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Mid Winter Christmas Feast

July 07, 2022

Gather those you love and bring your mid-winter Christmas to life with a succulent, delicious feast. For a spread that will warm bodies and soothe souls, position a glazed ham in the centre of the table and surround it with duck fat potatoes, stuffing, gravy, and Brussels sprouts with a bacon twist. Bon appétit!

 

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HONEY GLAZE CHRISTMAS HAM

Ingredients:

  • Half leg of ham
  • ¼ cup whole cloves
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup liquid honey
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup brandy or pineapple juice

Alternative ingredients:

  • Replace honey with maple syrup
  • Replace Dijon mustard with wholegrain.

Method:

 

1. Preheat oven to 175°C

2. Remove the skin (rind) by cutting around the shank. Push your fingers between the skin and layer of fat and then peel the skin off. Ensure you leave the layer of fat on as this keeps the ham moist and creates a delicious crispy coating for your glaze. Discard the skin.

3. Using a sharp knife, lightly score a diamond pattern all over the surface.

4. Insert a clove into the cross section of each diamond shape.

5. Wrap tin foil around the hock (bone end) to stop it burning. Place the ham in a roasting dish, add water to the base and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

6. While the ham is cooking, prepare your glaze ingredients: place brown sugar, honey and Dijon mustard in a saucepan and cook on low heat until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir through the brandy or pineapple juice.

7. It’s time to glaze, glaze, glaze! Once the ham has cooked for 20 minutes, remove from the oven and brush a generous portion of glaze all over. To achieve a really delicious, caramelised top, you’ll need to re-glaze throughout cooking. I promise it’ll be worth it!

8. Return to the oven and cook for another 20 minutes. Glaze again and remove the foil from the hock. If you find that the top of the ham is becoming too brown loosely cover it with a sheet of tin foil. Return to the oven for another 20 minutes.

9. Re-glaze and cook for a final 20 - 30 minutes until the ham is caramelised and golden. You can remove the sheet of tin foil during this final cooking period.

10. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 15 minutes.

 

BACON BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Ingredients:

  • 1kg Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • ½ lemon, juice
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • 2 tbsp parsley leaves, chopped

Alternative ingredients:

  • Swap the sprouts for broccoli or green beans
  • Swap the red onion for 2 shallots.

Method:

 

1. Bring a pot of water to the boil and drop in the sprouts. Boil for 3 minutes then pour the spouts into a sieve. To cool, pour cold water over them.

2. Melt the butter in a frypan over medium heat. Add bacon and cook for 5 minutes or until the bacon
fat begins to run.

3. Add onion and cook for another 5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the sprouts. Stir-fry for 5 minutes until tender and starting to caramelise. Add lemon juice, season with salt and pepper, then toss. Sprinkle parsley over the top and serve hot.

 

FESTIVE STUFFING

Ingredients:

  • ⅔ cup butter (plus extra for dotting)
  • ½ tsp sage, ground
  • 4 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 12 cups bread cubes
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary)
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper, to season

Alternative ingredients:

  • Swap ½ tsp ground sage for 1 ½ tsp chicken seasoning

Method:

 

1. Preheat oven to 180°C

2. Melt butter in a large pan over medium heat. Add ground sage, celery, and onions and cook over medium-low for 10 minutes or until tender. Remove before the mixture browns.

3. Place bread cubes in a bowl. Add the celery mixture and fresh herbs. Pour broth over the mixture, add salt and pepper, then combine. The bread should be moist, not soggy.

4. Transfer to an oven dish and dot with extra butter. Bake covered for 35 minutes then uncovered for 10 minutes.

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