Have yourself a very merry christmas with some last minute festive tips to make your Christmas turkey dinner the best it can be.
Roast turkey with shallot stuffing and fresh sage:
5kg free-range Totally Traditional Turkey; 4 tbsp rapeseed oil;
Sea salt and black pepper
For the stuffing: 75g butter; 2 tbsp rapeseed oil; 8 shallots, peeled and finely chopped; 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
250g dried figs, chopped into small cubes; 2 small eating apples; 250g fresh breadcrumbs; 3 tbsp fresh sage leaves, chopped; 750g sausage meat;
3tbsp of parsley, chopped; 1 large egg beaten; Sea salt and black pepper.
Preheat oven to 230°C/Gas Mark 8. Remove turkey giblets and reserve. Rinse the turkey inside and out and dry well. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan, brush the turkey generously with rapeseed oil and season with sea salt and black pepper and cover with foil.
Place the prepared turkey in the pre-heated oven and cook at this temperature for the first 30 minutes. Then, lower the oven temperature to 180°C/Gas Mark 4 and cook for approximately 30 minutes per kilo, basting every hour.
To prepare the stuffing, heat the butter and rapeseed oil until the butter has melted. Add the shallot and fry gently until well softened but not browned. Stir in the garlic and season well with sea salt and black pepper. Remove from the heat and place in a bowl, leave to cool.
Peel the apples, cut into quarters, remove the core and cut into small cubes. Mix the figs, apples, breadcrumbs, sage, sausage meat and parsley with the shallots, season well with sea salt and black pepper using clean hands and then mix in the beaten egg. The mixture should be quite firm, with wet hands, mould the stuffing into balls the size of a golf ball.
Place on a greased baking sheet and bake in the pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. Alternatively you can use the mixture to stuff an onion, per person, and place the rest of the mixture into an ovenproof dish to cook.
Take one small onion per person and peel, leaving the top of the onion intact and the base root in place. Peel and boil, whole, in salted boiling water for 8-10 minutes, until just soft, drain and cool in cold water. Drain and cut the top off the onion, about three quarters of the way up, so as to make a lid. Using a sharp knife, hollow out the onion and stuff with the stuffing mixture, replace the lid and brush all over with rape seed oil. Bake for 30-35 minutes in the oven alongside the turkey until cooked through and slightly caramelised.
When the turkey is approximately 35 minutes before the end of cooking, remove the foil, drain off any of the excess fat and cook for a further 35 minutes or until golden brown.
Transfer the turkey to a platter and cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 20-30 minutes.
Serve the turkey carved with stuffing balls or stuffed onions and gravy.
Recipe supplied by www.totallytraditionalturkeys.com
Streamline orange and thyme glazed carrots
400g Chantenay or baby carrots; 2 tsp cumin seeds; 2 tbsp Streamline thin cut orange marmalade; 1 tsp soy sauce; 3-4 stalks thyme, leaves picked; salt and black pepper.
Boil or steam the carrots until tender. Heat a frying pan and dry fry the cumin seeds for a moment until they become fragrant. Stir in the thin cut orange marmalade, soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of water until marmalade has melted into a glaze. Drain the carrots and toss in the glaze until they look glossy. Sprinkle over the thyme leaves and season. Continue to toss until everything is well coated, then pour into a serving dish.
Recipe thanks to www.streamlinefoods.co.uk
Tenderstem Broccoli Tossed in Butter with Chestnuts, Black Pepper and Pancetta
400g Tenderstem broccoli cut into 2″ strips; 50g unsalted butter; 75g pancetta lardons; 200g chestnuts roughly chopped; Salt and cracked black pepper
Bring a medium sized pan of salted water to the boil, add the Tenderstem and cook for 30 seconds. Drain, then cool under cold running water and set aside.
Heat a medium sized frying pan then add the butter and lardons. Cook until the lardons start to release some fat and turn golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add chestnuts and Tenderstem. Cook for a further 2 minutes, season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.
Recipe thanks to www.tenderstem.co.uk
This makes a nice alternative to a traditional Christmas pudding
Beetroot, Raisin & Stem Ginger Pudding
3tbsp golden syrup; 100g vegetable suet; 80g dark brown sugar; 100g raisins; 50g wholemeal breadcrumbs; 50g self raising flour; 1tsp ground mixed spice;
125g plain cooked (vacuum packed) beetroot, drained; 3 eggs; 100g stem ginger, finely chopped
Pour the golden syrup into the greased pudding basin and set aside.
In a large bowl, mix the suet, sugar, raisins, breadcrumbs, flour and mixed spice.
Puree the beetroot in a food processor, add the eggs and blend together well. Pour into the mixing bowl, along with the stem ginger, and stir thoroughly.
Pour the mix into the pudding basin and pat well down with the back of a spoon. Cover with a layer of baking paper and tie securely with string, then cover with a double layer of foil.
Carefully lower the pudding into a large pan of hot water, ensuring the water comes no further than half way up the basin. Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 3 hours, checking every now and then that there is plenty of water in the pan, topping up if necessary.
Carefully take the pudding out of the pan, remove the foil and greaseproof and put onto serving plate. Serve with custard, crème fraiche or vanilla ice cream.