This week Anna @annasfamilykitchen shares some delicious ways to feed the family over the Christmas period.
Asian Beef Stew
This is what we’ll be having on Christmas Eve. It has to be one of my most popular crowd-pleasing recipes. Typically, during the day on Christmas Eve my rellies arrive and I’ll be busy prepping the Christmas Day feast so I tend to make Christmas Eve’s dinner ahead and freeze it. Who knows whether we will be able to feed a crowd this Christmas, but this recipe works equally well as a family meal. If making ahead and freezing, take it out on the morning of Christmas Eve and defrost. Or it could be cooked and kept in the fridge 2 days in advance, but I know how precious fridge space is at this time of the year.
INGREDIENTS for 6:-
1½ kg braising steak
3 red onions chopped
4 garlic cloves
20g fresh coriander
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
4 star anise
2 tsp brown sugar
5 tbsp Mirin – Chinese rice wine
4 tbsp dark soy sauce
500ml beef stock
1 bunch spring onions, sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded & thinly sliced
Cut the steak into large chunks – approximately 10x5cm. Season the meat with salt & pepper & toss in the flour.
Make a paste by blitzing the coriander, garlic and ginger.
Heat a large casserole & colour the meat in batches.
Set aside the meat, add the rest of the oil & add the onions. Colour for a few minutes before adding the garlic, coriander, ginger paste.
Return the meat to the pan with the five-spice & star anise. Add the sugar & stir then add the soy sauce, Mirin & stock.
Put in a slow cooker for 8 hours or low oven (140 degrees) for 4-5 hours. Stir in the middle of the cooking time if you can.
Finish with fresh chilli & shredded spring onions. ⠀
Mushroom, Arborio and Pistachio (yes nut) Roast
But not your average dry and boring Nut Roast!! Most years I have three vegetarians for Christmas Day so alongside the turkey, pigs in blankets and stuffings I serve this. This recipe is basically made from the tastiest mushroom risotto flavoured with festive sage, and with the addition of pistachio nuts & a cranberry topping. It can be prepped a couple of days ahead and reheated in its tin on Christmas Day.
INGREDIENTS for 6:-
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 celery stick chopped
1 tbsp butter
200g chestnut mushrooms finely chopped
30g dried porcini mushrooms
6 sage leaves chopped
100g arborio rice
100ml white wine
400ml veg stock
100g pecan nuts
2 eggs beaten
2 tbsp cranberry jelly
Cover the porcini with boiling water & set aside.
Add the butter, onions, garlic and celery to a pan & soften for 10 minutes.
Add the mushrooms & sage & sauté for 2 minutes.
Remove the porcini from their stock using a fork, chop them finely then add them to the pan with the rice. Stir.
Add the wine, let it bubble, then add the porcini stock.
Add the veg stock one ladleful at a time.
Let the mixture cool then stir in the nuts, cheese & eggs.
Add the cranberries to a loaf tin. Add the rice mix & press down. Cook for 30 mins under foil & 30mins uncovered.
Warm the jelly and drizzle on top.
Festive Pomegranate Molasses & Clementine Ham Hocks
I prefer cooking Ham Hocks to a whole Ham – their flavour is amazing yet they’re relatively cheap. A lovely centrepiece for your Boxing Day cold spread, along with my Christmas Slaw, they can be cooked up to 3 days in advance and not interfere with all your other Christmas prep. The Ham Hocks do need to be soaked to remove the saltiness overnight and take nearly 4 hours in the oven so you need to be home for that amount of time. Otherwise this recipe requires minimal effort. The hams steam cook for 3 hours under foil with bay, star anise and the clementines, so your kitchen will smell amazing! They’re finished off uncovered with the pomegranate glaze.
INGREDIENTS for 4-6
2 Ham Hocks, rind removed
1 tsp All Spice
4 Clementines halved
6 star anise
4 bay leaves
4 tbsp pomegranate molasses
3 tbsp brown sugar
Remove the rind if it hasn’t already been done for you. Place the Ham Hocks in a large pan or bowl & cover with water. Leave overnight.
Remove the ham hocks and dry with kitchen towel. Place them in a roasting tray and sprinkle with the All Spice, salt and pepper.
