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Christmas Ham and Turkey

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

I make this for 6 people, and there are always enough left overs for another dinner for 4 people. This Turkey comes out really moist, the gravy is very flavoursome, and this Ham is packed with flavour, and still moist.



Time​

Activity

Schedule

20 hours

Preparation for the ham

2 days before serving

4 hours

Preparation for the gravy: meat broth

1 day before serving

15 mins

Ham prep

1 day before serving

5:30 hours

Ham cooking time

1 day before serving

20 mins

Prep the stuffing

1 day before serving

12 hours

Ham resting time in the fridge

Overnight before serving

20 mins

Ham sauces: bread sauce preparation, bechamelle

On the day of serving

15 mins

Ham sauces: bread sauce cooking

On the day of serving

15 mins

Ham sauces: horseradish sauce

On the day of serving

10 mins

Turkey prep

On the day of serving

2 hours

Turkey cooking time

On the day of serving

30 mins

Turkey resting time

On the day of serving

15-20 mins

Turkey gravy

On the day of serving

HAM


Ingredients:


  • Ham 1.5kg

  • 1 tablespoon runny honey

  • 1 tablespoon English mustard

  • 2 tablespoons demerara sugar

  • 1 big large blonde onion cut in very thick slices

  • A handful of cloves

  • 3 onions cut in thick slices


Method:

  • First of all you need to take out as much of the salt as possible - trust me, it will remain salty enough anyway. The night before you plan to cook it remove the butcher net and tie the ham with a pure cotton string so to make a nice and tight parcel

  • Put the ham in a very big pot, full of cold water. Cover and leave for 3 hours in the fridge, then change the water, leave overnight in the fridge then change the water first thing in the morning and put it back into the fridge

  • Change the water again after 3 hours, and leave for another 2 hours in the fridge

  • Wash and pat dry the ham

  • Stud the ham with the cloves, using the pointing end to push into the flesh

  • Mix well the glaze (honey, mustard and sugar) and coat the ham very well with it using your hands

  • Arrange the onion slices at the bottom of your slow cooker to make a "bed". Add 100ml of cold water, then the ham

  • Cover and cook on Low for 5 or 5.30 hours until the core temperature reads 165 degrees F (this year after 5:30 hours the temperature was 175 degrees F and it worked just fine)

  • As soon as the ham becomes cool enough to handle, score the ham with crossing lines on the side of the fat

  • Line a baking tin just big enough with tinfoil, place the ham in it fat side up and cook in a hot oven for 5-10 mins (use just the Grill function), watch out that the top does not burn

  • Take the ham out and leave it to reach room temperature (at least 3 hours)

  • Store in the fridge overnight wrapped tightly in tin foil so that it does not dry out. Keeping it in the fridge overnight is necessary so that you can cut it in thin slices before serving

  • Microwave the slices directly on the serving plate, but cover the ham with a plastic cover or another plate before turning the microwave on, otherwise it will dry out


Ham Sauces: Bread Sauce


Ingredients:

TIP: For Christmas, I actually drain the liquid resulting from baking the ham and strain it, then I use half of this liquid and half of the milk, but if you do this, do NOT add salt to the bechamelle though)

  • 150-200 gr fresh breadcrumbs

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Fine salt

  • Finely chopped parsley


Method:

  • Add the breadcrumbs to the sauce, which is why this bechamelle needs to be a little more liquid than usual, and dress it with the pepper and parsley, taste it before deciding whether to add the pinch of salt

  • Cook on a medium heat stirring it frequently until it reaches the desired consistency - add a little more milk if needed

  • Serve warm

TIP: given that this is based on bechamelle, it does not keep well (it will thicken too much) therefore it should be made on the day, and covered with cling film ensuring it touches the surface until ready to serve (microwave it before serving, it should be quite warm)


Ham Sauces: Horseradish Sauce


Ingredients:

  • 1 fresh horseradish

  • Half a jar of low-fat mayonnaise

  • A pinch of fine salt (just a pinch!)


