Delicious Mains for Your Christmas Lunch part Deux

Thursday 15 December 2011

Source: via Sally on Pinterest

With only 10 days left beforethe big day it's down to crunch time for most of us. I wanted to share the second part of my delicious alternate mains with you today.

These are somewhat traditional but each has a bit of an interesting twist added . . . all are, once again, simple and easy to execute, oh . . . and quite, quite delicious!

*Herb Crusted Rib of Beef*
Serves 6
Printable Recipe

In my opinion the rib of beef is the tastiest cut. This recipe provides for a tasty herbed crust and a delicious red wine sauce for serving.

For the herb crust:
4 slices of sturdy bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
2 large handfuls of flat leaf parsley
1 TBS fresh thyme leaves
2 TBS olive oil

For the beef and sauce:
a six bone standing rib beef roast (3.5 kg or 7 lb. 14 ounces) trimmed of any excess fat
3 cloves of garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1 1/4 inch pieces
1 leek, white part only, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 celery stalk, trimmed and cut into 2 inch lengths
6 garlic cloves, peeled
2 TBS olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
60g Dijon mustard (1/4 cup)
2 bay leaves, torn
250ml red wine (1 cup. Always use a wine that you would enjoy drinking!)
500ml of chicken stock ( 2 cups)

Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.

Remove the beef from the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before cooking. Cut narrow slits with a sharp knife in between the rib bones and slice the garlic slivers into these.

To make the herb crust, place all the crust ingredients into a food processor and blend until finely chopped and well combines. Set aside.

Scatter the carrot, leek, onion, celery and peeled garlic on the bottom of a roasting tin. Place the roast beef on top. Drizzle with the oil and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roast for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and spread the fat surface with the mustard. Press the herb crust onto this. Reduce the oven temperature to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Return the beef to the oven and roast for a further 1 1/2 to 2 hours for medium doneness, based on cooking for 20 minutes per 500g (1 lb 2 ounces) of meat. Transfer to a place, cover loosely with foil and let rest in a warm place for at least 20 minutes.

To prepare the red wine sauce,lace the roasting tin on top of the stove over medium heat. Add the bayleaves and wine, scraping any residue up from the bottom along with any caramelized vegetables. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to 80ml or 1/3 cup. Add the stock and any meat juices which have collected on the plate where your meat is resting. Bring to the simmer and cook for about 10 minutes or until reduced in half. Strain into a serving jug, discarding any solids. Cover and keep warm until ready to serve.

Slice the beef into six ribs and serve on heated plates along with your desired vegetables and the red wine sauce.

*Mustard and Orange Glazed Ham*
Serves 12
Printable Recipe

I don't know anyone who is not fond of glazed ham. It's pretty and tastes fabulous. It's also really easy to do, and the leftovers are great served cold as well as in sandwiches and casseroles.

6 kg cooked ham (13 1/2 pounds)
250ml of freshly squeezed orange juice (1 cup)
140g of soft light brown sugar (3/4 cup packed)
1 TBS Dijon mustard
175g honey (1/2 cup)
2 tsp soy sauce
2 TBS Grand Marnier
whole cloves

Preheat the oven to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6.

Combine the orange juice, sugar, mustard, honey, soy sauce and Grand Marnier in a bowl, mixing all together well.

Using a small sharp knife, cut through the rind around the shank end of the ham. Remove by running your thumb around the edge of the cut under the rind, and then easing your hand in between the rind and the fat. Carefully lift the rind from the fat in one piece. Score diagonal cuts into the fat at 1 1/2 inch intervals, forming a diamond pattern. (Try not to cut all the way though to the ham.) Spread half of the glaze over the ham with a palette knife and press a whole clove into the centre of each diamond.