Surround the hams with the Clementines, bay and star anise.
Pour in 200ml water, cover tightly with foil and put in an oven at 160 degrees for 3 hours.
Combine the sugar & molasses in a pan & warm until the sugar melts.
Remove the tray from the oven. Squeeze the juices from the Clementines into the pan with the sugar & molasses. Combine to make a glaze.
Turn the oven up to 180. Pour the water out of the tray. Spoon half the glaze over the ham hocks & return to the oven for 30 mins uncovered. Half-way through turn the hams and spoon over the remaining glaze.
This is the perfect accompaniment to ham and leftover turkey. No cooking required, just a bit of chopping and a dressing which can be made and shaken in a jam-jar in less than a minute. ⠀
INGREDIENTS for 8 portions:-
2 carrots peeled into strips using a vegetable peeler or cut into thin batons
½ red cabbage, shredded
100g pecan nuts roughly chopped
1 fennel bulb sliced
3 Clementine broken into segments or the segments of two oranges
Bunch spring onions sliced
2 peppers, deseeded and sliced
For the dressing
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp lime juice
Mix together mix with the other salad ingredients in a large bowl. Shake all the dressing ingredients in a jam-jar.
Toss through the salad when you’re ready to eat it.
Turkey & Ham Pie
Wondering what to do with your leftover cold cuts? How about this pie? If you have both turkey and ham in the fridge then you’re sorted. If your turkey has been demolished, you could use chicken instead. And if you don’t have any cooked ham, in its place fry off some diced bacon. You can even use up your leftover gravy.
INGREDIENTS for 4-6
1 tbsp oil
750g cooked turkey
200g diced cooked ham (or use bacon if you haven’t got any ham left!)
2 leeks sliced
2 garlic cloves crushed
1 tsp dried thyme⠀
2 tbsp plain flour⠀
100ml white wine⠀
100ml leftover turkey gravy, or chicken stock
500g pack fresh puff pastry
1 egg beaten
Melt the butter and add the leeks. Soften for 5 minutes on a low heat. Add the garlic add sweat for 5 minutes more.
Add the thyme and flour and stir then pour in the wine. Add the milk and stock. Stir or whisk so you get a smooth sauce.
Add the turkey & ham and simmer for 15 minutes. Cook.
Pour the mixture into a pie dish and let it cool before adding the pastry top.
Brush the egg around the edge of the pie dish. Roll out the pastry (if use ready rolled) and lay it on top of the mixture. Press around the sides. Brush with the beaten egg and criss-cross the top with a knife. Pierce the middle to let steam out.
Put in an oven at 200 degrees for 30 mins or until the pastry is golden brown. Serve with mash and green veg.
Christmas Meringue Wreath
I’m just going to say it…..”I don’t like Christmas Pudding or Christmas Cake and I can take or leave Mince Pies”. Controversial I know! Here’s a festive dessert alternative. You can make individual meringues and arrange them as a wreath if you prefer,
6 large egg whites
350g caster sugar
600ml double cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
50g icing sugar
3 ripe figs quartered
150g fresh raspberries
White chocolate stars (available in the baking section of supermarkets)
Preheat the oven to 140C/120C Fan. On a large sheet of baking parchment, draw around a 30cm plate in the middle of the paper.
Put the egg whites into a clean mixing bowl and whisk until soft peaks are from when the whisk is lifted out. On a high speed add the caster sugar 1 tablespoon at a time (I count to ten in between each spoonful!) until the meringue mix is stiff and glossy.
Put a small amount of the meringue mix in each corner of a baking tray large enough to fit your wreath.
Lay over the baking parchment pencil mark down. You should still be able to see the circle you drew.
Spoon 10-12 balls of the meringue inside your 30cm circle to make your wreath shape. Make shallow hollows in each of the balls so the cream will sit inside after baking.
Bake the meringue for 1 hour 15 minutes.
You can turn the oven off and leave the wreath inside to cool.
Whip the cream together with the vanilla extract and icing sugar.
Spoon the cream into the hollows of meringue and decorate with the fruits and chocolate stars.