Friday, December 26, 2008

Christmas Dinner North Fife

Christmas dinner North Fife. We live in a modest dwelling but tend to eat well. Growing as much as we can, cooking every day and we naturally have an interest in cooking programs and books. This year we came by a goose and plumbed for a roasting method I recently watched on Jamie Oliver's cooking program.
The goose is oiled and smeared with a couple of desert spoons of Chinese five spice powder, pierced in the fatty areas and with a couple of pierced oranges inserted inside the bird, all placed on a bed of :-
3 sticks of celery
2 carrots halved length ways
2 parsnips " " "
4 or 5 inches of crushed fresh ginger, just a few heavy blows
The giblets, gizzard, neck, heart and liver
A good bunch of fresh sage with a little fresh thyme
A bulb of garlic, cloves squashed
2 onions sliced and sauteed till soft in a little fat
An apple quartered, all in a roasting tin.
Anything else you might have, like fresh plums, sultanas, whatever, enjoy the possible tastes.
Place in a preheated very hot oven for 10 minuets or so reducing to 180 centigrade for 2 to 3 hours depending.

A little water was added from time to time to the roasting tray. When the goose is removed the tray contents are strained and the fat separated from the sauce. There was nearly a litre of goose fat saved to be used at a latter date. A few choice pieces of the cooked giblets were blended with the liquid to create a fantastic sauce.

Before this a red cabbage was quartered and finely sliced with a few cloves and juniper berries added and sauteed in a little fat for several hours with a shot of grape juice and vinegar half way through with salt and black pepper.

The roast vegetables were:-
Potatoes, par boiled to nearly done, added to the hot water were , carrots, parsnips and jerusalem artichokes to warm, all drained and then tossed in the goose fat and added to a roasting tray with orange zest and flaked nuts.
Brussels Sprouts to accompany

A reviewer has said:-
I was a real sceptic to cookbooks a few months ago. 'It's alright for these celebrity chefs', I would say, 'It's their job to cook up gastronomic epics. We just don't have the time or money for it.'
However, I've admired Jamie Oliver ever since the infamous school dinners campaign, and I thought that I'd give this book and a few recipes a try, if only to confirm my cynical attitude.

Well, I'm converted. Contrary to my previous belief, it's all about proper, honest home cooking with foodstuffs that are readily accessible (from supermarkets and farmers markets), and the recipes are realistic and well explained in Jamie's endearing matey, lad-round-the-corner tone. Hardly pretentious like I first thought.
And, the incredible thing is; they work! Honestly, you'd think that it'd be of a 'maybe I'll get it right next time' affair, but it isn't. If you follow the instructions, you'll end up surprisingly close to the glossy photos you see in the books. And, of course, the end result is delicious.

As I said, I'm converted, and I feel genuinely enthusiastic about what I eat now. It really doesn't take up as much time or money as you think (perhaps even less when you get into the swing of things), and this will be a New Year resolution that I will eagerly stick to. And I have Jamie and this book to thank for it. Fantastic.

Oh, and I will never have my tomatoes any other way again.


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