The Christmas Post

Ok so I can FINALLY post on my Christmas extravaganza! Sorry for the huge delay but between visiting the beach/losing the USB the photos were on/going back to work I haven’t had a chance.. till now!

So I have already written about my Christmas Eve where we have a huge Scandinavian Smorgasbord, but come Christmas Day it’s all about lunch. Big, traditional and oh so good.

I must firstly mention my table. Leading up to Christmas, not only do I plan the food but also the table (yes I’m that obsessive). Mum only brings out her beautiful Spode crockery at Christmas, so naturally the colours of the table are blue and white.

I even went so far as to make the bon-bons this year, and fill each with a present tailored to the person. It actually worked out cheaper and everyone was happy not to be receiving stupid plastic toys they would instantly be throw out..

So on to the food..

CHRISTMAS MENU

Roast Goose stuffed with pancetta and sage
Proscuitto-wrapped Roast Pork w/ apple, prune and pine nut stuffing

Orange-mustard Glazed Ham


Christmas Roast Potatoes
Roast Pumpkin and Carrots
Swedish Red Cabbage (see previous post for recipe)
Baby Cos w/ buttermilk dressing
Asparagus and Peas w/ green olives, pistachios and pomegranate


Cherry Jam
Dill Aioli (see previous post for recipe)
Honey Seeded Mustard
Mum’s Gravy


Sourdough Bread & Butter



ROAST GOOSE W/ PANCETTA AND SAGE


Every year I’m pretty restricted by what I have to cook. Some things are just sacred, like the Swedish Red Cabbage, the potatoes and the ham, but each year I like to make a few small changes. This year saw a MAJOR change: our usual turkey was replaced with a goose! My sisters whined and complained but my mind was made up: this year we were doing goose. And good thing too: I found it so much more moist than dry old turkey..

I ordered my goose from the butcher weeks in advance, however, when I went to pick it up, rather than being 3-4kg, I received a 2.5kg bird! Not happy. But as it turned out we had so much food anyway that it fed the 9 of us well.

I scoured the internet for stuffing recipes, but finally settled on a stuffing recipe from delicious magazine. I also served my goose with cherry jam, rather than cranberry sauce.

I’ll kick myself for not taking a photo of it straight out of the oven though..

1 x 2.5 kg (!) Goose
1 quantity stuffing mixture

Begin this recipe the day before.

  1. Remove neck and any extra fat from goose.
  2. Place goose in the sink and pour over boiling water straight from the kettle once or twice to tighten the skin (this will make it crispy).
  3. Pat dry with paper towel and place on a wire rack in a deep baking tray.
  4. Leave, uncovered, in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.
  5. Make stuffing.
  6. Remove goose from fridge 3-4 hours before cooking.
  7. Pre-heat oven to 200°C.
  8. Place stuffing in the cavity. Secure with skewers.
  9. Using a skewer, prick bird all over, especially in fatty areas like under the wings to help the fat render out. Do not pierce the meat.
  10. Cook in a hot oven for 30 minutes. Reduce heat to 170°C and cook for a further 1 1/2 hours (or 50 minutes per kilo), basting the goose occasionally.
  11. To check if goose is cooked, insert a skewer into the thigh meat. If the juices are clear, it’s ready. If pink, cook a little longer.
  12. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

STUFFING:
2 tbs canola oil
150g piece of pancetta, cut into 5mm cubes
2 brown onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbs shredded sage leaves
3 tbs toasted pine nuts
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 cups fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
2 eggs, lightly beaten

  1. Heat the oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or until crisp and golden.
  2. Turn the heat to low, then add onion and garlic and stir for 5 minutes or until the onion is soft. Stir in the sage, then remove from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Combine the cooled onion mixture in a large bowl with the pine nuts, rind, parsley, breadcrumbs and eggs. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, then use your hands or a wooden spoon to mix well.

Serves 4


PROSCUITTO-WRAPPED ROAST PORK
W/ APPLE, PRUNE AND PINE NUT STUFFING

Every year we have pork. My grandmother used to stuff it with prunes and apples and cook it the day before and serve it cold. Cold cracking is no good, so this year I decided I would do things differently. I had intended to cook the meat the day before, serving it cold and cook the crackling separately on Christmas day, however, at the last minute I decided to cook both on the day. But cooking the meat the day before is a good option if you are short on oven space and want one less thing to worry about.

1 green apple, peeled, cored and diced into 1cm cubes
250g pitted prunes roughly chopped
1/4 cup soft butter
70g pine nuts, toasted
15 strips of proscuitto
1 x 2kg boned pork loin, skin removed and
reserved for crackling (ask your butcher to do this)

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. In a bowl, combine apple, prunes, butter and pine nuts. Season to taste.
  3. Lay out proscuitto strips vertically, slightly overlapping.
  4. Lay pork on top, fatty side down, with the longest edge parallel to you. Ensure pork is of even thickness (you may need to slice through the thickest part of the meat to ensure it is even).
  5. Create a sausage shape with the stuffing in the middle of the pork, running parallel with you.
  6. Roll up pork with proscuitto to create a cylinder and secure with kitchen string.
  7. Cook in a hot oven for 2 hours. Serve hot or cold with crackling.
  8. FOR CRACKLING: Give the skin rinse with water and pat dry before rubbing with olive oil and salt and pepper. After 1 hour, place pork skin on a roasting tray in the oven with the meat.

Serves 8-10


ORANGE-MUSTARD GLAZED HAM

Up until recently, we didn’t glaze our ham (can you believe it??). But for the last couple of years, I have been making it with this orange-mustard glaze. I don’t know how I ever lived without it..

