Make the most of Christ­mas meat

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

These days not even Santa Claus can con­jure up a large cheap leg of lamb or pork, or fil­let of beef or turkey for your fam­ily Christ­mas din­ner.

But it is a spe­cial oc­ca­sion and if you buy wisely you can cre­ate sev­eral more de­li­cious meals from the left­overs.

Of course, if you don’t re­quire a feast-sized meat treat be­cause you are cook­ing for a small num­ber of guests or the left­overs would be wasted, there are eco­nom­i­cal op­tions.

For ex­am­ple, there are smaller hams avail­able 1.5 to 3kg in size. The skin is left on and can be re­moved by eas­ing off with your hands then the fat scored in the usual way.

An easy method of glaz­ing the ham is to sprin­kle the fat with ic­ing su­gar then place un­der a medium-heat grill to melt and brown.

Turkey is a peren­nial Kiwi yule­tide favourite. For­tu­nately there is a whole raft of smaller turkey op­tions avail­able for smaller fam­i­lies or for just two peo­ple. Skinned and boned breast fil­lets, bone­less thighs, drums and small frozen bone­less roasts are a few of the choices.

Just don’t for­get the cran­berry jelly or sauce and prunes wrapped in ba­con as ac­com­pa­ni­ments.

If a beef fil­let breaks the bud­get then try a rump roast or top­side. For ten­der­ness, I swear by salt­ing the out­side of the roast and re­frig­er­at­ing it un­cov­ered for up to two days be­fore roast­ing; see the recipe fol­low­ing.

For me, Christ­mas is not only about good food but also, most im­por­tantly, about fam­ily.

Duck Breasts with Cherry Sauce

This yummy cherry sauce can be pre­pared a day ahead and is also ex­cel­lent served with chicken. Fresh cher­ries are best but you could sub­sti­tute a 680g jar of pit­ted morello cher­ries, drained. If the duck breasts are small, you may need two per per­son. Cherry sauce: 1 Tbsp olive oil 3 each: shal­lots, diced; gar­lic cloves, crushed 1 tsp tomato paste salt and pep­per to taste

tsp ground cumin a pinch of hot chilli flakes

red pep­per (cap­sicum), diced 1 acid-free tomato, diced

cup red wine 1 Tbsp bal­samic vine­gar 11⁄ Tbsp su­gar 1 tsp Di­jon-style mus­tard 3 cups pit­ted dark cher­ries Duck: 4 large duck breasts with skin Olive oil To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan. Saute the shal­lots and gar­lic on low heat, un­til soft­ened.

Stir in the tomato paste, sea­son­ings, red pep­per and tomato. Cook, un­til soft­ened, about four min­utes. Add the wine, vine­gar, su­gar, mus­tard and 11⁄ cups of cher­ries. Sim­mer for two min­utes. Place in a blender and puree un­til smooth. Sieve. Cover and re­frig­er­ate for up to one day.

To pre­pare the duck, score the skin with the tip of a sharp knife in a criss-cross pat­tern.

Heat a heavy fry­ing pan on medium-high heat. Brush with olive oil. Add the duck breasts, skin-side down and cook un­til the skin is golden brown, about six min­utes.

Re­move the duck to one side and drain off all but one ta­ble­spoon of the fat from the pan. Re­heat the pan on medium- low. Re­turn the duck breasts to the pan, skin-side up. Cook for five min­utes, un­til medium rare.

Mean­while, re­heat the sauce, adding the re­main­ing cher­ries. Add a lit­tle to the duck in the pan be­fore serv­ing. Slice each breast into four, if pre­ferred. Serve the re­main­ing sauce on the side. Serves four.

Chardon­nay Chicken

This chicken can be cooked in a heavy saucepan on the hob, in a cov­ered casse­role in the oven or in a slow cooker. 4 Tbsp olive oil 10 shal­lots, peeled but left whole 20 cloves gar­lic 6 baby car­rots 1 large chicken sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per to taste 6 sprigs each: pars­ley, rose­mary finely grated rind 1 le­mon 12 pit­ted prunes

cup each: chardon­nay, chicken stock

Heat two ta­ble­spoons of oil in a heavy fry­ing pan. Saute the shal­lots for two to three min­utes, un­til lightly coloured. Add the gar­lic and car­rots and saute for two min­utes. Place in a large saucepan on the hob or casse­role if cook­ing in the oven, or the slow cooker.

