How to cook your christmas meat

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  • 1. stuffed turkey breast or leg 2. whole turkey3. turkey crown 4. spiced beef 5. gammon 6. goose7. duck

    cooking your Christmas meat

    The cooking time can vary considerably depending on your oven, so check the juices

    carefully to make sure they are thoroughly cooked. Allow the joints to rest for 10-12

    mins before carving. Good with bread sauce see our website for the recipe.

    stuffed breastprep: 5 mins cook: 65 mins approx, depending on your oven

    stuffed legprep: 5 mins cook: 90 mins approx, depending on your oven

    stuffed turkey breast or leg

    Preheat the oven to 180C. Calculate

    the cooking time on the basis of 15

    mins/450g + 15 mins. Place in a

    roasting tray, brush with melted butter,

    season lightly and transfer to the oven.

    Roast for the calculated cooking time,

    then test with a skewer. If the juices

    run pink, return it to the oven for a

    further 10 mins, then test again. Repeat

    asnecessary.

    Preheat the oven to 180C. Calculate

    cooking time on the basis of 20

    mins/450g + 20 mins. Place in a

    roasting tray, brush with melted butter,

    season lightly and transfer to the oven.

    Roast for the calculated cooking time,

    then test with a skewer. If the juices

    run pink, return it to the oven for a

    further 10 mins, then test again. Repeat

    asnecessary.

  • Remove the giblets as soon as the

    turkey arrives and freeze them

    (remember to defrost them to make

    stock for your gravy).

    Allow your turkey as much air as

    possible, preferably by untying it to let

    air into the cavity.

    Remove your turkey from the fridge

    several hours before cooking to get it

    to room temperature.

    Make sure your turkey isnt too

    tightly trussed if the legs are held

    tightly to the bird it will increase the

    cookingtime.

    If your turkey has been frozen it

    must be completely defrosted before

    cooking, with no sign of ice in

    thecavity.

    Dont use the cavity space for stuffing

    it slows down the cooking, absorbs the

    fat and will mess up the gravy. Instead

    use the neck cavity for stuffing.

    Remove cooked leftovers from the

    carcass and put them in the fridge as

    soon as possible. Eat within two days.

    If you cook with leftover turkey, make

    sure it is piping hot.

    tips

    A large turkey is difficult to balance on domestic kitchen scales, but your bird

    will have its total weight printed on the label, so remove the giblets, weigh them

    separately and deduct their weight from the total. Once you have the birds weight

    you will also need to add the weight of your stuffing (if using) to get the right

    cooking time.

    whole turkey

    weighing your turkey

  • how to cookprep: 15 mins cook: 45 mins/kg (or 40 mins fan-assisted oven) + 30 mins resting time

    you will need50g melted butter

    1 lemon, quartered

    1 large onion, peeled & quartered

    450g stuffing a generous sprig of herbs (bay,

    thyme, rosemary, sage etc)

    Preheat the oven to 190C. Remove

    the giblets if you didnt remove them

    on arrival (keep them for your turkey

    stock). Lift the flap of skin at the neck

    end and pack in your stuffing, then pull

    back the skin and secure under the bird,

    using wooden cocktail sticks if necessary.

    Season the main cavity, then push in

    the quartered lemon, onion and herbs.

    Transfer to a large roasting tin, breast-

    side-up and brush the breast and legs

    with the melted butter before seasoning.

    Cover the whole bird loosely with foil to

    protect the skin from over-browning, and

    transfer to the oven for the calculated

    time. Every hour, baste with its juices,

    replacing the foil before returning to

    the oven. 30 mins before the end of the

    cooking time, remove the foil to allow

    the skin to brown up. At the end of

    the cooking time, check if the meat is

    thoroughly cooked by inserting a carving

    fork into the thickest area of both breast

    and thighs. If the juices run pink, return

    to the oven for a further 15 mins before

    testing again. Repeat until the juices

    run clear. Once your turkey is cooked,

    cover with foil again and leave to rest

    for 20-30 mins. This will make it more

    succulent and easier to carve and dont

    worry, your turkey will stay hot for an

    hour after leaving the oven.

    turkey crownThe quick and easy option. Remove from the fridge at least half an hour before

    cooking. Roast at 200C for 20 mins, then 30 mins per kg at 170C. Try spreading a

    parsley, thyme and lemon zest herb butter under the skin.