Method:

  • Peel and clean the horseradish

  • Grate it finely

  • Mix it with the salt and the mayonnaise, adjusting the quantities until you reach the desired consistency

  • Serve cold out of the fridge

TIP: you could make this a day in advance and store it in the fridge tightly covered, but be warned that fresh horseradish looses some bite after already 4 hours, so do this in advance only if you've tried it before and leaving it overnight still gives you a bite to your liking.


TURKEY


Ingredients:

  • 2.7kg of turkey crown, deboned

  • 2 large blonde onions cut in thick slices

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Fine salt

  • Vegetable oil


Method:

  • Pat dry the turkey

  • Oil lightly your roasting tin, then place the turkey in the roasting tray,

  • Prepare a mixture of salt, pepper and oil in a little bowl

  • Using your hands coat the turkey very well (bottom included) with your condiments

  • The lift the turkey and slide underneath a bed of thickly cut slices of onions

  • Cover the full tin very well with tinfoil

  • Put your turkey in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C and bake for 2 hours.

TIP: Do not take the tinfoil off to obtain the golden crust - it's nice to look at but doing this will dry out your turkey immensely. This turkey comes out extremely soft and juicy exactly because I omit to do that

  • There is no need for basting the turkey while it's cooking, if you follow the above

  • Once out of the oven baste it well with its juices, then take out two ladle spoons of juices as you'll need them for the gravy (some liquid should remain in the roasting tin, as the turkey will reabsorbe it) - make sure to cover it tightly again with tin foil

  • Cover the tin foiled toasting tin with a couple of thick clean towels, well wrapping them around it, and let it rest for 30 mins

  • Carve and serve


Gravy for the Turkey


Ingredients:

  • 500ml + 1/2 a cup of strong concentrated meat broth

  • 100ml white wine

  • 2 ladle spoons of the turkey juices

  • 1 or 2 teaspoons of cornflour


Method:

  • Unless you made it before and it's in the freezer, the night before you plan to cook the turkey make your meat broth and ensure it's concentrated enough

  • Reserve 1/2 cup of broth for later

  • Put the rest of the broth in a pot and bring it to the boil

  • Add the wine and the turkey juices and bring it to the boil

  • Reduce the heat to a simmer

  • Take half of the reserved cold broth and add 1 heaped tsp of cornflour, mixing well until it dissolves

  • Add the cornflour mixture to the gravy and stir well over medium heat for 3 minutes

  • This step needs to be repeated possibly one or two times until you reach the desired consistency of the gravy. Always be careful with cornflour, it's easy to add too much and if that is the case, your gravy will result in a big gloopy mess

  • Serve the gravy in a gravy boat, better if you choose the type that is kept warm with a tealight at the bottom


Stuffing for the Turkey


Ingredients:

  • 200gr fresh breadcrumbs

  • 1 big brown onion

  • 4 sausages (roughly 300gr)

  • 2 Tbsp dried sage

  • 1 pinch of fine salt

  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 cooking apple

  • 30 gr butter


Method:

  • Chop the onion quite fine, then stir fry with 20gr butter until translucent

  • Skin the sausages and break them down with a fork, add them to the onion and mix well

  • Grate the apple and add it to the pan, mixing well

  • Add the sage, the pepper, and the pinch of salt

  • Let it cook uncovered for 10 mins, stirring every now and then (add a splash of water if it sticks)

  • Take it off the hob and add the breadcrumbs

TIP: at this point, you can wait until it reaches room temperature and keep it in the fridge for 1 day, or you can proceed directly as per below

  • Using the remaining 10gr of butter, coat a baking tin loaf, then pour the mixture and level it

  • Cover it with tin foil and bake it in the oven with the turkey for 15 mins

  • Remove the tin foil and cook a further 5 mins

  • Keep it warm under tin foil while the turkey rests and you're carving it

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