Juice of 1 orange
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup sugar
cloves to stud ham

1 x 3-4kg half leg of ham, bone in

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine orange juice, mustard and sugar. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes until thick.
  3. Place ham on a lined baking tray and carefully remove skin from the fatty part (this area will be slightly lighter than the rest and will be softer to the touch.) Score lightly around the area with a sharp knife and using your fingers, remove skin, keeping the fat intact.
  4. Score fat into a diamond pattern and brush ham with 1/3 of the glaze. Stud with cloves at the corner of each diamond.
  5. Place in a hot oven and cook for 1 hour, basting every 20 minutes.
  6. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Serves 12


CHRISTMAS ROAST POTATOES

Christmas roast potatoes differ from regular roast potatoes because I cook them in goose fat. Yes, it’s the one time of year where fat content means nothing.

3kg brushed potatoes, peeled and cut into sizeable chunks
1 x 320g jar goose fat (available from gourmet food shops,
but get in early at Christmas time!)
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C (this is just the temperature I cook everything at on Christmas, but if you are just cooking the potatoes by themselves, put your oven at it’s highest possible temperature).
  2. In a large pot, cook potatoes in boiling, salted water for 5 minutes until just soft. Drain well and return to the pot with the lid on. Give them a good shake to rough up the edges (this will make them crunchy).
  3. Pour goose fat into a deep baking tray and place in a hot oven for 15-20 minutes until very hot.
  4. Carefully transfer potatoes to baking tray with goose fat and toss lightly to coat. Season well.
  5. Cook for 1 hour until golden. 10 minutes before serving, drain off goose fat and return to the oven to ensure crispy potatoes.

Serves 10-12 (trust me, these just disappear!)


ROAST PUMPKIN AND CARROTS

I love pumpkin at Christmas. I love it so much in fact that some years I go without potatoes and just have pumpkin. My younger sister and I would do a swap: her pumpkin for my potatoes. That was before we were old enough to serve ourselves..

2 kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into sizeable chunks
2 bunches baby carrots
olive oil
salt and pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. In a saucepan of boiling, salted water, boil pumpkin and carrots separately for 5 minutes until tender. Drain well.
  3. Toss pumpkin with a little oil and season well. Place on a baking tray and cook for 1 hour until golden.
  4. 20 minutes in, add the carrots.

Serves 10-12


BABY COS W/ BUTTERMILK DRESSING

3 x baby cos lettuces, outer leaves removed
100ml buttermilk
2 tbsp sour cream
2 tbsp mayonnaise
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp dry dill
salt and pepper

  1. Cut cos lettuce into quarters and place on a serving platter.
  2. Whisk together buttermilk, sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic and dill. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Pour dressing over cos lettuce just before serving.

Serves 12


ASPARAGUS AND PEAS
W/ OLIVES, PISTACHIOS AND POMEGRANATE

While trying to decide what green vege to serve this year, my boss sent me a recipe for a middle-easern style salad with green olives, pistachios, pomegranate, and parsley. I was inspired to modify the recipe, adding asparagus and peas to create a vege dish that looked very Christmas-y.

3 x bunches asparagas
1 cup baby peas
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped roughly
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate (tap the back with a wooden spoon to get them out)
a handful green olives, sliced
a handful pistachos, shelled
olive oil
1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

  1. Snap asparagus end off and blanch in a pot of boiling, salted water for 3-4 minutes until tender. For the final minute, add the peas. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process and drain well.
  2. Transfer asparagus and peas to a serving plate.
  3. Top asparagus with parsley, pomegranate seeds, olives, and pistachios.
  4. Drizzle over a little olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 8-10


CHERRY JAM

700g pitted cherries (frozen or jar are fine)
1 tsp orange zest
1/2 cup sugar
good splash of brandy

  1. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine cherries, orange zest, sugar and brandy. Add a little water if using fresh cherries, otherwise you can add a little of the cherry juice. Bring to a simmer and reduce down to about 2/3 (or cook for about 10 minutes).
  2. Allow to cool to test for consistency (you may need to reduce down further or add a little water) before transferring to a glass jar. Serve cold

Makes roughly 1 1/2 cups


MUM’S GRAVY

Mum has always made the gravy in our house. From scratch mind you – none of this packet instant stuff from a tin (ew?). Why would you when it is soo easy!

1 tbsp corn flour
1/4 cup port

chicken stock (how much depends on how much juice you get from the roast meat)
salt and pepper

  1. Once roast meat is ready (in this case I used the pork), drain off excess fat from the baking tray.
  2. Add corn flour to the baking tray and give a good whisk with a fork to remove lumps.
  3. Scrape this mix into a saucepan and add the port.
  4. Whisk together, and bring to a simmer. Then add enough stock, a little at a time, to make a thick gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Strain before serving.

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This entry was posted in Dessert/Sweet, Dinner/Main Meal, Hors D'Oeuvre, Lunch/Light Meal, Special Occasion Menus and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to The Christmas Post

  1. Mummmmmmy says:

    Hi Suz

    Loved this blog …. it all looks so yummy … wish I could eat it all again ….
    The table looks great too … I will show Liz when she gets back from hols …
    The only change I would make is the recipe for the gravy … I always use plain flour … cornflour gives it a different consistency … but that can be my secret I guess ha ha
    Love
    Mummmmmy x

  2. Pingback: Christmas Day 2011: The Main Event | the MELBOURNE FOOD FILES

  3. Pingback: Goose for Christmas 2013 | the MELBOURNE FOOD FILES

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