My passion is for Perfection and cooking beautiful food with amazing flavors and when it comes to Christmas you can have stunning food that looks a million dollars but doesn't need to cost a year or take forever and I'm going to show you how to do it I've been a professional chef for over 20 years and during this program I'll be sharing my.
Top Chef's Secrets showing how they can help you make my Ultimate Christmas food my first chef secret for Christmas is be organized and get prepared in restaurant kitchens we call this Nissan place getting vegetables chopped stocks made and sauce is ready it's the religion by which all good chefs live I don't want to spend Christmas in the.
Kitchen ignoring my family and friends when we're all finally together so I'm prepared with dishes that I can cook in advance that will last over Christmas adding a glazed ham to your holiday menu is a great way to get ahead it's delicious versatile and the ultimate dish to have in the fridge for any hungry guests who drop by.
Christmas would never be the same without a beautiful delicious honey glazed ham across that long Christmas period this can get you out of jail quite easily ham salads ham sandwiches Hamburg and chips the this is a Gammon what you can do now is cook it so it becomes a ham into a pan.
First things first the water cover it completely so the whole Gammon Cooks evenly the important part now is adding flavor in there carrots in the leeks the more veg in there now the more fragrant the broth becomes once the.
Ham is cooked that stock is extraordinary the base to a fantastic soup onion not finely chopped and then homemade ham stock is packed with flavor so it's great for making soups sauces stews and risottos plus it can be frozen so it's there when you need it pan down.
Peppercorns lightly Crush then to give it a Christmas flavor I'm adding crushed coriander seeds two cinnamon sticks and four aromatic bay leaves up to the boil I'm going to turn it down let it simmer and then skim it cooking a ham isn't hard but it does take time this two kilo joint takes two and a half hours to simmer before it's.
Glazed and baked however it is worth it because it tastes absolutely delicious foreign very very simple Demerara sugar Madeira that sweetens the glaze basically a fortified wine a couple of tablespoons.
In and then share vinegar again couple tablespoons honey in nice bring that up to the ball the longer you leave it on the stove the darker it becomes you want your hand really nice and dark then cook out the glaze for.
Three four minutes that I'm happy with lovely right the gammon's cooked now onto the plate carefully snip the string nice and gently peel back get rid of the skin then.
Crisscross it don't push too deep let the knife do the work stud it with some clothes look at it almost looks like an albino pineapple the glaze and just carefully cover start in the middle and let it.
Work round oh God gently gently gently gently it's not even roasted yet and it looks amazing beautiful look at that half the glaze over now into the oven.
15 minutes it started to color look at the rest of the glaze pour that over look at it wow the more effort passioned and love you show the ham now the results are tenfold look at it every five minutes out of the oven.
And glaze again back in the oven now a 190 degrees we're going to baste and roast for 35 minutes delicious next I'm going to make a pear and saffron Chutney this is a fruity relish that works brilliantly with a sweet aromatic ham.
First Things First Slice The Onion fry the chopped onion in olive oil without coloring it the important part about this stage is the fact that we're going to layer the chutney with textures from onion to Apple to pear and a nice little block of Ginger grating the ginger so the ginger sort of disappears with the onions.
Then add the spices a good grating of nutmeg followed by a teaspoon of cinnamon and a teaspoon of canned pepper to give it a kick delicious I recently spent a lot of time in India where chutneys originated and discovered that whereas British style chutneys tend to be cooked and are usually quite sweet Indian ones are.
Normally fresh spicier and quite sour next Demerara sugar once that Sugar's dissolved the white wine vinegar All In that's going to give you this really nice sort of sweet and sour flavor from there our fruit these are Williams pears.
Pear is the star of the Chutney so keep it quite rustic next add chopped cooking apples their tanas gives a lovely contrast of the sweetness of the pears to give it great texture a handful of sultanas into saffron this gives it a really nice depth a rich golden color saffron is the world's most expensive spice it's made.
From the dried stigmas of the saffron crocus flower and as a general rule of thumb the deeper the color of the threads the better the quality and to make it lighter the zest and juice of two oranges the orange and the saffron go brilliantly well together just squeeze that in there This chutney's brilliant with ham.
Fantastic in sellers but equally as delicious with fish whether it's a roasted Cod a grilled fillet of mackerel it goes brilliantly well bring that up to the ball cook that out for 15 minutes now Tomatoes going at the end and that brings a certain amount of freshness to Chutney really helps to.
Give it that nice texture mix that in I literally cook it out for 30 seconds what's great about this Chutney is that as it matures its flavor gets better and better and it will keep for up to six months.
Fill up the jar and that is going to deliver amazing flavor across Christmas and look my goodness me that is Fit For A King.
My new version of beef wellington retains the luxuriousness which made it brilliant in the first place but gives it a seasonal lift if you want to really spoil your friends this Christmas this is the perfect special occasion dish Beef Wellington has to be the ultimate Indulgence one of my all-time favorite main courses and it would definitely be.