  • spiced beef

    There are two options for cooking your

    joint: poached in barely simmering

    water or baked in a low oven.

    Your joint will bear traces of curing

    spices, so to avoid a gritty result you

    may want to rinse it in cold water and

    pat dry before cooking.

    Cook the beef slowly and gently for the

    most tender result.

    Once cooled, weigh the beef down by

    placing a chopping board or plate over

    it with 1-2kg on top (bags of sugar

    work well). Do this overnight in the

    fridge, then wrap the joint tightly in

    clingfilm. This makes it easier to cut it

    into wafer-thin slices when it comes to

    serving.

    You could add a bottle of Guinness to

    the poaching water for extra flavour.

    tips

    prep: 10 mins

    cook: 3 hours plus overnight pressing

    poaching methodPlace the joint in a saucepan (one that

    fits it fairly snugly) and cover with fresh

    water to 2-4cm above the top of the

    beef. Bring very gently to a bare simmer

    (the surface should not be bubbling) and

    cook like this for 3 hours, by which time

    the meat will be tender. If the liquid

    level drops, replace with more water

    so it is always covered. Remove from

    the cooking liquid and rest for an hour,

    before pressing overnight in the fridge as

    describedabove.

    baking methodPreheat the oven to 150C. Place the

    joint in a snug-fitting casserole or deep

    ovenproof dish, add 250ml water and

    seal tightly with a double layer of foil

    tucked firmly around the edges. Transfer

    to the oven for 3 hours, until the meat

    is tender. Discard the liquid and allow

    to rest for an hour, before pressing

    overnight in the fridge as described

    above.

    to serveSlice very thinly and serve as you would ham; its excellent with pickles or

    horseradish and apple sauce see our website for the recipe.

  • gammontips

    There are two basic cooking methods:

    simmering or baking. Use whichever

    fits your cooking schedule. Both

    involve a final blast in the oven to give

    the gammon a classic golden glaze.

    Though our gammon is not excessively

    salty, it is worth soaking it for 8-10

    hours in cold water before cooking,

    discarding the soaking water at

    the end. Alternatively, if youre

    reading this the day you want to

    cook your gammon, place the joint

    in a pan of cold water, bring to a

    simmer and discard the water before

    furthercooking.

    If you are poaching your gammon

    it must be in barely simmering

    (not boiling) water; 85C is the

    perfecttemperature.

    If you are serving the gammon hot,

    allow the joint to rest for 30-40 mins

    before carving. If you want to eat it

    cold, allow it to cool slowly, before

    putting in the fridge (this could take

    several hours for a large joint it may

    need overnight).

  • baking your gammonprep: 5 mins

    cook: 55 mins/kg + 30 mins (this includes glazing time)

    Calculate your total baking time and

    preheat the oven to 170C. Place the

    gammon in a large roasting tray lined

    with foil; pleat 2 lengths together if

    necessary. Lift the ends up and over the

    joint so that the whole thing is protected

    and loosely tented by the foil. Transfer to

    the oven and remove 30 mins before the

    end of the cooking time. Now follow the

    glazing instructions.

    poaching your gammonprep: 20 mins cook: 20 mins/500g once the water is simmering + 30 mins in the oven to glaze

    you will need1 large onion, peeled & quartered

    2 leeks, trimmed & halved

    2 carrots, peeled

    2 celery sticks

    2 bay leaves

    10 peppercorns

    enough water to cover (or apple juice/cider)

    Calculate your total cooking time. Place the gammon in a large but close-fitting

    pot with a trivet or upside-down saucer underneath to keep it off the bottom of the

    pan. Cover with cold water and add the vegetables, bay and peppercorns, before

    slowly bringing to the boil. Once boiling, lower to a bare simmer (timing the

    cooking from the moment it comes to the boil), skim away any scum and replace

    the water as necessary to keep the joint covered. The surface should at no point be

    bubbling; you are aiming to poach very gently at the barest simmer. At the end of

    the cooking time, carefully remove the joint from the cooking liquor. Now follow the

    glazinginstructions.

  • Allow the gammon to cool enough to let you lift the skin with a thin-bladed knife

    and separate it from the joint without removing the layer of fat underneath (take

    your time to do this).