It’s the most wonderful time of the year…..! A rancid ham, beautiful turkey, a smashed tiramisu and gallons of Chianti just about sums up my intake this past Christmas but I think I just about came out on top. I nearly managed to make sprouts edible too…..a great feat for any man, maybe next year I’ll get them all the way there!
Christmas for me started on the 10th of November when I started to cure a 4 kg piece of pork leg in order to add to my very DIY Christmas. Unfortunately, 10 days later, I noticed that said leg was smelling particularly foul and had to be flung into the bin. I instead went on the hunt for a dry cured ham but after searching Kildare and Cork City I had to settle for a more standard, wet cured piece. It was delicious, maybe I was being a little too pernickety. The turkey, on the other hand, proved to be no such hassle. Cairns Farm is owned by Ali’s cousin Jo-Ann and supplied us with a beautiful 17lb Free-Range Bronze Bird.
|The main event|
|Lard Roasted Potatoes|
A couple of days before Christmas I made the Lamb’s Liver Paté for the Christmas starter while Christmas Eve was our baking day with both myself and Ali getting stuck into the desserts. My Mam cooked the ham on Christmas Eve and also made her Turkey Soup from the giblets. This left me with a manageable amount of cooking on Christmas morning. The turkey took a little under 3 hours while the lard roasted spuds and roast veg completed the oven work for the day. The traditional sprouts had to be served and so I blanched them for 5 minutes before frying them with some delicious pancetta to try and hide their sock like character….it didn’t quite work but I’d be fairly confident it would if the sprouts were chopped up before frying.
|Nearly nice sprouts|
The dessert turned out to be a bit of a disaster with my mam DROPPING the Tiramisu just before it was to be served but there was plenty of other delights to feast on! The wine flowed (a little too easily for me!) and before long the house was asleep, everyone cultivating their own little food baby.
|My “Rustic” Christmas Cake|
|Leftovers – Turkey and Ham Pie|
As well as Christmas Day, I decided I would also cook on New Years Day. I was very excited about the menu and got stuck in nice and early. The starter was wonderful. I wanted to go with fish to contrast the beef main and decided on Mussels and Prawns with Hogao Sauce. The Colombian sauce is a great accompaniment to almost anything and went down a treat. I wasn’t so lucky with the main as not only did I overcook the Beef Wellington, it also fell apart. Plenty of lessons learned here! Dessert went great though, I made another Tiramisu (which made it to the table this time) while Ali made a delicious Panettone Bread and Butter Pudding.
|Mussels and Prawns with Hogao Sauce|
Our last hurrah for this festive season was a pizza (and wine) night with our friends Anna and Pádraig. We had a lovely night to say goodbye to the most wonderful time of the year.