With christmas less than 2 weeks away and the melbourne weather warming up, I thought I would put some traditional australian recipes up for the big day.
We celebrate christmas at my house again this year, partly because my parents don’t put a christmas tree up anymore. So besides being busy with making christmas crackers and wrapping presents, I also have to work out what we are eating for the day. Even though it is usually a hot day, we still like to have the traditional turkey and ham. So the first recipe is for a beautifully cooked turkey.
- 5-6kg turkey
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- 185ml (3/4 cup) chicken stock
- 160g (8 tbs) butter
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 3 tbs chopped fresh sage
- 1/2 cup of flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tbs chopped fresh thyme
- 8 cups fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 lemon, rind grated
- Grated fresh nutmeg
- 175g craisins
- 125ml (1/2 cup) port
- Zest and juice of a large orange
- 1/2 cup redcurrant jelly
- 2 tbs plain flour
- 225ml red wine
- 600ml chicken or turkey stock
- 3 tbs redcurrant jelly
- Salt and cracked black pepper to season
- Related Recipes
- Step 1To make the stuffing, place chicken stock in a saucepan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low and leave at a simmer.
- Step 2Melt the butter in a large frying pan over low heat. Add onion and celery and cook, stirring to prevent catching, for 6-8 minutes. Add herbs and cook for a further minute.
- Step 3Remove from heat and place in a large bowl. Add breadcrumbs and rind and stir to combine. Add only enough stock to the mixture to soften, then season well with salt, pepper and some nutmeg.
- Step 4Set aside to cool completely then use to stuff turkey. Preheat oven to 190°C. Grease a large roasting pan, smear the turkey breast all over with the butter and cover legs loosely with foil. Roast for 31/2-4 hours, basting every 30 minutes. Remove the foil in the last 30 minutes of cooking. Set aside for 20 minutes to rest (reserving the pan juices to make the gravy) before serving.
- Step 5Meanwhile, to make the cranberry sauce, place a 175g packet of craisins in a medium bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for 30 minutes. Drain the craisins and place in a saucepan. Add 1/2 cup port, the zest and juice from one large orange and 1/2 cup redcurrant jelly. Simmer for 6-8 minutes over low heat until thickened. Set aside to cool.
- Step 6To make the gravy, place a pan with the reserved pan juices from the turkey over low heat. Add two tablespoons plain flour and cook, stirring, until golden. Add 225ml red wine and 600ml chicken or turkey stock and bring to the boil, whisking until thick. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Step 7Whisk in three tablespoons of redcurrant jelly, season well with salt and cracked black pepper and serve with the turkey and cranberry sauce and bay-wrapped prunes in bacon (see related recipes).
Potato salad recipe
Potato salad is always a hit at barbecues but why not make some to serve with dinner, too? This tangy recipe with a dressing made from mustard, relish and garlic salt will wow the taste buds and satisfy hungry hordes.
- 5 potatoes
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3 shallots
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup sweet pickle relish
- 1/4 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp celery salt
- 1 tblsp prepared mustard
- ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 15 minutes.
Drain, cool, peel and chop.
Place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water.
Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes.
Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.
In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, relish, garlic salt, celery salt, mustard, pepper and mayonnaise.
Mix together well and refrigerate until chilled.
Christmas-style coleslaw recipe
This easy to prepare, tasty coleslaw salad looks very pretty on the Christmas table with its multi-coloured ribbons of cabbage. Mixed with a tangy mustard dressing, this is always a popluar salad.
- 500g wedge green cabbage
- 350g purple or red cabbage
- 1 carrot, grated
- 1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Finely slice cabbage and place in a large salad bowl. Add grated carrot.
To make dressing, combine all ingredients in a glass jar with a screw top lid and shake well.
Toss dressing through salad just before serving.
- I must confess I get stomach cramps just looking at raw cabbage! However, it is an easy to prepare and tasty salad that will feed the Christmas-day horde. And look at all the pretty colours of Christmas in the salad bowl!
- I used my vegetable peeler to ‘grate’ the carrot into nice long strips.
- The salad can be made hours in advance, kept covered in the fridge, with the dressing added just before serving.
- 1/2 leg ham
- 20-30 whole cloves
- 250g fine-cut marmalade
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup (60ml) brandy
- 1 tsp arrowroot
- Step 1Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- Step 2Remove the skin only from the ham, trying not to remove any fat. Using a sharp knife, cut the fat into a criss-cross pattern.
- Step 3Place a whole clove into the centre of each diamond, pushing in well.
- Step 4Put the marmalade, mustard and brandy in a saucepan over low heat, whisking gently until the marmalade dissolves. Continue to cook for a further 5-6 minutes or until the mixture is slightly reduced.
- Step 5Mix the arrowroot with a little cold water, add to the glaze and cook for another 1-2 minutes, stirring until thick. Set aside for 15 minutes to cool.
- Step 6Use a large pastry brush to brush the glaze all over the ham, making sure all the fat is covered.
- Step 7Line a baking dish with baking paper, sit the ham in the dish and cook for 15 minutes. The edges should just be tinged golden. Remove and slice to serve warm or cold.
There are numerous other dishes that I could include, but the list would go on forever. Next a traditional recipe for fruit mince tarts..
Fruit mince tarts recipe
These traditional little pies are a Christmas staple for many people. This fruit mince tart is a super easy recipe with no rolling the pastry or fancy cutting. Using a jar of fruit mince will get them on the table fast and give you more time to sip champagne!
- 225g cold butter, cubed
- 350g plain flour, sifted
- 100g castor sugar
- 1 jar Robertson’s fruit mince
- 1 egg, beaten
- icing sugar to dust
In a bowl, rub the butter through the flour and then add the sugar and a pinch of salt.Gently knead.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Set aside a 12 cup muffin tin.
Place golf ball sized pieces of the dough in each cup and spread to the edges.
Spoon the fruit mince into the cups. Take smaller pieces of the dough and pat into circles large enough to make lids.
Place them on the cups and pinch together the edges. Brush with beated egg and bake for 20 minutes.
Sprinkle icing sugar over the tops when done.
And we cannot forget the christmas pudding, best served with custard..
1 3/4 lb (920g) mixed dried fruit
4oz (125g) shredded dried peel
3 tablespoons rum
8oz (250g) butter
8oz (250g) brown sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 medium size grated carrot
1 small grated apple
4oz (125g) breadcrumbs
2oz (60g) chopped blanched almonds
6oz (185g) plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon allspice
(At least a day before you’d like to make the pudding, cover a tray with the dried fruits and sprinkle with the rum. – this is not in the recipe – this is something I’ve watched mum do every year … the longer you can soak the fruits – days or weeks or even months – the better the pudding will be)
Cream butter and brown sugar, then add orange and lemon rinds. Beat in eggs one at a time and mix well. Mix in dried fruits, and grated carrot and apple. Fold in the breadcrumbs, almonds and other dry ingredients. (this is where the original recipe in mum’s hand written book says to add the rum). Mix together well and allow to stand for at least an hour.
Fill into a greased pudding bowl. Tie floured pudding cloth securely over the top. (mum uses a layer of baking paper, and a layer of aluminium foil tied around the rim of the pudding bowl – and over the top only). Plunge into boiling water and boil rapidly for 5 hours. Top up the boiling water in the pan as required.
On the day, boil 2 to 2 1/2 hours before serving.
I hope everyone enjoys these recipes…