30 Dec 2020



With this 2020 year almost to a close Christmas is more special than ever, learning not taking people we love for granted and to just be there and not being able to hug my parents or friends for 10 months now has taught me that I do need hugs and real face to face time with people, whereas I honestly thought as long as we can zoom and talk on the phone that’s the same, it’s better than expected but seeing someone’s face and smile with a hug is so much more precious.

So my family had a very quite Christmas this year with no additional family or friends, just us three, but with no effort spared, we did all the same rituals as always, this year we all went outside at 6pm on Christmas Eve and rung our bells for all the children so that they could hear the Christmas Spirit, Our son left carrots and reindeer magic dust on the lawn for Santa to find his way here, we then as a family prepared all the vegetables and brined the turkey ready for the big day, set the table and got out all the serving dishes and spoons, gravy and sauce jugs so that everything was set to hand, it was most probably the easiest Christmas dinner we have ever cooked, seamless, yet will still cooked the same amount as usual!

Brand new Christmas Pyjamas for the whole day YES !  

Easiest Ever Christmas Day Turkey Step by Step Timmings
What a wonderful day and what a wonderful meal that brings everyone who celebrates Christmas the whole world over together all on this day sharing great food and creating more family memories making this day quite magical indeed.  There is no need to be shackled to the kitchen cooker all day, you can easily navigate your cooking times around a slow roasting long resting turkey that means you can serve a most moist perfect turkey with all the trimmings and have still spent your day with everyone too.

Easiest Ever Christmas Cooking Guide Below...Enjoy The Day...

Prep ahead time 30-45minutes (90 minutes with Prosecco 😃) / On the day oven cooking time 3 hrs / 1 hr hands on/off for the trimmings

(Serves 8)

8kg / 19lbs  high animal welfare bronze turkey
10 mins per lb cooking time + 11/2 hrs resting time
(lots for left overs)
2 packs butter
4 set of giblets
(for the gravy)
Serve with all the usual trimmings
Brussel sprouts
Goose fat roasted potatoes 
Bacon wrapped chipolatas
Sage onion stuffing
Roasted parsnips
Cranberry sauce

Cooking The Perfect Turkey
I always brine my turkey it guarantees a most juicy succulent turkey.
The night before fill a large pan of plastic tub that fits in your fridge, you may have to remove shelves!  Place 4 litres of cold water, 1cup of Himalayan sea salt and 6 peppercorns, stir until the salt has dissolved, add the whole turkey minus and giblets that may be in the cavity to the brine, submerged as much as possible, cover and keep in the fridge overnight.

Christmas morning 10am take your turkey and carefully using the back of a spoon or your hand lift the breast skin away from the meat, be extra careful not to tear the skin, slice the butter in to half inch thick slices and place the slices of butter under the skin all over the turkey breasts.  Keep covered but leave on the worktop to come up in temperature for a maximum of two hours before cooking.

Christmas morning bring the turkey out of the fridge for a couple of hours before ready to start cooking to come up to room temperature, this lowers the cooking time and encourages a juicy turkey.  Pre heat your oven to 200 C, place the turkey in a deep roasting tin and place in the oven in covered for 30 minutes to brown off the skin, once browned cover the turkey well in foil, turn the oven down to 150 C and leave the turkey to cook for the remainder of the cooking time, around 3 hours in total.  Once your turkey has reached 65 C remove from the oven and leave covered to rest. 

That's it turkey done!

The Christmas Dinner Cooking Schedule
Serving Dinner at 4pm

10am Turkey out to come up to room temperature
11am Pre heat oven 220 C
11.30am Turkey in to brown off for 30 minutes (turn the oven down to 200 C)
12pm Turn oven down to 150 C, Cover turkey in foil 
1.30pm TURKEY OUT leave covered to rest (turkey temperature thickest part 64 C)
2.30pm Par boil potatoes 15 minutes only, drain and fluff up
3pm Roast potatoes tossed in goose fat in to oven
3.30pm Pigs in blankets in to roast
3.30pm Sausage meat stuffing balls in to bake
3.40pm Brussels sprouts on to boil
3.45pm Pour of turkey resting juices add to gravy stock bring to simmer
3.55pm Carve turkey, serve up platters of roast potatoes, sausages, stuffing and sprouts, mugs of gravy.

Check list
Turkey, Roast Potatoes, Pigs in Blankets, Stuffing, Sprouts, Gravy

Christmas Eve Prep Ahead

1 knob of butter
1 dash of olive oil 
1 onion chopped
2 carrots chopped
2 sticks celery chopped
Turkey giblets
2 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
200ml dry white wine
2 ltrs water

In a large pan melt the butter and olive oil together, soften the onion, carrot and celery then add the giblets, bay and peppercorns and cook for 10 minutes then add the wine and reduce by half.  Add 2 litres of water and simmer for an hour or so until the stock has reduced by half.  You should be left with approx 1000ml.  This is your base for the most awesome gravy.

