Christmas Party: Mains

Following on from our Starters… here is how we tackled the mains!

We went for a traditional roast for our Christmas party, although we didn’t go for a turkey for two reasons really 1) let’s save that for actual Christmas Day and 2) the cost was unreal!

Ingredients – This serves 8 people (with a TONNE leftover)

1 medium chicken

1 large chicken

4 leeks, sliced 

1 broccoli, chopped

4 carrots, peeled and chopped how you like

700g potatoes

1 onions

1 lemon

1 stock cube

4 cloves garlic

Gravy (duh!)

70g of butter

1 chicken stock cube (oxo is best)

Goose Fat

Pigs in Blankets (because who has time to make them!?)

 

The Stuffing – This made 20 balls. 

900g pork sausagemeat

25g sage, chopped

75g stale white bread crusts removed/breadcrumbs

1 large onion, cut into chunks

2 tbsp water

Salt and Pepper

 

The Ham

2kg unsmoked boneless gammon joint

1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 onion, peeled and quartered

2L Coke (full fat!)

1 carrot, chopped

1 celery stick, chopped

1 cinnamon stick

150ml maple syrup

2 tbsp wholegrain mustard

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

pinch of ground cloves or five-spice

 

Method – The Christmas Ham

The Christmas Ham comes from this Good Food recipe. Get this on in the morning or even a day or two before so it’s all cooked and ready for the celebration as it does take a few hours to cook.

Put the gammon joint in a large pan and cover with 2l coke. Add the carrot, onion, celery, cinnamon and peppercorns.

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Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer for around 2 ½ hrs, topping up with boiling water if necessary to keep the gammon fully covered.

Carefully pour the liquid away, then let the ham cool a little while you heat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

Lift the ham into a roasting tin, then cut away the skin leaving behind an even layer of fat. Score the fat all over in a criss-cross pattern.

Mix 150ml maple syrup, 2 tbsp wholegrain mustard, 2 tbsp red wine vinegar and a pinch of ground cloves or five-spice in a jug.

Pour half over the fat, roast for 15 mins, then pour over the rest and return to the oven for another 30 mins, baste half way through.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 mins, then spoon more glaze over the top.

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Words cannot describe how AMAZING this ham tasted.

 

Method – The Stuffing

Original recipe from the Queen of Christmas Delia Smith!

You may want to get this prepped before you’re in full roasting pelt later so here goes:

In a blender/chopper mix the chopped sage, onion and bread (ripped into chunks) or ready made breadcrumbs and blitz until finely chopped. 

In a large bowl mix the breadcrumb mix together with the sausage meat, water and seasoning. 

Roll the mix into 20 even sized balls (damp hands seriously help) and pop on to a baking tray ready to cook later!

 

Method – The Full Roast Shabang

Now it is time to get cracking on the full roast. 

Heat oven to approx 180 degrees Celsius

In a bowl, mix the slightly softened butter with the stock cube. Quarter the lemon and eighth the onion. Stuff each chicken with 2 quarters of lemon, half the onion and two garlic cloves. The evenly spread the stock/butter mixture over the chicken.

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Pop this in the oven and cook to packet instructions – two this size took approx 1 hour 45 minutes. 

After 45 minutes, chop the potatoes into roast shape and put in a pan of water and bring to the boil. Once these have par boiled i.e. soft enough to get a sharp knife in but not so soft they melt away, drain them. At this point add a tablespoon or two of goose fat to a tray and put in the oven.  

Pop the potatoes back into the pan, pop the lid on and shake them carefully to fluff up the edges. Remove the pan with goose fat on from the oven and very carefully pour the potatoes on. Be careful of spits from the fat. Turn the potatoes with a fork and pop in the oven for about an hour!

Once the chicken is fully cooked remove from the oven and cover in foil. Turn the oven up slightly and move the potatoes higher to get them nice and crispy for serving in 30 minutes! 

Now its time to sort out all the bits:

  • Bring two saucepans of water to the boil. When they have both come to the boil add the carrots to one and the broccoli to the other and cook for 7-8 minutes. 
  • Throw the leeks into a third saucepan, add some salt and pepper, drizzle of oil and a knob of butter and turn to a medium heat on the hob. Leave for about 10-15 minutes stirring occasionally. If almost cooked but still time to kill just turn the heat down!
  • On a tray line up your pigs in blankets and cook to packet instructions (usually 20-25 minutes).
  • On a separate tray line up your stuffing balls and cook these for 20-25 minutes, turning once. 
  • Make the gravy!

NOWW: Slice that chicken, slice that ham, drain those veggies and remove everything from the oven and plate up!!

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The picture doesn’t really do it justice…. but we had RAVE reviews and it went down a smash success!!

I hope you get some ideas from this and maybe put on your own Christmas dinner! We thought it might be too much work but with these organising tips it went so smoothly!

Let me know your favourite Christmas Party meals!

Love, A x

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