On my last supper menu my version is a lot lighter and sexier and for Christmas I'm going to give it an added twist first off the fillet of beef now look at it it's beautiful first the most important part is to sear it salt pepper the fillet is the leanest and the most expensive cut of beef it comes from underneath the lower backbone a part of.
The animal which has very little muscle and this is what makes it such a tender cut very very hot pan olive oil and literally roll it around the pan we're not cooking the beef we're just searing it which will really help to give another layer of flavor and beef in lovely now use the side of the pan so.
The beef Sears down the back when you shilt it it's a secret to get it done quickly it gives that really nice roasted flavor delicious once you've got the color very carefully lift up the beef and see it on top and sear it on the bottom out and onto the plate.
English mustard what this does now it gives it a bit of sort of bit of heat just lightly brush the mustard over the beef so really important that you do this as the beef comes straight out the pan as the beef starts to cool down it.
Absorbs all that heat from the mustard horseradish is a really nice alternative as well just leave that to sit and relax as the fillet rests prepare the filling which is called a duck sale put 700 grams of chestnut mushrooms into a blender add a chopped clove of garlic season with salt and pepper and Blitz.
Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without chestnuts I just crumble them in to the mushrooms the chestnuts sweet nutty flavor works brilliantly with the earthy Taste of the mushrooms and because they contain more starch and less oil than other nuts they have a much softer texture that is perfect for the filling.
That smells amazing smells like Christmas once the mixture is finely chopped cook in a hot dry pan this removes the water from the mushrooms and intensifies the flavor you can see the water coming out instantly.
Such an essential stage really critical to the success of the Wellington that you dry those mushrooms out and get rid of all that water take the mushrooms up even further some fresh thyme in there which will make it really nice and light and fragrant when all the water's been fried off removed from the pan and leak to cool.
Then start assembling the Wellington stage one wrapping the beef fillet first of all these wonderful slices of Parma ham and look beautiful overlap it and set it there so the secret of overlapping the Palmer ham.
Is to make sure contains all those juices coming out of the beef in the traditional recipe for beef wellington a thick time and spring onion pancake is used instead of ham but the Parma ham makes the dish much lighter and it's sweet salty flavor really complements the mushroom and Chestnut filling.
Little touch of pepper no salt because the ham is naturally salty it's a little twist of pepper and then from there your mushrooms and basically mushrooms go on use the back of the spoon to spread them nice and thinly half an inch from the ends.
Rump holes no pop it every time there's meat out he comes next lay the beef on top and very carefully fold that over now we're going to lift that up and wrap the beef nice and carefully so all that mushroom and Palmer ham.
Is encasing the beef all the way over push it nice and tight roll it nice and tight and go all the way over now the secret from here is to really let the Clinton do the work just nip it at the ends and squeeze and what we're doing is just creating this wonderful sort of cylinder shape.
Off and then just twist it nice and tightly and the tighter it is the more perfect the shape then place in the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up final wrap a little bit of slim film puff pastry.
Beef now very carefully first roll the puff pastry over the beef until the two edges meet then trim off any excess pastry and twist the ends together to ensure the beef is completely sealed in its pastry case to set that perfectly and get it really nice and firm to make it really cylinder type slim them over.
pull that nice and tight but the big secret behind this is that it can be done the night before and the tighter the twin film the better the shape the more even the shape the more even it Cooks put it back in the fridge for five minutes to firm up again.
Then take off a Tim film also the perfect Christmas cracker to give the pastry a lovely Rich golden brown color when it bakes brush it with egg yolk and then finally you don't have to do this but it's a chefy thing a little bit decoration the back of the Knife Down and then just twist.
And mark the pastry when it comes out the oven it's got that wow factor then a Sprinkle of salt to ensure the pastry becomes lovely and crisp then bake in an oven at 200 degrees for around 35 minutes depending on how red you like your beef once out of the oven.
It's crucial you let the Wellington rest for at least 10 minutes this allows the meat to relax and reabsorb its delicious juices making sure it's tender and succulent nice and gently here that pastry how crisp that is this is the bit we've been waiting for oh wow my God.
I'm in heaven and for me if you want a really nice change to roast turkey this has to be the ultimate for the table it smells Christmassy the chestnuts the mushrooms and that nice crisp pastry on the outside look at it I'm ready to die and go to heaven.
for a really special occasion I love to serve my beef wellington with gloriously creamy mashed potatoes and shavings of Exquisite white truffle foreign Christmas Day morning is to tackle the turkey and my favorite way to cook it is.
Roasted with lemon parsley and garlic it's fantastically aromatic really easy to do keeps the meat succulent and tastes absolutely delicious for me without question the start or the Christmas dinner is this a delicious turkey now once this is in the oven you're halfway there the secret success behind a great Christmas dinner is.
Making sure this doesn't turn out dry and is all in the preparation now we're going to make an amazing butter and this it's sort of the start of the the most important part keeping that bird incredibly moist soft butter a touch of salt and pepper it'll touch up olive oil in there that stops the butter from burning.