On the day pour off all the resting juices from the turkey pan, leave to settle and remove most of the top fat layer, add to your prepped ahead gravy stock above, place in a saucepan and bring to a simmer reducing to thicken, if you want a thicker gravy whisk in some equally smushed together flour and butter roux to thicken, check for seasoning and serve.


A simple and beautiful recipe for a Christmas WoW dish, a decadent side of salmon cured with Himalayan sea salt, sugar, crushed coriander seeds, orange zest, grated raw beetroot and black pepper giving a beautiful deep red layered colour tailing off to the natural red orange colour of the salmon as you carve each thin slice.  Simple serve with fresh baked sour dough, fresh cucumber slices and maybe a little creme fraiche flavoured with fresh dill.

(serves 15)

1 whole side fresh Wild Alaskan salmon
The Cure
150g Himalayan sea salt 
150g white sugar
1 tbsp coriander seeds crushed
6 black peppercorns crushed
Zest 2 oranges
2 large raw beetroots grated

Combine all the cure ingredients in a large bowl and leave to marinate for 10 minutes, lay your salmon on a shallow baking tray, cover the top of the salmon throughly with the beetroot cure, cover with cling film and then place a second baking tray on top of the salmon and weight the tray down with a brick wrapped in foil or a heavy saucepan with some tins inside for extra weight.

Cure in the fridge for 24 hours.  Remove all the beetroot cure give the salmon a really quick rinse and pat dry with paper towel, serve sliced thin on a platter with sour dough bread, cucumber slices and a dill creme fraiche.

24 Dec 2020


Love love love this time of the year when everyone makes that extra special effort and all the lovely warm aromatic spices come out to play, I love to make my christmas mincemeat a few months before I am going to need it so that the warm brandy and mixed spiced oranges can work their christmas magic in creating the most sumptuous rich decadent boozy brandy orange spiced mince pies.

Glorious Old Fashioned Mince Pies


Old fashioned short crust flakey pastry
 450g plain flour
110g cold lard diced
100g cold butter grated
180ml ice cold water
1 lrg pinch of salt
1 beaten egg wash
100g light brown sugar

The Boozy Mincemeat
5 kilner or glass storage jars
1ltr lady or earl grey tea
500g currants
500g raisins
500g sultanas
400g suet
1/2 bottle of good brandy
100ml orange liqueur 
250g citrus peel
2 oranges zest and juice
500g soft dark brown sugar
2 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground ginger

In a large bowl add the currants, sultanas, raisins, citrus peel, orange zest, juice, mixed spice, ginger, and the hot tea, mix well, cover and leave over night if you can for the fruit to absorb all the liquid.  Next add the fruit mix to a large saucepan along with any liquid that is left in the bottom of the bowl, add approximately a third of the bottle of brandy, orange liqueur and the sugar, bring to a bubbling simmer and reduce until you have a thick syrupy glaze, when you can drag your wooden spoon through the fruit and you can momentarily see the bottom of the pan it is reduced enough, remove from the heat and add a generous glug of brandy and the orange liqueur, stir in and leave to one side to cool down slightly.

Once your fruit mix is only just warm, add the suet and stir in, then heat your oven to 200 degrees, pop your sterilised (basically super clean and dry) jars and lids into the oven for 5-7 minutes to sterlize, remove your jars from the oven and fill with your gorgeous boozey orange mincemeat pie filling, I like to finish off the filled jar with another wallop of brandy or flavoured liqueur at this point, seal the lids and leave to mature for a couple of weeks or months, these make great christmas gifts and awesome mince pies for friends and family.

To make this great pastry place the flour and salt in a large bowl, add the cold grated butter and cut through with a knife, add the cold cubed lard and roughly rub into the flour, you don't want a breadcrumb texture you want large rough chunks of lard as this will melt during baking creating lovely airy flakey pockets.  Add the water and bring together to loosely form a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for half an hour before using.

Roll out the pastry and using a scone cutter cut out all your circles then either place a generous spoonful of your gorgeous mincemeat in the centre of the circle, egg wash the sides and then pop another circle on top and gently push the edges together, these are old fashioned flying saucer mince pies, alternatively you can line a muffin tin and make mini mince pies, why not get creative by cutting out a star or heart from the top of the pastry lid.   

Egg wash the tops, sprinkle with light brown sugar and bake at 200 degrees for around 15 minutes, then share with friends, family and neighbours.