It sure is a super way to get most of the stress that the Christmas dinner can bring out of the way early. Get it done Christmas eve. The whole family is dragged down and we have a groggy embittered morning that turns in to a fully fledged cook-fest once we get in to the swing of it. Or once the coffee has been made.
Brown Sugar, Pinapple Juice and Chunks heat these until sugar is dissolved in the juice. Meanwhile, after having cut the skin off the ham (but leaving some fat to keep the moisture in) stir some dried Colman’s English Mustard powder in with a little water until you get a thick paste and smear all over the sides of the ham. Crush a tablespoon or more of cloves and throw it on top of the mustard paste so that the cloves stick to it. If the ham is falling apart, as they sometimes do – pop a skewer or two in to hold it together. Place it in a roasting dish with the pineapple/sugar sauce at the bottom of the tin.
I’ve always found it hard to tell when a ham is cooked, the easiest way is probably to slide a skewer or knife through the thickest bit and ensuring there is no resistance. Nom. We’ve done this tonight so all it needs it reheating before the dinner tomorrow – and it leaves the oven free for the all important turkey! Slice and serve. Nom nom nom.
Dad has decided this year that while we will have brussel sprouts they won’t be the normal boiled or steamed ones. Instead he has made a Brussels sprout, bacon concoction with Lea and Perrin’s Worcester sauce. It’s exactly what it says on the tin.
Still tastes of Brussels sprout though. Nothing a bit of white pepper can’t cure.
The stuffing – also prepared the night before is another change to the menu. For the last few years we have collected edible chestnuts and roasted them in an ancient brass chestnut roaster on the fire. Yeah yeah, there was a song about it once etc. They are lovely though.
Takes me back to Switzerland at christmas when there were stalls at all the Christmas markets where you’d pay the equivilant of a euro and get a neatly folded cone of newspaper rolled up tightly holding a handful or two of roasted chestnuts. They’d be too hot to eat so you’d just warm your hands on them and then slowly peel the skin off and much on the hot nuts while walking through the snow.
We bunged ours in the oven. Then ground a loin of pork with sage and rosemary in the blender, added a load of onion and bread crumbs and some butter. (Not a lot of butter is needed in this stuffing, unlike some other stuffings – the fat from the pork loin compensates so you don’t lose out on the moisture!) Chestnuts out of the oven and shelled. Grind them roughly and pop them into the stuffing, mix well and stuff into washed bird.
Or if you’re not keen on having the stuffing you’re going to eat in the bird, wrap it in tinfoil and cook. A little serving goes a long way on the day!
So that’s that. Tomorrow morning we need to get the turkey finished and in the oven, get the blini starter ready and the rest of the veg in already prepped and ready to go.
Nom nom nom. Nommy Christmas everyone!