With Christmas dinner days away it’s time to start planning those all-important trimmings. If you’ve been lucky enough to nab yourself a Swillington organic turkey, you’ve already secured the star of the show. But there are dozens of different ways make it shine.
(Need some tips for preparing yours? Check out this previous blog on preparing your turkey)
Every family has their favourite trimmings, but it’s still nice to add something new into the mix every now and again. We’ve pulled together these festive food ideas for a bit of last minute inspiration…
1. Add pancetta to your turkey crown
Layering pancetta across your turkey crown is a brilliant idea for three main reasons. First of all, it helps keep your turkey meat nice and tender. Second, it adds a delicious salty, crispy layer to every slice of breast. And thirdly, well, it’s pancetta, isn’t it? What doesn’t taste better with pancetta?
2. Save your meat juice for the gravy
If you don’t already do this, it’s time to start. Whatever meat you’re serving, (aside from especially fatty cuts like sausages and bacon) cooking it will give out juices packed full of flavour that can help your meal truly sing. Pouring it away is sacrilege.
Towards the end of your meat roast, pour or spoon the juices from the tray into a measuring jug where you’ll be able to remove any debris and spoon off the surface fat. Then simply add a generous glug to your gravy to take it from good to glorious, in a matter of seconds.
3. Serve braised red cabbage – with any centrepiece
Red cabbage might be something you have with every Sunday roast, or you may have never have tried it before. Either way, it’s a side that brings any roast alive, be it veggie, turkey or a red meat joint.
Over a couple of hours braise the cabbage with finely chopped onion and apple, honey, cider vinegar and olive oil. Once complete, the cabbage is tenderised, juicy and packed full of deep, rich flavour. It’s the perfect accompaniment for Christmas dinner and every meal in the days following. There’s a braised red cabbage recipe idea here from delicious living, with optional currents.
4. Spruce up your sprouts with bacon and chestnuts
Whether you love them or hate them, there’s no doubting that sprouts are vastly improved with the right dressings. A great recipe will maximise the flavour for those who love them and mask it for any sprout haters.
The tried and tested method is with bacon and nuts. Brown your par-boiled sprouts in a frying pan with butter, crispy chopped bacon, sliced chestnuts, seasoning and a little stock. Serve them hot, buttery and with a little crunch for winning results.
5. Make meaty sausage stuffing
Christmas is primarily about excess (aside from peace, love etc.) and nothing says excess more than including extra, un-necessary ingredients just because you can. Sausage meat in your stuffing is one such joy.
Stuffing is the salty, stodgy counterpart to your veg based trimmings and sausage meat helps to enhance both its texture and flavour. Check out this recipe for sausage, sage and onion stuffing which arguably could be your Christmas dinner all by itself.
6. Serve sloe gin cranberry sauce
This incredibly easy cranberry sauce recipe is a nice twist on the traditional dish and adds a healthy dose of booze to your trimmings selection. Simply add 60g brown sugar, 100ml sloe gin and 4 juniper berries to 250g of cranberries and simmer for 5 minutes. Cool and then it’s done!
These are a few of our tasty festive picks and it’s by no means an exhaustive list! We hope you have a fantastic time cooking and eating all your Christmas food and we look forward to sharing more of our seasonal organic produce with you in the new year.