For many, steak pie is the meal of choice on New Year’s Day but there are other amazing options, as Brian Stormont discovers.
After a great night celebrating the turn of the year on Hogmanay, us Scots like nothing better than tucking into a big lunch on New Year’s Day.
But what will be your meal of choice for the first day of 2021? Will it be the classic steak pie with roast or mashed tatties, carrots and peas or will you be opting for something a little lighter on the stomach like a lovely side of salmon?
Perhaps, you have a vegan or vegetarians to cater for?
These are all things to consider when cooking up your first meal of the year.
Here we have some suggestions of dishes to kick-off 2021:
For me, steak pie with some roast tatties and veg is an absolute must on New Year’s Day.
It can be a two-fold experience – helping you recover if you’ve perhaps had one too many the night before or filling up your stomach if you are planning on enjoying some refreshments during the day.
You can, of course, make your own steak pie – and many people do – but ordering one from the butcher or baker, which you pick up on Hogmanay, is also popular. In addition, many supermarkets stock steak pies in the run up to the first day of the year so you could pick one up there too.
The tradition of buying one from the butcher or baker came about because people were far too busy to cook when they were celebrating New Year.
Tip: If you are making your own steak pie, the addition of some Worcestershire sauce and mushrooms to your gravy is delicious.
If you aren’t fancying steak pie, then roast silverside is another favourite dish for New Year’s Day in many households.
With its layer of fat that bastes the meat as it cooks and lovely marbling through the joint, cooked well it is an absolute delight that simply melts in your mouth.
Another winter warmer, there are few things more satisfying than a couple of generous slices of silverside served with some roast tatties, Yorkshire puddings and roasted vegetables, along with gravy made from the juices from the joint.
Tip: Before cooking your silverside ensure you take it out of the fridge about an hour before to bring it up to room temperature.
A well-cooked roast chicken is a joy and one thing that very people, children included, would not turn their nose up at.
Another dish that is ideal accompanied by roast potatoes and your favourite winter root vegetables and maybe a cheeky Yorkshire pudding, you could cook your chicken in a variety of ways. I recently tried a large chicken in my halogen oven and I was very impressed with the results.
A slow cooker, roasting bag or traditional foil all work well, although many supermarket chickens nowadays can be roasted in the packaging which makes it quick and easy.
Tip: If roasting the traditional way, cook the bird upside down for the first 30 minutes of the cooking process, this allows the chicken to baste itself and results in succulent moist meat.
There is something particularly impressive about cooking an entire side of salmon and bringing it the table – it really is a showstopper.
At this time of the year, your local fishmonger or fish supplier will have sides of salmon readily available for you and it is extremely reasonably priced for the number of servings you can enjoy from it.
There are a variety of ways you can cook your side of salmon – bake it, poach it or cure it, it really is up to you.
It is also incredibly versatile – you can choose from any recipe starting with a simple squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to adding some dill or coat it in honey.
Tip: Overcooked salmon is the worst thing. Check that it is cooked by taking a skewer and pushing it into the deepest section of the fish. After 10 seconds put to your tip lip and if it is nice and warm your salmon is perfectly cooked.