Hopefully by now you have Christmas plans well under way. Here’s my list for last minute preparations to get Christmas lunch on the table without any stress and on time!
– Weigh the ham to calculate the cooking time. It will take 20 minutes per 450g for a boiled ham plus allowing about 30 minutes to glaze in the oven also. To get rid of excess salt, immerse the ham in cold water and leave to soak for 24 hours, changing the water occasionally.
– Do any preparations for your nibbles, canapés, starter or dessert.
– Make a rich stock with the turkey giblets. Drain and leave to cool before refrigerating.
– Make the bread sauce
– Prepare the vegetables and store in the fridge in zip lock bags rather than bowls to save space.
– Peel the potatoes and leave immersed in water in the fridge.
– Set the Christmas pudding in a steamer ready to heat through tomorrow.
– Defrost your made in advance stuffing, breadcrumbs and mince pies (or get them made now!).
– Organise the drinks, refrigerating the white wine, bubbly and soft drinks.
– Gather all serving plates, dishes, cutlery and table linen and dressings and lay the table if possible.
– Choose baking trays and arrange the shelves of the oven to fit the turkey, ham, stuffing and potatoes.
– Prepare the turkey, starting with a good wipe inside and out. Rub butter under the skin and pop any flavouring’s like lemons or herbs in the cavity. Weigh the bird to calculate the cooking time. A turkey weighing up to and including 4.5kg will take 45 minutes per kilo plus 20 minutes extra. If between 4.5kg – 6.5kg then allow 40 minutes per kilo and finally if weighing 6.5kg or more it will take 35 minutes per kilo. Leave the turkey in the roasting tin out of the fridge to come to room temperature overnight.
– Leave a mince pie and some whisky out for Santa (and not forgetting Rudolf’s carrot of course!)
Preheat the oven.
Season the turkey and place in the oven to roast (depending on your cooking time calculations)
Put the ham on to boil (depending on your cooking time calculations)
Put some Christmas classics on, pour some sherry and enjoy gift giving and receiving!
Rope the family in to help lay the table.
Parboil the potatoes and transfer to the oven to roast.
Uncork the wine and pop the bubbly.
Fill the steamer with boiling water to come half way up the sides of the pudding and simmer to warm through.
Place the stock for the gravy over a low heat to warm through.
Remove the ham from the water and glaze ready for baking.
Put pans of water on to boil for the vegetables.
Reheat the stuffing in the oven.
Remove the turkey from the roasting tray and leave to rest in a warm area. Turn up the oven temperature to crisp the potatoes.
Put the ham into the oven to bake.
Make the gravy using the warmed stock.
Cook the vegetables.
Remove the glazed ham, potatoes and stuffing from the oven.
Carve the turkey & ham, serve with all the trimmings, breath a sigh of relief and enjoy!
Happy Christmas everyone!