2 kg duck with neck
2 chicken wings, chopped
125ml white wine
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, sliced
1 ripe tomato, chopped
2 Tbsp shredded orange rind
170ml orange juice
2 tsp cornflour
1. Place the duck neck, chicken wings and wine in a pan. Boil over a high heat for 5 minutes, or until the wine has reduced by half. Add the onion, carrot, tomato, bouquet garni and 500ml water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Strain and set aside 1 cup of the stock.
2. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the duck in a large saucepan, cover with boiling water, then drain. Dry with paper towels. With a fine skewer, prick all over the outside of the duck, piercing only the skin, not the flesh. Place the duck, breast-side down on a rack in a baking dish and bake for 50 minutes.
3. Drain off any fat, turn the duck over and pour the reserved stock into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the breast is golden brown. Remove the duck from the pan and leave in a warm place for 15 minutes before carving. Reserve any pan juices for making gravy or orange sauce.
4. For the sauce, skim any fat off the reserved pan juices. Place in a saucepan with the rind, juice and Cointreau and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Blend the cornflour with a little water, add to the sauce and stir over heat until the mixture boils and thickens.
Roast Chicken with Rice Stuffing
95g wild rice
15 pitted prunes, quartered
2 Tbsp port
4 spring onions, finely chopped
1/2 green apple, coarsely grated
1/2 tsp grated orange rind
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 egg, lightly beaten
1.5 kg chicken
1. Measure the rice into a saucepan and add enough boiling water to come 2.5 cm above the rice. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for 1 hour, then drain well.
2 Preheat the oven to 180°C. Combine the prunes and port in a bowl. Cover and set aside.
3. Bake the hazelnuts on a baking tray for 8 minutes. Wrap in a tea towel and rub off the skins. Coarsely chop the hazelnuts.
4. Melt half the butter in a pan and add the spring onion. Cook over a low heat, stirring, for 2 minutes, or until soft. Remove from the heat and mix in the rice, prune and port mixture, hazelnuts, apple, orange rind, cardamom and beaten egg. Season to your liking.
5. Wipe the chicken and pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity and close with a toothpick or skewer. Tuck the wings under the chicken and tie the drumsticks securely together with string. Place on a rack in a baking dish.
6. Melt the remaining butter and brush over the chicken. Bake for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until brown and tender. Cover loosely with foil and leave in a warm place for 10 minutes. Remove the toothpicks and string before carving.
Roast Turkey with Sausage, Nut and Cranberry Stuffing
1 x 3 kg turkey
125ml butter for basting
1 onion, finely chopped
1 medium fennel bulb, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 pork sausages, skins removed
250ml fresh breadcrumbs
125ml dried cranberries
100g pistachio nuts, toasted and roughly chopped
2 bay leaves, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
2 sprigs thyme, stripped and chopped
salt and pepper
375ml chicken stock
1 Tbsp cornflour
3 Tbsp Pernod (optional)
1. For the stuffing, heat the butter in a saucepan and add the chopped onion, fennel and garlic. Sauté until soft, then cool slightly. Mix all the stuffing ingredients together and season.
2. Rinse the turkey well and dry inside and outside with paper towels. Stuff the cavity with 2/3 of the stuffing. Place the remaining 1/3 of the stuffing under the neck flap. Secure the loose skin over the stuffing with a skewer or toothpick.
3. Rub turkey with basting butter and season well all over. Tuck the wings under the turkey and truss the drumsticks together with string. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Extra bay leaves, rosemary sprigs and thyme springs can be placed around the turkey for extra flavour. Add a glass of water to the roasting pan and tent the turkey with foil, making sure the foil doesn’t touch the turkey.
4. Roast for 90 minutes, covered, then take the foil tent off and roast for a further 30 – 45 minutes or until juices run clear and the skin is crispy. Remove the turkey from the pan and rest in a warm place for 20 minutes before carving.
5. Add the stock to the pan juices and cook over a medium heat, loosening all the bits stuck to the pan. Strain the gravy through a sieve and spoon off the excess oil. Return to the roasting pan and add the cornflour, mixed with a little water and cook, stirring, until the gravy thickens. If using, add pernod and serve with the carved turkey.
