If there’s one thing that everyone loves about the holidays, it’s that the food is special, and you’re probably going to have to wait another 365 days to be able to experience such an epic spread. However, turkey does get a little boring – no matter how much of a classic it is.
This holiday season, if you want to impress your friends and family with your Christmas spread, you may want to check out some of these deliciously unique ideas to grace your table.
Individual Beef Wellingtons
While the beef wellington has been a classic “centerpiece” dish for many years now, the idea of a single-serving Beef Wellington has been largely popularised by none other than world-famous chef Gordon Ramsay. Imagine being able to sit down to your own delicious, golden-brown Beef Wellington. For an even more special touch, add a layer of mushrooms sautéed in truffle oil between the beef and the pastry.
When it comes to poultry dishes, everyone has their favourite part – dark or white meat. The problem comes when people start to fight over the same parts; poultry birds only have two drumsticks, after all. So why not skip all that holiday fuss and give everyone their own little poultry dish for Christmas? Quails are delicious, and are just large enough to satisfy a person for their Christmas dinner. This way, everyone gets a little bit of their favourite part.
Ballotine of Goose
Before turkey became the star of the Christmas feast, it was actually goose that was the meat of choice. However, during the 1960s, goose meat became viewed as a “commoner’s dish”, and people started to look for something more novel; thus, turkey replaced goose as the traditional Christmas meal. So if you’re looking for something that’s somewhat of a throwback to the past, consider making this delicious goose dish.
Ballotine of goose is made from using goose meat fillets, stuffing the fillets with a mixture of duck fat, pork fat, breading, foie gras and pistachios, and rolling them up before roasting them to golden perfection. This is a very rich and hearty dish – perfect for sharing with friends and family.
Holiday Roast Pork with Crackling
Pork belly is considered to be a “cheap cut” of pork, and it’s something that a lot of people don’t often think of putting in the middle of their Christmas table, but when cooked right, pork belly is tender, delicious, and certainly beats out other, more expensive cuts of pork in terms of flavour and presentation.
Here’s how to roast pork is with a little bit of roasting magic: submerge the meat in brine while in the oven to make it juicy and tender, but scour, salt, and leave the skin exposed to the heat to make it dry and crunchy. The combination of tender meat and crunchy skin makes for a delicious meal!
Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mint Jelly
For a truly rustic holiday, nothing beats a whole roasted lamb leg, surrounded by roasted root vegetables and a huge pot of mint jelly to make the table complete. The problem with roasting a leg of lamb is that it can dry out very quickly, and no one wants to chow down on a hunk of dry meat that’s well on its way to resembling cured leather.
For the most tender and juiciest leg of lamb you’ll ever taste, get the bone-in cut, skip the marinade, and let it roast slow and low in your oven. Use a meat thermometer to get to the right temperature inside the meat (which will depend on the weight of your lamb leg).