Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook is intended to be the ultimate Yuletide companion: a mix of classic recipes for the big day and beyond, as well as loads of delicious ideas for edible gifts, party food, a whole chapter dedicated to potatoes and new ways to scoff the leftovers.
In typical Oliver fashion, he says it should evoke minimal stress.
“Even though it’s Christmas, it underpins the challenge of cooking at any time of year,” says Jamie, who also reveals that this year, he’s set to have an Oliver-only Christmas Day, fuelled by traditions, but plans to “go big” with the rest of the family on Boxing Day.
“Really, if the meat is diligently and brilliantly cooked, if the gravy is bad-ass, and the potatoes are extraordinary, that’s Christmas done,” he assures. “Everything else is just kind of … gravy!”
Jamie gave us some fabulous recipes, including Roast Goose (below) and an amazing Winter Bombe, which will appear next Saturday …
ROAST GOOSE, SLOW-COOKED WITH CHRISTMAS SPICES
1 large goose (4-5kg), halved lengthways by your butcher
6cm piece of ginger
6 large sticks of cinnamon
6 star anise
2 teaspoons whole cloves
Red wine vinegar
Get your meat out of the fridge and up to room temperature before you cook it. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.
Peel and finely slice the ginger, then, keeping everything quite coarse, lightly crush it in a pestle and mortar with the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper. Rub into the skin of the goose halves, then put both halves skin-side up in your biggest deep-sided roasting tray and drizzle with a little oil.
Roast for three hours (depending on the size of your goose), basting every hour. After the goose has been in for two hours, slice the oranges and carefully add to the tray.
The goose is cooked when the leg meat falls easily off the bone. Now you’ve got two choices. Leave it to rest, covered, for 30 minutes, then serve up while it’s hot and crispy-skinned, in which case simply remove the meat to a board, shred the leg meat and slice the breast.
Pour all the fat into a jar, cool, and place in the fridge for tasty cooking another day, such as roast potatoes. Stir a good swig of vinegar into the tray to pick up all the sticky goodness from the base, then drizzle over your meat. Serve with spuds, veg and all the usual trimmings.
Your second choice is to let everything cool in the tray, then place it in the fridge for up to two days, with the goose submerged and protected in its own fat, ready to reheat when you need it, getting you ahead of the game and saving you time and oven space another day.
To reheat, put the whole tray back in a preheated oven at 180C/350F/gas 4 and let the goose crisp up for around 30 minutes, or until hot through, then shred, slice and serve as above.