Place the ham, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting tin and pour the water into the roasting tin. Cover securely with a layer of foil (make sure it doesn't touch the ham). Roast for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush with the remaining glaze. Increase the oven temperature to 201*C/415*F/ gas mark 6 -7. Bake uncovered for about 20 minutes longer, or until the surface is lightly caramelized and the ham is golden brown. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

*Roast Loin of Pork with a Gingered Fruit Compote*
serves 6
Printable Recipe

Succulent pork with crisp crackling and a delicious fig and ginger compote on the side.

1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 tsp sea salt
2 kg pork loin (4 1/2 pounds)
500ml chicken stock (2 cups)

For the compote:
1 TBS olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 TBS fresh ginger, cut into thin matchsticks
125ml of medium dry sherry (1/2 cup)
8 dried figs, finely diced
80g soft light brown sugar (1/3 cup packed)
1 tsp ground allspice
125ml of water (1/2 cup)
1 TBS balsamic vinegar.

Preheat the oven to 220*C/425*F/ gas mark 7.

Lightly crush the cumin, fennel and coriander seeds with a pestal and mortar or the back of a knife. Rub them all over the pork. and put the pork onto a rack in a roasting tin. Pour the chicken stock into the bottom. Bake for 20 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4. Cook for a further 1 3/4 hours, or until a skewer inserted into the thickest portion of the roast produces clear juices. Cover loosely with foil and allow to rest in a warm place for 20 minutes.

To make the fig and ginger compote, heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the onion and ginger and cook over medium heat until the onion is softened without browning. Pour in the sherry and cook for about 5 minutes, until reduced. Add the figs, sugar, allspice and the water. Cook and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until reduced and syrupy.

Slice the pork to serve and pass the compote.

*Roast Turkey with Sage and Onion Butter*
Serves 8 with leftovers
Printable Recipe

Moist and delicious turkey with traditional flavours.

15 1/2 pound fresh turkey
2 onions, peeled and halved
1 lemon quartered
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 ounces soft butter (a generous 1/4 cup)
3 TBS finely chopped fresh sage
2 TBS plain flour
200ml (7 fluid ounces) Marsala wine
(can use Madiera)
14 to 18 fluid ounces of hot chicken stock (a generous 2 cups)
1 dessertspoon of cranberry jelly

Heat the oven to 170*C/325*F/gas mark 304. Place the turkey in a large roasting tin. Tuck 3 of the onion halves and the lemon into the cavity. Season inside well with salt and pepper. Cover the roasting tin tightly with foil, making sure you leave plenty of space for the air to circulate around the turkey, but making sure the foil is tightly placed so that no steam can escape. Roast for 4 hours.

While the turkey is roasting, finely chop the remaining onion half and mix it with the butter and sage. Remove the turkey at the end of the 4 hours. Increase the oven temperature to 200*C/400*F/ gas mark 6. Brush the turkey all over with the sage and onion butter. Return to the oven and roast for an additional 45 minutes, uncovered, until crisp and golden brown. Transfer to a serving platter and loosely tent with foil to keep warm. Allow to rest for half an hour while you make the gravy.

Tip the juices out of the pan into a bowl. Allow to settle. Skim any fat off the top, reserving 2 TBS of it. Place the 2 TBS of fat back in the roasting tin. Place the tin over medium low heat. Cook and stir to scrap up the solids from the bottom. Stir in the flour, continuing to scrape the bottom of the pan for about 2 minutes. Add the marsala or Madiera and bring to the boil. Measure the reserved turkey juices. You should have about 500ml (about 2 cups). Make up with hot chicken stock to give you the required amount. Pour into the tin with the cooked flour. Cook and stir, bringing it to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for several minutes, then whisk in the cranberry jelly. Keep warm until ready to serve.

Tommorrow, we'll do Vegetarian Alternatives!

*¨`*. Stay Tuned! .*¨`*

Over in The Cottage today a delicious Portugese Gumdrop Cake, a real Christmas tradition in our home and family.


  1. THANK YOU! Thank you, Thank you.
    Tomorrow I'll order our roast. It's going to break the food budget but it will be worth it! : )

  2. now thats one delicous post!


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