Thursday 30 December 2010

Turkey Soup

Turkey remains
2 onions
4 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper

Place turkey in a large pan. Bring to boil once a day for four days.
This is Kipling's "boiling to rags": the meat drops off.

Now remove bones and skin, by hand, squeeze meat into fibres.
Once you are confident that all bone has been removed whizz with hand blender then sieve.
Add pepper and salt.
Slice onion and garlic and fry lightly in turkey fat in covered pan.
Add onions to sieved soup.
Bring back to boil.

Friday 24 December 2010

Turkey with Chestnut Stuffing

Christmas Eve

Prepare Chestnut stuffing (also bread sauce and sage and onion stuffing).

450g Tinned Chestnuts

2 red onions, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
Turkey liver, chopped
6 smoked streaky bacon rashers
200g tin chestnut purée
2 garlic cloves
4 slices brown bread
Freshly grated nutmeg
Zest of a lemon
1 egg, beaten
Salt and black pepper
Chopped parsley
30 spent sloes from making sloe gin

Remove stones from sloes and chop finely.
Chop Onions and Shallots.
Chop Chestnuts.
Fry all gibblets in lard, briefly, remove from heat, chop liver finely.
Place neck, gizzard, heart into separate pan, for use in gravy stock.
Add Onions.
Finley chop bacon and add.
Add half a boiled onion, chopped (from bread sauce - mildly clove flavoured).
Add chopped chestnuts. (Note this is wrong, should be later)
Add finely chopped garlic.

In a large bowl mix sloes, bread and chestnut pureée.

Grate nutmeg and lemon zest into mixture.
Add Onions and beaten egg.
Chop parsley and add.

Should not have added chestnuts earlier, but now.

Leave until tomorrow.

Christmas Morning

Stuff neck and breast with chestnut stuffing.

Stuff under skin of back end with sage and onion stuffing.

Sew stuffing into place.

Add half an orange (two quarters) and two half lemons to cavity.

Weighed stuffed bird at 5kg.

Start cooking at 1.00pm aiming to eat at 3.30pm

For next time

Lemon zest was out of place in the chestnut stuffing but more particularly in the sage and onion stuffing.
Whole chestnuts should be added later.
Leaving the turkey cavity empty was a success: cooking the bird for less time and leaving it more juicy.

I would go further with the under-skin-stuffing, at both ends, next time, as this too worked.

Sunday 12 December 2010

Pickled Beetroot, Carrots and Onions


7 Baby beetroot
3 Sprouts of cauliflower
3 Baby Chantilly carrots

1 Red chillie (medium)
4 Finger (small green) chillies (hot)
2 Bird eye chillie (hot)
3 Slices ginger
3 Cloves garlic
1 Teaspoon mixed pepper corns
1 Teaspoon Szechuan peppers
0.5 Teaspoon mustard seed
Sprinkle of hot chillie powder
2 Bay leaves

Malt vinegar

Add spices to 1L jar.
Slit red chillie, to allow air out.
Top, tail, peal and quarter beetroot.
Top up with cauliflower and Chantilly carrots.
Fill Jar with malt vinegar.

Repeat for Chantilly carrots and shallots.
Two and a half 400g shallot packets to fill one 1.5L jar.
60 shallots is a lot of shallots to peel and prepare!

Open on Boxing day.

Pot Roast Shoulder of Lamb on Couscous


1.124kg half shoulder of lamb
10 shallots
6 bay leaves

1 large parsnip
4 medium potatoes
4 carrots
3 red peppers
1 aubergine
1 fennel bulb
1 lemon
4 semi-dried apricots


Place lamb in casserole, with lid on, roast hard for 1 hour

Remove from heat, remove bay leaves.
Add shallots, swede, garlic.
Replace lid, leave overnight.

Place in hot oven, 200°C

Boil diced potatoes, after 5 minutes add diced parsnips.
Cut peppers and add to pre-heated oil in baking tray.
Drain potatoes and parsnips, allow to steam dry for 5 minutes.

Add fennel and aubergine, then potatoes.

Cook hard for 1 hour.

Stir everything.

Remove lamb from pot.

Add water to marmite.
Add juice of a half a lemon, squeeze rest over vegetables in oven.
Sieve marmite, add 4 chopped ready-to-eat dried apricots and half the chopped lemon rind.
Pour on couscous in a bowl and leave to soak.

Serve with potato croquets made from yesterday's leftover mashed potato and mashed swede.

What actually happened

Ate with apple jelly.
The lamb tasted very good.
I enjoyed the mashed swede bake.

For next time

Some swede crept into roasted vegetables, they tasted a bit sour, as did the fennel.

Saturday 11 December 2010

Pot Roast Duck Legs in Marmalade Sauce


4 Duck legs
1 Orange
8 Shallots
3 Tablespoon marmalade
4 Tablespoons grapefruit juice
2 Cloves garlic
Small amount of ginger

Serve with cubed swede, parsnip and potato mash.

Roast Duck legs and shallots in a pan with lid off at 200 for 40 minutes, having rubbed in olive oil and salt and pepper

Remove from heat and allow to cool .

Mix marmalade, grapefruit juice, ginger and crushed garlic.
Cut orange into 8, add to pot and cover.

Cook for further 40 minutes

What actually happened

We actually served with plain potato mash, white cabbage and spinach.
The main dish was very successful.

For next time

The white cabbage and swede both made the best of the gorgeous marmalade sauce.
Lose the spinach. Keep plain potato, but do not mash.
Not sure parsnip or sweet potato would have worked.