Sunday 30 December 2012

Christmas noms

This is a post about what I cooked for Christmas.

It started with a great deal of planning menuwise. First thing to get cooked was beef stock, as a base for the soup. It sat in the fridge for a couple days.

Then, the turkey. Oh, the turkey. It was removed from the fridge, had the remaining feather shafts plucked out (a good half hour or so of icky ewww), and then was put into a brine. A simple brine, of french sel de mer, about half a cup, to about 4L of water, a full head of peeled garlic cloves, and a few peppercorns.

Awesome. So far. Then there was the cutting up of many onions, and the placing of onions into the slow cooker to caramelize. It was about half a kilogram of onions all up. The caramelising went slowly. Oh so very slowly. Perhaps 2 hours all up, if I recall correctly.

Once the onions were nicely browned up, the stock, bay leaves, thyme, peppercorns, and salt were added to the mix, and stirred a bit before being left to their own devices overnight.

Om nom nom. Waking to the smell of that cooking was FABULOUS. Dare I say, even, GLORIOUS. And horribly tempting to have that for breakfast instead of well, breakfast.

I popped the first bottle of bubbles (Verve yellow label) about 11am or so, when I also pulled the turkey out of the brine and rinsed it off. That started off the day's cooking; I plucked most of the remaining feathers off while waiting for it to get to room temperature. Note for next year: gloves and needlenose pliers.

I put the neck in some water with an onion, bay leaf, peppercorns, and carrot to make the stock for the gravy. The veges got peeled and chopped, and doused with goose fat. The turkey got an onion put in it, some more garlic, and rubbed with more goose fat.

There was a bit of a rush as I got a few timings wrong, but eventually the turkey got cooked to perfection, as did the brussels sprouts with chestnuts and bacon, along with the roast potato, and turkey gravy. It made a wonderful looking plate, I have to say.

Delicious, wot? Of course, the last thing to happen was the Christmas pudding, and the cleanup. I hate cleaning up.

Sorry about the funky picture spacing, I don't have the patience to tidy it up right now. Why blogger can't just do a nice grid I don't know. Oh well. That's a whole other rant, I guess.

Still, Christmas dinner was lovely and awesome, and well received. And we're still eating the leftover turkey. It was also 100% dairy free, and gluten free except for the Christmas pudding (because I couldn't find a nice gluten free one before Christmas, and I couldn't be bothered with DIY).

I have much more confidence in doing a turkey next year (possibly for things other than just Christmas) - I will probably use a saltier brine, and maybe a more complicated one. Maybe. Or maybe not!

I hope your Christmas foodage was as awesome as mine was.

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