We have had a wonderful couple of days in the Flabulous household. You all know we love a good feast and let me tell you, we have sooooo feasted. But it wouldn’t have been soooo stress free without planning!!
The night before…
It all started on Christmas Eve, with me finishing up early and cracking open the office bar, mulled wine and mince pies were very much the order of the day, before heading to my local Morrison’s for my preordered lobster for our Xmas day starter.I know it’s an extravagance but it’s once a year and it is zero stress on a day when I really don’t need another course to prep.
We got home, popped on the festive music and began the preparations for my mum and brother to arrive. This very much involved getting the house decluttered, drinking sherry and making mini quiches for that evenings nibbles.
No sooner had we popped the cork on a bottle of fizz when mum knocked on the door, it was like she could hear the cork popping!! We settled them both in with a glass of fizz, and started on the nibbles. Xmas Eve is a very relaxed affair in our house with ready made food very much the order of the day so i stoked up the cooker and began to rollout the buffet!!
Preparation is key…
Whilst we tucked into our sausage rolls, prawn platter and other delectables we all got down to the reason for our little party- prepping the veggies for Xmas day. We each took a veggie and within half an hour everything was in pans and workload for the big day was halved!!
I spent the next hour just pottering, making pigs in blankets , cauliflower cheese, stuffing (I still cheat this and use a pack and then add in sausage meet) and cranberry sauce, whilst boiling up the giblets for the next days gravy, all the while making a dent in the port and watching naff films – all in all a perfect evening.
The big day…
Xmas morning it was all about the bacon butties and tea- yes we had planned on smoked salmon & scrambled eggs but we had all had a bit of a heavy night so felt the need for something a little more hearty. At the same time I put the oven on in preparation for my foolproof 4 hour plan!!
- Once breakfast was out of the way I turned the oven on
- I then dried off the turkey, which had been brining a la Nigella for a couple of days
- I then stuffed its neck with some of the stuffing I made, popped in an orange and some herbs to the other end and smothered with streaky bacon
- I rested it on a trivet of veggies, (carrots and onions) and popped into my preheated oven.
- I then set the alarm for an hour.
All in all about 10 mins work!!
- At the end of the first hour I rest the alarm for another hour, checked the turkey, popped on some foil
- I also boiled my spuds and parsnips for 15 minutes before draining, shaking vigorously to fluff them then steaming under a tea towel.
About 10 mins actual work!!
- At the end of the second hour I took the foil off
- I added in the tray of stuffing, pigs in blankets and cauliflower cheese to the oven.
- At this point I also put the Xmas pudding on to steam.
- Then I set the alarm for 40 mins after which I took out the stuffing, piggies and cauliflower cheese, leaving these on a heated platter under foil,
- I then added a tray of goose fator oil into the oven to heat.
- I then upped the heat and set the alarm for a further 20 mins.
About 10 minutes work!!
- At the third alarm I took the turkey out and set aside on a platter under foil.
- I then carefully added the potatoes and parsnips into the hot goose fat and into oven
- I then steam the prepped veggies and set the alarm for 20 minutes
- I added the giblet stock I made the night before to the turkey pan, leaving in the trivet veggies & adding a glug of sherry and put on the heat.
- When the alarm went off I moved the veggies to serving platters and left them in the grill to keep warm
- Lastly I strained the gravy into a saucepan with some of the veggie steam water and some bisto, leaving it to reduce on a slow simmer till we were ready to eat.
All in all about 30 minutes work
At this point you have about 30 minutes till your roasties are ready so we sat down to our lobster and champagne starter. Once we polished this off we could smell that the potatoes were ready!! So whilst my family cleared the starters and recharged the glasses I got the platters out, carved the turkey and served up the perfect no hassle Xmas main course!!!
After we had eaten I simply turned the steamer off and we had a break before tucking into Nigellas Flabulous Xmas pudding (so light yet filling) with brandy cream and custard…