Gammon with Parsley Sauce
1 kg boneless gammon
3 carrots, chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 bay leaves
a bouquet of fresh thyme and parsley, stalks tied together
12 bruised peppercorns
1 small onion, stuck with 2 cloves
1 bay leaf
salt, black pepper and nutmeg
55g unsalted butter
150 – 300 ml cooking liquid from the gammon
a large bunch of curly-leaf parsley, chopped
1. Place the gammon in a large, heavy-based pot and cover with cold water. Bring just to the boil, then drain. Put the gammon back in the pot and add all the vegetables, 2 bay leaves, the herbs and the peppercorns. Cover with cold water. Bring to the simmer, and cook for 1 1/2 hours with a lid on. Have a look every now and again to ensure the water is just simmering and not boiling. Check that the gammon is cooked by piercing with a skewer – it should be tender right through.
2. Start the sauce about 40 minutes before the gammon is cooked. Put the milk, whole onion stuffed with cloves and bay leaf in a pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer gently for a few minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and put the lid on to allow the milk to infuse the flavours. Melt the butter and flour to make a roux, then make a white sauce by slowing adding the heated milk (onion and bay leaf removed). Add as much of the cooking liquid to the sauce as you need to get a silky sauce that is about the texture of double cream. Adjust the seasoning and take off the heat. Stir in the parsley, which should not lose it’s rawness. but look like emerald flecks.
3. Slice the gammon thickly, add a little of the poaching liquid to each plate with a few slices of gammon and pass around the parsley sauce.
Ginger Glazed Gammon
1.5 – 2 kg gammon, bone in
1 onion, quartered
4 cm fresh ginger, sliced
1 litre chicken stock
2 litre ginger beer
cloves for studding
250g ginger and gooseberry jam
15 – 30 ml Hot English mustard powder
60ml white wine vinegar
1. Place the gammon, onion, ginger and stock in a large pot with a tight-fitting lid. Add enough ginger beer to cover the gammon and bring to the boil. Boil for 30 minutes. Seal the lid by crimping foil around it and wrap the pot in a thick blanket or sleeping bag. Leave the wrapped gammon in a warm place overnight.
2. Remove the cooled gammon and carefully peel back the skin. Score the fat in a diamond pattern, being careful not to score the flesh, and stud each diamond centre with a clove. Place the gammon in a foil-lined baking tray. Mix the glaze ingredients and brush over the gammon. Roast at 180°C for 20 – 30 minutes or until golden and caramelised, basting frequently. Allow to stand for 20 minutes before carving, if serving hot.
Rack of Lamb with Herb Crust
2 x 6 chop racks of lamb, trimmed and bones cleaned (the butcher can do this for you)
1 Tbsp oil
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 cloves garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp freshly chopped, flat-leafed parsley
1/2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1/2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
60g butter, softened
250ml beef stock
1 extra clove garlic, finely chopped
1 sprig of fresh thyme
1. Preheat the oven to 250°C. Score the fat on the racks in a diamond pattern. Rub the rack with a little of the oil and season with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a high heat and brown the lamb racks for 4 – 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Do not wash the pan – you will need it later.
3. In a large bowl, mix the breadcrumbs, garlic, parsley, thyme and lemon rind. Season, then mix in the butter to make a paste.
4. Firmly press a layer of breadcrumbs over the fat on the racks, leaving the bones and base clean. Bake in a baking dish for 12 minutes for medium-rare. Rest the lamb while you make the jus.
5. To make the jus, add the beef stock, extra garlic and thyme sprig to the roasting pan juices, scraping the pan. Return this liquid to the original frying pan and simmer over a high heat for 5 – 8 minutes, until the sauce is reduced. Strain and serve on the side.
60g plain flour
2 Tbsp cocoa powder
90g caster sugar
50g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 Tbsp extra caster sugar
125g white chocolate, chopped
50g hazelnuts, toasted and finely chopped
125g dark chocolate, chopped
extra icing sugar to dust
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Brush a 30 x 35 cm Swiss roll tin with oil or melted butter and line the base and sides with baking paper. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together, twice. Using electric beaters, beat the eggs and sugar for 5 minutes, or until light and fluffy and increased in volume.
3. Spread the mixture into the tin and bake for 12 minutes, or until the sponge springs back when lightly touched with your fingertips. Sprinkle the extra caster sugar over a clean tea towel. Turn the sponge onto the tea towel close to one end. Roll the sponge and tea towel together lengthways and leave to cool.
