Merry meat treats
We’re having chicken for Christmas dinner. I have a shallow roasting pan large enough to cook three chickens side-by-side which together take considerably less cooking than a turkey. And by the time I’ve dressed them with fresh cranberry sauce, a pistachio stuffing and prunes wrapped in bacon, they’ll be looking a lot like turkeys.
Any leftovers will be merrily gobbled up by the family on Boxing Day.
I also have a small cooked ham that — once peeled — will be brushed with thick plum sauce then sprinkled liberally with a combo of black and white sesame seeds plus sunflower and pumpkin seeds.
There’s no need to heat the ham to apply this topping — unless of course you want to serve it hot. In this case, before the seeds are added, bake the ham at 160°C for 10 minutes per 500grams then garnish.
Vegetarian offerings are a collection of hearty salads and sides, including my favourite potato salad using a new white-fleshed waxy Heather potato with great flavour.
Chunks of pumpkin, kumara and parsnip will be roasted in olive oil, rosemary and thyme then presented sprinkled with smoked paprika. And for beef, there’s nothing like a truly tasty sauté of mushrooms with lots of garlic, and a dash each of sesame oil and vegemite.
Supermarkets are now selling lamb legs cut in half horizontally rather than vertically. This makes them attractive and affordable for a celebration for four. Get the recipe
A ‘mock’ turkey. Cooking two or three chickens at once allows for leftovers next day. Get the recipe