Christmas dinner was surely everyone’s eat of the week, but preparation was a bit last minute for me this year, so I had to play it simple. Luckily for me I just happened to stumble upon some incredible recipes as inspiration!
Star of (Bethlehem?) the show was definitely the lamb courtesy of a recipe by Jamie Oliver, king of Christmas home-cooking. A slight deviation from the normal Christmas roast, but definitely one to consider if you fancy something different. Just five ingredients – four of which you will most likely already have in your cupboard, if you’re any sort of cook. Deliciously pink, tender and fulsome, and could easily be repeated for Easter. The only parts of this recipe I didn’t use was the potatoes – I wanted to give them special attention with a recipe of their own – and the mint sauce (because who actually likes mint sauce with lamb).
This Italian-inspired turkey crown recipe by BBC Good Food was a close second. I’m never normally fussed on turkey as I always find bland and dry, but mama Hall was doing one anyway because “it’s Christmas”. The turkey was succulent with the salty pancetta and fragrant rosemary fully infused into the meat – it even kept its moisture through to Boxing Day when family members commented on the juicy sliced leftovers. And the stuffing! Omfg the stuffing. Crispy, lemony and cheesy from grated parmesan and salty shreds of pancetta – I could eat a whole tray of it on its own. One additional thing I did do to this recipe was stuff the turkey with my own general stuffing mix (the lemon ciabatta stuffing is cooked separately in a tray) which helped to keep the turkey moist.
I was loving a bit of Jamie this Christmas. Despite his slightly irritating lisp and his ridiculous children’s names, by God he knows how to make perfect roast potatoes. Apparently some gentle squishing is the trick to make them extra crispy. Plus there are three flavour combinations to choose from! However, I found it best to ignore the last bit of cooking time – mine were taking a while to crisp up, so I drizzled some more oil and whacked the gas mark up. It worked.
A controversial choice for the Hall household as French onion has been the longstanding tradition. But if you don’t try something different you don’t discover what you’re missing! Uniquely mordacious from the mustard and – surprise ingredient – Marmite softened by the barnyardy creaminess of crumbled goats cheese. I didn’t make the toast as I’d already baked a loaf of focaccia; my garlic and rosemary recipe is recommended for dipping!