Heat the re­main­ing oil, if re­quired. Truss or tie the chicken to keep it in a neat shape. Sea­son well. Brown the chicken all over in the oil. Place on the veg­eta­bles. Add the herbs, rind and prunes to the saucepan. Add the chardon­nay and stock.

Cover and sim­mer on very low heat on the hob for about two hours; or in a 180 de­grees Cel­sius oven for 11⁄ hours; or in a slow cooker for about five hours on high. Cook un­til the thighs just pull away from the car­cass.

Place the chicken on a serv­ing plat­ter with the prunes and veges. Sea­son the pan juices and serve in a jug. Serves four to six.

Glazed Ham with a Seed Crust

This glaze is for a pre-cooked ham. Re­move the skin by plac­ing your hand be­tween the skin and fat and gen­tly ease it off. 1 medium ham, skin re­moved Glaze: - cup whole cloves cup apricot jam 3 Tbsp orange juice 1 Tbsp corn­flour Crust:

cup sun­flower seeds 3 Tbsp each: white mus­tard seeds, lightly toasted sesame seeds 2 Tbsp pump­kin seeds Pre­heat the oven to 160C. Score the fat di­ag­o­nally across the face of the ham about ev­ery 2cm, to pro­duce a di­a­mond ef­fect. In­sert a clove into the cen­tre of each di­a­mond

Melt the apricot jam with the juice. Stir in the corn­flour. Brush over the ham. If the ham is to be served hot, cook for about 10 min­utes per 500g.

If the ham is to be served cold, cook at 180C for about 45 min­utes. Baste oc­ca­sion­ally dur­ing cook­ing. Re­move from the oven and sprin­kle with the seeds.

Beef Rump with Red Wine Sauce

1.8-2kg beef rump, tied to keep a good shape 1 Tbsp flaky sea salt freshly ground black pep­per to taste Red wine sauce:

cup ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 medium red onion, diced

cup brandy 1 large sprig each: rose­mary, thyme, flat-leaf pars­ley 1 tsp Di­jon-style mus­tard 1 cup caber­net sauvi­gnon wine 2 cups good beef stock 2 Tbsp su­gar Rub the sur­face of the beef with the salt and pep­per. Place on a rack in a roast­ing pan. Re­frig­er­ate, un­cov­ered, for 24 to 36 hours.

Pre­pare the sauce up to 24 hours ahead. Heat three ta­ble­spoons of olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion, un­til soft.

Add the brandy, herbs and mus­tard and cook un­til the liq­uid evap­o­rates. Add the wine and bring to the boil. Add the beef stock and su­gar. Boil un­til re­duced to 11⁄ cups. Strain through a sieve into a bowl, press­ing on the solids to ex­tract as much liq­uid and flavour as pos­si­ble. Cool the sauce, cover and re­frig­er­ate.

Al­low the meat to re­turn to room tem­per­a­ture be­fore roast­ing. Pre­heat the oven to 200C.

Brush the meat with olive oil. Re­turn the beef to the rack in the roast­ing pan.

Re­duce the tem­per­a­ture to 180C. Roast for 20 min­utes per 500g for medium rare or un­til a meat thermometer in­serted in the cen­tre reaches 150C.

Re­move the meat from the oven. Cover with foil or a basin and stand for 15 min­utes to al­low the meat to ‘‘set’’.

Mean­while, bring the sauce to the boil and sim­mer for three min­utes. Sea­son if re­quired.

Re­move the string from the beef be­fore slic­ing and serv­ing with the sauce.

Great ac­com­pa­nied with roasted veg­eta­bles, mus­tard and horse­rad­ish. Serves eight.

Manawatu Stan­dard

DE­LI­CIOUS CHRIST­MAS: Mak­ing your Christ­mas meal spec­tac­u­lar.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.