Gastronomically Terrific

December 27, 2014

Parisienne potatoes

Filed under: Christmas, main, meat, salad, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — lawsonanna @ 4:58 pm
These potatoes both looked and tasted better in real life

These potatoes both looked and tasted better in real life

I decided to make these for our Christmas Eve tea (along with the aromatic Christmas ham and a salad), knowing that they would be a fairly simple dish to put together before the work of the Christmas Day roast).

I peeled and sliced the potatoes and onions Christmas Eve morning, so that all I needed to do when my family arrived was boil the potatoes, pop them in a roasting tin with cream and grated cheese and then cook them in the oven for 15 minutes. This worked well with reheating the Christmas ham, which needed about 5 minutes in the oven before the whole meal was ready.

The whole meal worked well, and was nice and easy to prepare. It was a great choice for an easy Christmas Eve meal, and the only thing left over was a bit of ham – which was great for a late, easy tea on Christmas Day evening.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Mary Berry’s Christmas Collection, pg. 140-141

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Aromatic Christmas ham

Filed under: Christmas, main, meat — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , — lawsonanna @ 10:09 am

I’ve made this before, more than once. I made it last November (2013), as a test to see if it was worth making at Christmas. Turned out that, yes, it really is. So this Christmas I made it for Christmas Eve tea, the first meal my family would have with us at Christmas.

It’s really not a difficult recipe to follow – you put the ham, some red wine and a range of spices (plus onion, garlic and fennel) into a large p0t, cover it all with water and let it simmer away for an hour or so (depending on the weight – this was for a 1.45kg ham. My mum’s advice is 20 mins per lb, which seems about right).

You then remove the ham from the flavoured water, let it cool a little, carve off the fat, add whole cloves and a glaze of redcurrant jelly, cinnamon, paprika and red wine vinegar (which takes minutes to boil together on the hob), then put it in the oven for 15 or so minutes. I made the ham a couple of days in advance, then covered it in foil, put it in the fridge, and reheated it for a few minutes on Christmas Eve. So I didn’t even need to cook it on the day (although it wouldn’t hurt if you did, as it smells amazing)!

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, pg. 32-33

November 22, 2013

Aromatic Christmas Ham

Filed under: main — Tags: — thinkingdan @ 10:50 pm

This decidedly non-vegetarian main was cruelly  lorded over me whilst Anna was “entertaining guests” (otherwise known as getting drunk with old friends).  Naturally, I abstained, but I confess that it did look and smell really rather appealing.

With Chipolatas of course. In case a whole hock of ham between two people isn't enough.

Served with Chipolatas of course. In case a whole hock of ham between two people isn’t enough.

I can’t really comment on the process of either making or eating this, except that the event was accompanied by much “yumm”ing and “mmm”ing, and plenty of eating way too much and really wanting more but not being able to fit it in. So the evidence for whether it was tasty is a bit mixed. Draw your own conclusion.

The key feature appears to be cooking it in 250ml of red wine, and adding a whole bunch of spices including star anise, garlic, fennel, coriander seed, and so on.  Then there is the glaze which I did get to try, made with cranberry jelly with cloves, cinnamon and paprika.  It was tasty with my vegetarian shop bought pie…

Postscript from Anna: This was actually really fun to make. Basically you boil the ham in a whole bunch of amazing smelling spices and wine (as listed above), then make a lovely cranbelly jelly glaze which you drizzle over the ham before studding the meat with cloves and cooking it in the oven for 10-15 mins (bear in mind this was a 750g ham, not a massive 5/6kg one; there were only 2 of us after all). The recipe was Nigella’s, but the timings were (to all intents and purposes) my mums. My mum’s flavourings might be more basic than this, but she still makes a lovely ham.

Who made it: Anna

Recipe: Nigella Christmas, page 33.

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