> Alternatives to the Christmas classics
Alternatives to the Christmas classics
Roast turkey is the traditional choice for a Christmas Day lunch, but there are lots of other options.
My Roast Rib of Beef makes a splendid centrepiece for a family feast. For the tastiest results choose a piece of beef that’s been hung for around 28 days as this really makes a difference to the flavour and texture of the meat.
Goose was once the traditional choice for Christmas feasting and now it’s enjoying something of a revival. Its distinctive rich flavour and succulent meat does make it a real treat. Roast your goose at Gas mark 4 for 3–4 hours until the skin is a rich golden-brown colour and the meat has cooked through. Be warned, these are naturally very fatty birds so a lot of fat comes off during the roasting process; spoon it out periodically but don’t discard the fat, it’s highly prized for cooking with. Strain the fat through a muslin cloth into a sterilised jar and keep it in the fridge. Goose fat makes great roast potatoes; substitute it for the clarified butter in my Roast Potatoes and try for yourself. Good side dishes that go with goose are my quick and easy Sweet Potato Puree and Savoy Cabbage with Bacon, Carrots and Celeriac.
As you know, I’m rather partial to game. For something different this Christmas, serve up a roast haunch of venison. Venison is a lean meat, so depending on your taste, either cook it quickly, at a high heat, and serve it rare; or cook it slowly, at a lower temperature for longer, until well done. Serve it with my Michelin-style Mashed Potato, Cranberry Sauce and Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts for a festive feast.