4. For the filling, put the white chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Bring a small pan of water to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add the cream to the chocolate and stand the bowl over the pan of water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, until the chocolate is soft. Stir until smooth. Repeat with the dark chocolate and cream for the topping. Leave the white chocolate mixture until it has cooled to room temperature and is the consistency of cream. Leave the dark chocolate mixture until it cools to a spreadable consistency.
5. Beat the white chocolate mixture with an electric beater until soft peaks form – do not overbeat or the mixture will curdle. Unroll the sponge, remove the tea towel and spread with the filling, finishing 2 cm from the end. Sprinkle with the hazelnuts. Re-roll the sponge and trim the ends. Cut off one end on a diagonal and place it alongside the log to create a branch.
6. Place the Yule log on a serving plate and spread the dark chocolate topping all over it. Run the tines of a fork along the length of the roll to give it a ‘bark’ effect. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar. Decorate with fresh green leaves.
Boiled Christmas Pudding
310g mixed dried fruit
45g mixed peel
640g mixed sultanas, currants and raisins
125ml brown ale
2 Tbsp rum or brandy
2 Tbsp orange juice
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp grated orange rind
1 Tbsp grated lemon rind
225g suet, grated
245g soft brown sugar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
200g fresh white breadcrumbs
90g self-raising flour
1 tsp mixed spice
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
100g blanched almonds, chopped
1. Finely chop the mixed dried fruit and put into a large bowl with the mixed peel, sultanas, currants, raisins, ale, rum, orange and lemon juice and rind. Cover and leave overnight.
2. Mix the fruit with the remaining ingredients and a pinch of salt. Leave for 10 minutes.
3. Cut an 80 cm square from a clean piece of calico or an old tea towel. Dip the pudding cloth into boiling water and boil for 1 minute. Remove and squeeze out excess water from the cloth. Working quickly, spread the hot cloth on the work surface, rub flour into the centre of it. Place the pudding mixture in the centre of the cloth and gather the cloth around the pudding, avoiding any deep pleats. Pat into a round shape with your hands. Tie the cloth tightly with string as close to the mixture as possible. Tie a loop in the string to make the pudding easier to lift from the pot. Pull the ends tightly to make sure the pudding is as round and firm as possible.
4. Gently lower the pudding into a pot 3/4 full of rapidly boiling water. Tie the string ends to the handles of the pot to suspend the pudding. Place a heatproof saucer in the base of the pan. Cover with a tight fitting lid and boil rapidly for 6 to 8 hours. Replenish boiling water as necessary to maintain boil and water level. There must be enough water in the boiler for the pudding to be immersed at all times.
5. Remove from the water and hang in a well-ventilated, dry place where it will not touch anything. Hook up the calico ends. Leave the pudding hanging overnight to dry.
6. Untie the cloth and, if there are damp patches at the top, spread it out to make sure it dries. When it is dry, re-wrap and tie with a new piece of string. The pudding will store, hanging, in a cool, dry place for up to 4 months. To serve, boil for 2 hours, hang for 15 minutes, then remove from the cloth and cut into wedges.
Ice Cream Christmas Pudding
50g toasted almonds, chopped
45g mixed peel
80g raisins, chopped
1 litre good-quality vanilla ice cream
105g red and green glace cherries, quartered
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
1 litre good-quality chocolate ice cream
1. Mix the almonds, peel, raisins, sultanas, currants and rum in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave overnight. Chill a 2 litre basin in the freezer overnight.
2. Soften the vanilla ice cream slightly and mix in the glace cherries. Working quickly, press the ice cream around the inside of the chilled basin, spreading it evenly to cover the base and sides of the basin. Return the basin to the freezer and leave overnight. Check the ice cream a couple of times and spread it evenly to the top if it sags down.
3. The next day, mix the spices and chocolate ice cream with the fruit mixture. Spoon it into the centre of the pudding basin and smooth the top. Freeze overnight, or until very firm. Turn the pudding out onto a chilled plate and decorate as you will. Cut into wedges and serve.
White Chocolate Lemon Truffles
250g white chocolate melts, chopped
1 Tbsp finely grated lemon rind
2 tsp lemon juice
45g desiccated coconut
45g toasted shredded coconut
1. Heat the cream and chocolate melts in a saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate has just melted. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon rind, lemon juice and desiccated coconut. Leave to cool, then refrigerate for 1.5 – 2 hours until firm.
2. Place teaspoons of the mixture on a foil-lined tray and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until very firm. Roll into balls, then coat with toasted shredded coconut. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.