Onto my 2012 Christmas dinner – all part of Christmas in July!! I shared the way I prepare for Christmas Day dinner (lunch) for 2011 and I pretty much follow the same routine every year! It comes back once a year and the only time we eat certain foods! That’s why I think I don’t change things up too much.
So here’s what our Christmas meal looked like…perfectly cooked turkey (people complain about cooking turkey, but I seem to have it nailed!), duck fat roasted potatoes – normally have goose fat, but the supermarket had sold out. It’s the only time I would indulge in such luxury! Maple roasted roots, (this recipe is from 2011, but I switched honey for maple this year), bacon wrapped sausages, Brussels sprouts, bacon and chestnut gratin, honeyed red cabbage and two kinds of pork stuffing balls – apricot & hazelnut and cranberry & chestnut.
I always, always butter up my turkey and cover it over with smoked bacon. This year, I flavoured the butter with herbs (sage and rosemary) and fresh cranberries. I make the butter a few days ahead, so I don’t have to worry about it on the day. I leave it to soften for a few hours so that I can push it up underneath the skin and the breast meat, being careful not to tear the skin. Bacon goes on top (cooks treat!) and then into the oven, basting every half an hour. If you take a look at 2011’s turkey dinner post, I show you how to do it.
I take the bacon off for the last maybe hour, by now that has gone nice and crispy and the skin underneath can then brown off…you can see the pretty colours of the herbs and cranberries under the skin – adds so much flavour!
I didn’t take photos of me making the stuffing balls, but they are very easy to make (and you can always peek at last year’s recipe here. I use lean minced pork instead of sausagemeat, and add finely diced onion and a little garlic. I throw in my my choice of dried fruit and nuts (this year it was apricot & hazelnut and cranberry & chestnuts), as well as some fresh herbs – parsley, sage, rosemary – whatever you like. A little salt and pepper and then mix together to form into meatballs, before placing in the oven to cook through.
Mustn’t forget my (or rather, Jamie Oliver’s) get ahead gravy – wow that stuff is like liquid gold!!
And that, is Christmas dinner 2012…better late than never right??!