Without a doubt, other than the family side of things and being with loved ones, food is a massive part of everyones Christmas. This year, in absence of the former, Christmas Food might just be the comfort we seek! I love hearing what kind of culinary delights people knock up – and the traditions they adhere to from generations gone by!
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Our Christmas Food
One of my fondest food-related memories around Christmas is the Ham. I know it’s a simple thing, but my dad was (probably still is) quite possessive over the ham – as we’d normally cut it in to chunks or something, or eat it all without him knowing 😉 So our Christmas cooking starts with that. A nice Gammon joint, boiled first with some bay leaves, cloves – low and slow. Once it’s nearly done, I’ll cover it in honey and pop it in the oven to finish off. This give it a lovely glaze. We’ll then have this in the mornings until it’s all gone – which isn’t very long when I’m on it 😉
This isn’t a tradition from anyones family – but one I picked up from working in a caterers. We used to do lots of wedding catering, and sausage rolls were high on the menu. I always thought it was cheaper / easier to just buy pre-made ones, but you know, a pack of pastry, some good meat from the butchers and some seasoning, and you’ve got your own sausage rolls without any of the fluff that you get in the cheap frozen ones from the super market.
They literally take 10 minutes to make a batch, shop-bought pastry (unless you have the time to make your own, PUFF pastry, none of this shortcrust stuff!). Mix your pork sausage meet with some herbs (if you fancy, I add rosemary and thyme, a shake of pepper), roll, cut and freeze. They’ll take about 40 minutes in the oven to cook, but honestly, totally smash the butt off those pre-made ones!
Just putting it out there now – we don’t have Turkey. I know it’s a classic Christmas Food, but! We probably never will have Turkey at Christmas. As meats go, it’s probably right at the bottom for us. Whether it’s just from past experiences of eating incredibly dry, bland Turkey (sorry to anyone who’s cooked me Turkey before!). We had Beef last year, and we’re going for it again this year.
I’m not one for doing too much fancy stuff with the meat at Christmas, mainly for fear of it all going wrong. So the Beef will be roasted with some Carrots, Celery, Garlic, Onions and some fresh herbs. We’ll aim for medium rare, with the likelihood that it’ll hit Medium when I inevitably over run my timings! The key thing with the Beef is leaving it to rest, you can’t just whip it out of the oven and serve it up. Take your time, give it a good 15 minutes to rest before carving. Lovely.
Again, no shop buying here – there’s really no need. Peel and cut your spuds in to either half, or quarters if they’re big potatoes. Get them on the boil, and leave for about 15 minutes. There’s a sweet spot here – you want them soft, but not crumbling. Once they hit that point, pop them in the colander and drain the water away – pop a lid over the colander and give them a little ruffle up. Then leave them to cool.
Whilst they are cooling, get your fat-of-choice in the oven to get hot. We’re using Goose fat this year, but Olive Oil would do the job. Once this is piping hot, and the roasties are cold – season the roasties with a bit of salt and pepper, and place them (carefully!) in the hot oil. Make sure they get a good coating, and pop them on a baking tray in the oven.
They won’t go crispy if you have them in the oven with the meat, because the moisture from the meat will stop them from crisping up nicely. So, you’ll need to use that 15 mins or so when your meat is resting, whack up the temperature and get a good crispy coat on those roasties.
Another one here – Christmas Pudding is a solid no in the house. We just don’t like it – and as much as it’s a part of Christmas, it doesn’t work for us! We rarely even eat Christmas desert because we’re stuffed from the main – but we do always get something sweet in. This year, it’s a Salted Caramel and Chocolate Cheesecake – with single cream. I imagine this will be a Christmas Day-evening snack, though 😉
We’re pretty low-key on the food front – this is my doing because I just want to serve a good, filling meal, and not dick about with new things and risk messing it all up! I also like to prepare in advance so I don’t have to spend the morning in the Kitchen – I’m very much a well-oiled machine with the timings so I know it’s all under control.
What’s your Christmas Food looking like this year? Let us know in the comments! Also, you can also check out our other Blogmas posts here.