If you don't fancy tucking into a Turkey on Christmas day, our friends at Wolverhampton magazine have looked at some of the best recipes for the big day - without a turkey insight.
Fillet of beef slow roasted in bay leaves with creamed savoy cabbage with chestnuts, cauliflower puree, confit potatoes and red wine jus.
Trim a fillet of beef bought from your butcher and place a handful of bay leaves on a large piece of cling film. Wrap the meat tightly in the cling film and place on a baking tray – don’t worry, the cling film won’t burn or melt. In an oven pre-heated to 70C, cook the beef for two hours or until the temperature of the meat is 50C when probed with a meat thermometer. The beef will be perfectly cooked and nice and pink. Peel and cut potatoes to size – using one potato per person. Place them in a large pan, add a sprig of rosemary, thyme and a few bay leaves and cover with duck fat, cook on a low heat in the oven until the potatoes are soft to the point of a knife. Drain from the fat and set aside.
For the cauliflower puree, take a whole cauliflower and slice into rough chunks. Add it to a pan and cover with milk. Add half a vanilla pod and bring it to the boil and reduce by half. Add enough cream so that the cauliflower is covered again and reduce by half again.
Strain the cauliflower and keep the liquid – you will need this later. Using a processor, blitz the cauliflower to a smooth puree. For the cabbage, finely shred one savoy cabbage, chop one shallot and a handful of chestnuts and sauté gently in butter. Add the reserved cauliflower cream and warm through, then season to taste. For the jus simply sauté one finely chopped shallot, a sprig of thyme, one sprig of rosemary, a bay leaf, six black peppercorns and two finely chopped garlic cloves in a little butter. Add half a litre of red wine and bubble away, reducing by half. Add half a of litre of rich beef stock and reduce by half again. Strain and return to the pan to keep warm.
To assemble: Take your fillet and seal it in a hot pan with butter and a little olive oil and seasoning. In another pan sauté and colour your potatoes in butter. Warm through the cabbage and jus, carve the beef and plate up.
From the grill: steamed marmalade sponge pudding with whisky custard
Ingredients for the pudding
8oz plain flour; 8oz shredded suet; 8oz fresh
breadcrumbs; ½ tblsp cinnamon; ½ tblsp mixed spice;
2tsp baking powder; 20floz milk; 12oz marmalade; 2 eggs;
pinch of salt; 1lb of golden syrup; 16 small pudding basins or one large one.
Grease the pudding basins and coat with the syrup – any that is
left can be added to the mix.
Mix the dry ingredients together. Warm the milk and marmalade together and then beat into the dry ingredients along with the egg and salt.
Pour into the moulds and cover with greaseproof paper tied with string and steam for one hour.
Ingredients for the whisky custard:
125ml milk; 125 ml cream; 4 egg yolks; contents of 1 scraped
vanilla pod; 150g sugar; 30ml whisky
Bring the milk and cream to the boil with the contents of the vanilla pod.
Beat the eggs and sugar together until they are pale. Pour half the milk and cream mixture over the eggs and continue to beat.
Pour it back into the remaining milk and cream – beating all the time.
Add the whisky and cook for a further few minutes until the custard coats the back of a spoon.
Chocolate marquise pistachio cake
Ingredients for the pistachio sponge
200g unsalted butter; 250g caster sugar; 4 eggs; 200g ground
almonds; 50g pistachio paste; 50g plain flour
Beat together the butter and sugar then add the eggs one at a time.Add the ground almonds and pistachio paste and finally fold in the flour. Line a 3cm cake tin with greaseproof, pour in the mixture and cook in a pre-heated oven at 160c for 35 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin before turning out.
Ingredients for the marquise
7 eggs yolks; 165g caster sugar; 200g 70 per cent dark
chocolate; 250g unsalted butter; 65g cocoa powder; 600ml thick double cream; 1tsp vanilla extract
Beat the yolks and sugar in a bowl for five mins or until it thickens. Place bowl over simmering water and melt in the chocolate. Add the butter one piece at a time stirring as you go.
Remove from the heat and fold in the cocoa. Cool for 30 mins. Beat the cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold a little cream into the chocolate mixture. Fold in the remainder until combined. Line a deep tin with cling film and then slices of the pistachio cake, keeping a slice for the top.
Pour the chocolate mixture into the terrine, place the final piece of sponge onto the top and cover with cling film. Refrigerate overnight and turn out. Serve with lightly whipped cream.
Courtesy of Wolverhampton magazine