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The perfect Christmas dinner

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The Perfect Christmas Dinner

The Perfect Christmas Dinner - recipe supplied by The Newbury


4-5kg turkey (this will serve 10 people with leftovers!)
250g streaky bacon
2 medium size carrots
2 medium-size leeks
1 large onion
3 litres water (also known as Berkshire Stock!)
Fresh garlic
Fresh thyme


500g pork mince
10-15 sage leaves
2 shallots



Firstly take a 4-5kg turkey which can feed ten plus people. Take off the legs and the back bones from the turkey (if you feel uncomfortable you can ask your butcher to do this for you) and wrap the turkey crown in streaky bacon. Place this and the legs in the oven, wrapped in foil at 180 degrees for 1.5 hours. After this take off the tin foil and remove the bacon, then baste for a further 30 minutes until golden brown. Do not discard this bacon as it will be used later.

Roast the back bones in a large pan with the carrot, leeks, onion, garlic and thyme until golden brown. Add half a bottle of red wine and reduce by half. Then add 3 litres of Berkshire stock (water) and keep reducing to 3/4 of its inital volume. Pass off the bones and vegetables, keeping the stock for later.

Place Maris Piper potatoes (if you can get your hands on them) into cold salted water and bring to the boil, then simmer until they are just slightly undercooked. Drain and shake in a colander to fluff the potatoes up, then place these in a tray with the garlic, thyme, salt, pepper and oil in the oven at 180 degrees. Continually turn these while they are cooking until they are golden brown.

Place the carrots in a pan with one litre of orange juice, 125 grams of butter, 5-6 star anise and 2 tablespoons of honey. Bring to the boil and simmer until there’s a slight al dente crunch to the carrots.

Place the parsnips, in a tray with oil, salt, pepper and honey, into the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees.

Thinly slice the red cabbage and place in a pan with one cartoon of both orange and apple juice, 150ml of white wine vinegar, 250 grams of sugar, half a bottle of red wine, two large tablespoons of redcurrant jelly, two cinnamon sticks, one grated nutmeg and any sundried fruits that you want (we use dates and prunes). Cook all of these ingredients on the stove, simmering until you have a glossy, shiny, sticky glaze.

Thinly slice the savoy cabbage. In a blender, place the 3 cloves of garlic, a couple of sprigs of thyme and 125 grams of butter. Puree until smooth. Place these in a pan and cook out the garlic, before adding 250ml double cream. Add the cabbage, bring this to the boil and simmer until the cabbage is soft. Finally season before serving.

Now time for the pigs in blankets. Poach the sausages for 10 to 15 minutes, cool down and wrap with streaky bacon and place in the oven at 180 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

On to the stuffing. Take 500g of pork mince, two shallots - finely diced - and sweat these off with 10-15 leaves of sage. Allow this to cool and add to the pork mince. Season and roll into golf ball size portions. Pop in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 minutes and then rest.

Sprouts. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, place the sprouts in and cook for 8-10 minutes. Meanwhile in another pan place the bacon, which we kept from earlier, with fresh chestnuts and 50g of butter. Add the cooked sprouts, toss around and lightly season before serving.

For the cranberry sauce, take 250g of fresh cranberries, add half a cartoon of apple juice, 150g of sugar, 1 large tablespoon of redcurrant jelly and bring this to the boil. Simmer until reduced and nice and sticky. DO NOT STIR.

Put some new potatoes in cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer. Take off the heat when slightly underdone. Toss in seasoned butter and serve.

Finally, finishing back with the stock. drain off any excess juices from the turkey and add this to the stock we made earlier. If you would like to leave this natural, then simply reduce. If you prefer a thickened gravy add a good quality gravy additive to enhance the flavour.



The Newbury

Not long to go now and The Newbury has launched its Christmas party menu. Always popular with friends, families and business lunches, it’s never too early to book that festive get-together.

The food at The Newbury focuses on the fundamentals finished with a chef ’s twist, so expect a special finishing touch.

The Christmas party menu features three courses, including a vegetarian option, and roast boards, which are sure to be impressive.

Darren Brooker-Wilson, Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life’s Chef of The Year 2017 and Head Chef at The Newbury, brings you The Perfect Christmas Dinner.

137 Bartholomew Street
Newbury Berkshire
RG14 5HB
01635 49000

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