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Roast Turkey

Serves: depends on size

Time: Depending on weight

Ingredients

  • 1 Whole Basted Turkey with or without Giblets
  • ½  litre of vegetable stock
  • 1 Onion
  • 6-8 rashers of bacon (optional)

Method

  1. If you are using a frozen turkey then defrost. This can take over 36 hour’s dependent on size of turkey. So my advice is not to buy a frozen turkey on Christmas eve– you may regret it!
  2. Preheat your oven to 190˚C, gas mark 5 or 400˚F
  3. Remove the giblets from the rear end of the turkey
  4. Peel and place your onion into the turkeys neck or rear end, if stuffing the turkey
  5. place the individual rashers of bacon to top of the turkey if using
  6. Place your turkey into a deep oven proof tray which is large enough to fit your turkey in with some space around the edge
  7. Pour your vegetable stock over the turkey making sure that all of the stock has been caught into the tray in which the turkey sits in
  8. Place the turkey into the oven and cook.  (A general rule is 20 minutes per kilo plus 90 minutes on top, there is a quick guide table below)
  9. Once the turkey is cooked (check by placing a skewer into the thickest part of the turkey and once removed seeing if the juices run free. If they don’t, then cook until the juices do run free) take out of the oven and allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes before serving
Weight (kg) Cooking time
1 1 hr 50 mins
2 2 hr 10 mins
3 2 hr 30 mins
4 2 hr 50 mins
5 3 hr 10 mins
6 3 hr 30 mins
7 3 hr 50 mins
8 4 hr 10 mins
9 4 hr 30 mins
10 4 hr 50 mins
11 5 hr 10 mins

These times are a guide only.

Some top tips to ensure that your Christmas roast goes without a hitch. When cooking the roast baste every hour by spooning the juices at the bottom of the tray over the turkey to ensure the meat doesn’t become dry.

Covering with tin foil helps to keep the turkey moist, remember to remove the foil for the last 40 minutes of cooking to allow the turkey to go slightly crispy.

When stuffing the neck I suggest you use forcemeat stuffing and only stuff the neck, this allows the stuffing to cook correctly. You need to weigh the bird including the stuffing for cooking times.

Honey Glazed Pigs in Blankets

Serves: 4

Time: 20 mins

Ingredients

  • 4 Pork sausages
  • 4 rashers of bacon (streaky is the best)
  • 4 tsp runny honey

Method

  1. On a chopping board cut the sausages up into 3 equal pieces
  2. Slice your rashers of bacon in half length ways
  3. Wrap the rashers of bacon around the sausage pieces
  4. Drizzle the honey over the sausages wrapped in bacon
  5. Place the sausages onto a grill pan and cook under a pre heated grill until golden in colour (remembering to turn occasionally to prevent the sausages from burning)
  6. Serve with Christmas dinner

If you have too many pigs in blankets for your Christmas meal stick a cocktail stick in each one and add them to a buffet meal for boxing day. Or you might just want to make more! Simple way to spice this up is to use different flavours of sausages.


Smoked Salmon Parcels

Serves: 2

Time: 15 mins

Ingredients

  • 6-8 Slices of Smoked Salmon
  • 50g Cooked prawns (not king prawns)
  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise
  • 1 Lemon (for juicing)
  • 2 Slices of buttered brown bread

Method

  1. Get a mould ready, (examples of moulds are a small ramekin or pastry cutter etc.)
  2. Cling film the inside of the mould leaving enough cling film hanging over the edges to fold over the smoked salmon
  3. Place the prawns into a bowl
  4. Take a tablespoonful of mayonnaise and mix into the prawns
  5. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice out of one half and add to the prawns
  6. Take your slices of smoked salmon, one at a time and place in the mould to cover the surface, each slice should slightly overlap; it is important that the salmon hangs over the edge of the mould to create the parcel effect later
  7. Take a tablespoonful of the prawn mixture and place into the centre of the smoked salmon mould
  8. Add the prawn mixture until the mould is ¾ full
  9. Fold into the middle the salmon that is over the edges
  10. Turn out the mould onto a plate, garnish with a slice of lemon and add a slice of buttered brown bread
  11. Repeat this process for the second persons parcel
  12. If you have spare prawns you can use them to garnish around the plate.

This  dish gives a nice twist to Smoked Salmon starters at Christmas

Mulled wine

Serves: 4

Time: 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 Bottle Red wine
  • 2 Oranges
  • 1 Red Apple
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 Cinnamon sticks broken in half
  • 1tsp Ground nutmeg
  • 18 Cloves
  • 1 Star anise
  • 100g Caster sugar (plus more to taste)

 

Method

  1. Push the cloves into the oranges and apple
  2. Cut the oranges and apple in half
  3. Using the zester side on a grater or zester zest the lemon
  4. Pour the wine into a sauce pan and put on a medium heat
  5. Add the orange and apple halves, cinnamon, star anise, nutmeg and zest to the wine
  6. Bring the wine to almost simmering point (where bubbles are slowly appearing at the sides of the sauce pan) and add the sugar
  7. Allow the wine to simmer for 10–15 minutes
  8. Give the wine a taste and add more sugar if needed
  9. When ready to serve, sieve the wine, return to the pan and pour into warmed glasses

 

It is important to try and not allow the wine to boil as the alcohol will evaporate (Which is the best part!). The sugar is also a vital as you need to get it just right. This depends on the wine that is being used. Some wines are sharper than others. That’s why it’s important to try the wine and add more sugar if needed.


Roast Potatoes

Portions: 4 (approx.)

Time: 1hr 30 mins

Ingredients

  • 6-8 Potatoes (depending on size of the potatoes)
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Preheat the oven to 200°C; 400°F: Gas Mark 5

  1. Peel the potatoes, making sure that all bruises have been cut out
  2. On a chopping board cut the potatoes into quarters, or if the potatoes are small  cut them in half
  3. Place the potatoes into a sauce pan and bring to the boil
  4. Once the water has come to the boil, turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes until the potatoes begin to soften
  5. Strain off the water using a colander and place the part cooked potatoes into an oven proof dish
  6. Trickle oil over the potatoes, use a teaspoon to ensure all the potatoes have a good coating of oil (you shouldn’t have more than half a centimetre of oil in the bottom of the oven proof dish and less is best)
  7. Add the garlic cloves (whole with the skin on) to dish and season potatoes with salt and pepper
  8. Give the tray a good shake to ensure that all of the potatoes have been covered in the oil
  9. Place into the oven for an hour and quarter or until the potatoes are golden brown in colour, making sure to stir the potatoes occasionally to prevent the bottom burning.

Often roast potatoes are cooked when a traditional Sunday roast is being cooked. If this is the case then substitute the vegetable oil with the meat fat, it will taste very nice. Alternatively, duck and goose fat have become very popular and you can buy it at any supermarket. All this assumes there is not a vegetarian in your group.