be the best place in Teesside for a parmo (which I still stand by), but if you're new here, let me give you a bit of background info. The Ship at Redmarshall is a family run pub that's been given the title of 'destination parmo', thanks to its huge menu of 35 parmos. It's a place that I've eaten at for years and will continue to sing its praises. The owners are lovely, the staff are great, the food is phenomenal... the list just goes on!

When I saw that the pub were releasing a festive parmo, I was absolutely ecstatic. I love their menu of parmo creations (try out the Meze, if you're ever in the area) and this was one that I absolutely needed to try. I swear, one day, I'll make it through the whole list! I watched like a hawk on their social media to find out when the dish would be available, but to my excitement, I was given access to try it out before it hit the public menu! That's basically every parmo lovers dream come true!
So what exactly is the festive parmo? Well, from Sunday 1st December, you'll be able to sink your teeth into a parmo, bechamel and cheese base that's topped with Brie, sausage pieces, cranberry sauce and a giant pig in blanket. It's basically all of the best bits of a Christmas dinner, but on top of a parmo... a.k.a. a match made in heaven. Now, while it sounded absolutely scrumptious on paper, the proof is completely in the pudding, so take a read of what I thought after polishing off my plate.

Before I even tasted it, I thought 'this looks so much better than other Christmas parmos I've seen.' There are plenty of other restaurants in the area that are claiming to sell parmos with a Christmas twist, but from hunting around before my tasting, it looked as though almost all of them were just standard parmos with little pigs in blankets on top. We get it, pigs in blankets are festive, but where's the pizzazz? We want Christmas or nothing at all! Not only that, but the plate arrangement with The Ship's was just so much more appealing - the well formed parmo, surrounded by a side salad and a little bucket of their gorgeous chunky chips.

While it looked stunning, the real test is in the taste, so kind of forgetting about the chips and salad, I went straight in for the parmo. Starting off on the edge, I was met with that familiar crisp exterior, but succulent juicy chicken, which combined with the bechamel sauce and cheese perfectly. But then, there was the most subtle hint of cranberry, which sounds like it shouldn't work, but it absolutely does. Throughout the rest of the parmo, there was even more cranberry, with chunky sauce hidden under the cheese and a good dollop on top. The mixture of cheese, chicken, bechamel and cranberry was truly unbelievable!
As well as the sauce hidden beneath the cheese, there were also pieces of sausage that appeared at various points, which was a lovely touch. It added an extra bit of texture and an often unexpected bit of flavour if you didn't realise your forkful had a piece of cheeky sausage hidden inside. This worked particularly well with the Brie, which was melted in with the standard cheese. I freaking love Brie, so it's always a treat when it's included in any dish. The more Brie, the better! And of course, there's nothing quite like Brie and cranberry, so the whole thing was pretty much a taste sensation.

And finally, the piece de resistance, the giant pig in blanket that sat proudly on top of its parmo throne. In my opinion, no Christmas dinner is complete without pigs in blankets, so this was my favourite touch! I opted to take mine off the parmo to cut up separately and eat with mouthfuls of chicken, which worked well. It was such a fun addition and now, I kind of want to put pigs in blankets on everything...

My bestie also tried out the festive parmo with me and being a big parmo fan like me, he had high hopes too, but his expectations were totally exceeded. While the giant pig in blanket was my highlight, he went crazy for the cranberry! He loved that there was a dash of sweetness in with the otherwise savoury dish, which just transformed the whole thing. High praise!
This is quite possibly the most in depth food review I've ever done, but with so many elements on the plate, detail was most definitely needed. Needless to say, I cleaned my plate and thoroughly enjoyed eating the festive parmo. I was absolutely stuffed by the end and needed to be rolled home, but I was so chuffed to have enjoyed the meal.

The festive parmo is something that I can see becoming a massive hit for The Ship at Redmarshall over the Christmas season. If you're a parmo lover or a Teessider, you absolutely need to go along and try it out! I promise you, you really won't be disappointed. Even the most avid of Scrooges will love this Christmas concoction, so give it a go and let me know your thoughts!

The Ship (14 Church Lane, Redmarshall, TS21 1EP) will be serving the festive parmo from Sunday 1st December.

The pub is open Monday to Thursday from 12PM - 11PM, Friday and Saturday from 12PM - 12AM, and Sunday from 12PM - 6PM. Booking is advised.

For more information, click here.

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