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James St recipes: Christmas stuffing and cranberry jelly

James St recipes: Christmas stuffing and cranberry jelly

James St recipes: Christmas stuffing and cranberry jelly

 

NOW that December is upon us and Christmas is just around the corner, it is always good to get a head start when it comes to preparing Christmas dinner or entertaining guests throughout the holiday season.

I like to make several parts of the meal prior to the big day so that I can enjoy the evening when it arrives.

I always have these two staples in my fridge or freezer, to pull out and use when needed.

We always have sage and onion stuffing with a chicken dinner on a Sunday, so this is a well–used and well–worn recipe in our household. Make in batches and pop in the freezer to save you time on Christmas Day.

The second dish to get you in the festive mood is my cranberry jelly, which again I always keep in a Kilner jar in the fridge and use most weekends with a roast chicken dinner.

These two recipes will elevate this year’s Christmas dinner and are sure to impress your guests.

For more information, or to book an experience at the Waterman Cookery School, visit cookinbelfast.co.uk.

Christmas stuffing

CHRISTMAS SAGE AND ONION STUFFING

4 onions

10 sage leaves, fresh

50g of butter

150g of breadcrumbs

1 egg

Method

Finely dice the onion (approximately 1cm) and fry in butter on a medium heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent. Add in the fresh sage and fry for 1 minute.

Next, stir the breadcrumbs and a beaten egg into the mix. I always roll my stuffing into a long log shape or little round balls rather than stuff into the cavity. I also make a large batch to keep in the freezer.

To cook from fresh place on a greased tray and put in oven at 180C for 30 minutes.

To freeze, cover in tinfoil and then cover again in cling film. Before cooking the stuffing, remove from the freezer and defrost.

Cranberry jelly

CRANBERRY JELLY

Makes up to 1 Kilner large jar, can be stored in a jar in the fridge

400ml of orange juice (freshly squeezed, approximately 6 oranges)

400g of caster sugar

1/2 tablespoon of mixed spice

1/2 tablespoon of ground black pepper

1/3 of a cinnamon stick

2 bay leaves

1kg of cranberries

Method

Peel and roughly dice the cranberries (discarding the pith) and put into a pot of cold water and 1 tablespoon of caster sugar before bringing it to the boil. Refresh in cold water and repeat this process 3 times.

Place the orange juice, mixed spice, and remaining sugar into a pot with the cinnamon stick, bay leaf and ground black pepper and bring to boil, simmering until the liquid is reduced by half.

Add in your cranberries and bring back to the boil to reduce by half again. Simmer for 10 minutes before removing from the heat and pass through a sieve if you prefer smooth cranberry sauce.

If, however you prefer chunky cranberry sauce strain all juice away and let it cool.

Place in bowl and refrigerate until required. Always decant using a clean spoon.

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