Next add the zest of two lemons and their juice this gives the flavor butter a wonderful Citrus Zing three cloves of garlic turkey is a very delicate dainty meat and that's why I want the garlic pureed so it sort of disintegrates and flavors a turkey gently without becoming too overpowering then add a generous handful.
Of chopped parsley wow that smells incredibly light give that a good mix turkey's a very very very lean bird and it dries out so so important to make sure that we help it to cook perfectly butter done now prepare the turkey we're gonna season the bird inside the cavity salt and pepper next half two onions and.
Pop them in as they roast they steam inside the bird giving it a lovely sweetness put in the lemon and a couple of bay leaves for their Bittersweet spicy flavor we're sort of lining the inside of the turkey with these fantastic sort of flavors you can see the bird is upright.
And it's looking sort of like it's standing to attention now it's time to add the flavored butter just very very carefully open up the skin go through over the back of the breast keep the skin intact the idea is to gently loosen the skin with your fingers so the butter can be stuffed underneath it.
Now once you've loosened all the skin off the top of the thighs turn the bird around just go through here again hand up and just release a little bit but don't completely break it because I don't want all that butter to run out right from there now take your butter.
Put it into a ball smells amazing lemony citrusy and just sort of flatten it and stick that in there underneath one side now once you've got it in there pull back the skin and just use that sort of slide all the way down.
What we want to do now is line the top of the breast with all that butter there that butter it's going to keep the turkey breast really seriously moist turn the bird around I'm finished covering the breasts with the butter turkeys originally came from North America and their best young and plump.
My favorite breed for Christmas is either Norfolk black or Norfolk bronze both of which have a wonderful gamey taste the rest of the butter and carefully massage over the breasts legs and wings all this the night before and simply cover the turkey with tinfall and keep it in the fridge ready to be cooked on.
Christmas Day into the tray and it will touch of olive oil now olive oil on top again that protects it gets that skin really nice and crispy and it stops the butter from burning now in the oven at 220 for 10 minutes get really nice and brown quickly in she goes beautiful.
that smells fantastic after 10 minutes take the turkey out of the oven and baste then cover the breasts with smoked streaky bacon what I want to do is add a little bit more flavor I'm already starting to think about my gravy so the bacon protects it stops it from.
Drying out but it's going to start to really give my gravy a wonderful base turn down the oven to 180 degrees this five kilogram bird will feed eight people comfortably it needs roasting for two and a half hours or half an hour per kilo basting every so often.
back in and now she's on the way look at that beautiful as pretty as the Christmas tree that smells fantastic wow look at that beautiful that is 90 of your work done there to test.
The turkey is cooked stick a knife into the bottom of the thigh and if the juices run clear it's done the secret now is to let the turkey rest uncovered for two and a half hours as the meat relaxes it reabsorbs its juices making it succulent and tender plus it'll be easier to carve it might seem like a long time to let it rest but remember.
The turkey doesn't need to be piping hot because I'm serving it with hot gravy that looks like a million dollars let that rest because the flavor will be 10 times more exciting once it's rested the key to pulling all the different elements of your Christmas dinner together on the plate is the gravy my recipe for turkey gravy made with cider.
And walnuts has a wonderful Appley nutty flavor which beautifully complements the turkey meat and fruity pork stuffing as that turkey is resting I want to make the most amazing gravy and when I say amazing I really do mean amazing drain the excess fat from The Roasting tray and put it back on the heat then.
Remove the bacon from the top of the turkey and the roasted onions from the cavity look at them my God they smell amazing finally take out the roasted lemon first of all cut up the bacon lovely bacon into the tray here how crisper that is.
That's the start of our gravy the onion look at it beautiful it doesn't get any better than that chop that up onion and bacon in that smells incredible when I first got the chance to cook Christmas lunch for the chefs in Paris.
They taught me one crucial thing I was only 21 at the time but they made me rest the turkey as long as I cooked it so I cooked it for three hours and I rested it for three hours what a difference incredible next chop up the roasted lemon and add.
To the tray put in a couple of sprigs of rosemary to give it a lovely aromatic punch and Fry then add three chopped tomatoes which helps to thicken the gravy and give it a lovely fresh taste now it's time to really get the turkey flavor into the gravy now off the wing take off all your little trimmings all.
These little bits here add that into your gravy these are the bits we never use everyone throws them away off there that little baby there take him off I want that bang flavor delicious try that off the smell is incredible.
Next pour in the dry cider this adds a lovely subtle Apple flavor that really lifts the taste of the turkey meat as The Cider starts to reduce pour in the delicious resting juices from the roasted turkey wow there you go the most amazing flavor foreign has reduced by half crush the vegetables.
And the turkey pieces with a Masher to extract the maximum amount of flavor and basically what's happening now is that we're giving the gravy a little bit of body pour in the chicken stock and reduce again then now a little taste wow I mean just close your eyes and wow.
It oozes flavor and turkey now sieve it back of the ladle to push it through the sieve extracting every last drop of flavor pop in a sprig of rosemary and leave to infuse ready for the finishing touch simply add crushed walnuts to the bottom of the gravy boat and ladle in the hot.