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I'm doing Christmas Dinner this Year for the family. Help!

  • 15-12-2016 4:19pm
    #1
    Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 17,092 Mod ✭✭✭✭ cherryghost


    As a now mature adult, the time has come for me to cook for the family, rather than rely on my parents amazing dinners. The parents tend to do the regular, turkey, ham, stuffing, roast potatoes, sprouts, gravy and some other bits and pieces.

    So anyway I've ordered a 12lb Turkey and a 3kilo ham for 5, so we should have bit left over for 26th lunch or whatever. What's the best way to keep the moisture in for Turkey, since it can get very dry? Was thinking of sticking streaky bacon on top of the turkey and baste it a bit. 4/5 hours should be enough for a conventional oven right?

    I'm never a huge fan of ham as its either salty or I don't like the taste. Are there any good alternative recipes for a traditional Christmas ham?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 8,512 ✭✭✭ baby and crumble


    What's the best way to keep the moisture in for Turkey, since it can get very dry? Was thinking of sticking streaky bacon on top of the turkey and baste it a bit. 4/5 hours should be enough for a conventional oven right?

    I find the easiest way to keep a turkey moist is to put butter UNDER the skin (flavoured or not, your choice) and to be really careful NOT to overcook. You should loosely cover the bird in tinfoil, making a "tent" out of it with some space in between the tinfoil and the surface of the bird. It means the steam stays in, stopping it from evaporating and drying out. Also, make sure you leave time for resting the bird after it's cooked. That's so important, otherwise it WILL be dry. I've heard of people resting the turkey upside down after it comes out to allow the juices soak back down.

    TBH I think streaky bacon dries it out hugely, but other people will have different opinions.
    I'm never a huge fan of ham as its either salty or I don't like the taste. Are there any good alternative recipes for a traditional Christmas ham?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback!

    The key bit with the ham is to soak it in cold water overnight before you cook it, changing the water every few hours if you can. So like, soak in water inthe fridge say from 6-8pm the night before, change the water. 8-10, change the water. Overnight, the change water, etc until you're cooking it. That leeches the salt out.

    I personally don't cook ham any other way than in the slow cooker now. I either do coke ham (cover the ham with cheap coke in the slow cooker, cook on low all day, omg delicious) or using water with some ginger ale (same method). You can also chop an apple or two up and put in with the water/ ginger ale mixture in the slow cooker, or even use apple juice instead of water but for some reason that goes a bit sickly sweet.

    If you don't have a slow cooker then I always advocate boiling your ham. Apparently it's also nice to bake a ham in a sealed turkey bag whcih has pineapple juice in but i haven't tried that. We're doing two hams this year (we like our ham!) one using the slow cooker and coke, the other trying the oven and pineapple juice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,815 ✭✭✭ fussyonion


    What baby said about the foil +1000.

    I've used Gordon Ramsay's turkey recipe for years now and the turkey always turns out lovely.

    Pre-heat the oven to 180c.
    I get a big roasting tray and throw in chopped carrots, celery, onions and peeled cloves of garlic.

    Then in a bowl, mix 1 packet of real butter with salt, black pepper, 2 crushed cloves of garlic and chopped parsley and thyme.
    Mix this til smooth and set aside.

    Remove the turkey from the fridge about 40 minutes before cooking it to let it come to room temperature.

    Get the turkey and place on top of your veg in the tray.
    Throw a halved lemon, some roughly chopped onions and a few cloves of garlic inside the bird.

    Get some of the butter you prepared and slide it under the skin of both breasts; it might seems tricky but if you wiggle your fingers between the skin and its' breast, you will open it slightly.

    Smooth the butter under the skin so it smoothes all over the breasts.
    On the outside of the turkey, smooth the remaining butter all over, making sure to coat the legs as well.

    Now lay about 8 streaky rashers over the bird, laying some over the legs too.

    Here's the bit that will ensure your bird will remain moist; get some tin foil and completely cover the tray, enclosing the bird so the whole thing is sealed in.
    This means it will generate steam and baste the turkey.

    Put in the oven and yeah, my turkey takes about 4-4.5 hours to cook at 180c.

    Remove the foil about 30 minutes before it's done, to allow it to brown.

    Now when it's cooked (to check, slide a knife between leg and breast and if it falls to one side, it's done), remove it from the tray and leave it to rest for anything up to an hour.

    Loosely cover it in foil or a clean tea towel. Don't worry, it won't go cold.

    Then carve and enjoy.

    This is a recipe I have used for years and the turkey is always tasty and never dry.

    Good luck!!


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,939 ✭✭✭ goat2


    I will try your coke in my ham this year, thanks for this


  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 17,092 Mod ✭✭✭✭ cherryghost


    Never had/used a slow cooker before, have a 3kg Christmas ham, will a 6.5L one do the trick?

    EDIT: I got the Morphy Richards 6.5L one, should be grand. Might try a stew on it tomorrow as a tester.


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