Tag Archives: Christmas

Turkey Butter

Nobody likes their turkey to be dry – this method and recipe virtually guarantees that this won’t happen using sous vide, and the butter it’s cooked in gives a nice Christmassy flavour.

Ingredients

– 250g butter

– 2 tbsp cranberry sauce

– 1 orange zest and juice

– 1tsp salt

– 200g pureed chestnuts

Method

– Melt butter in a pan, mix in cranberry sauce, orange zest, orange juice, salt and pureed chestnuts.  Pass through a fine sieve to help ensure the mixture is smooth.  The first time I tried this, I used whole chestnuts and mashed them with a fork, but the texture ended up not very good, so I switched to using pre-pureed chestnuts from a packet.

– Cook the turkey sous vide in bags with the butter mixture (you can allow the mixture to solidify first in the freezer for easier vacuum sealing).

Turkey sous vide times and temperatures are similar to those of chicken – my suggestion is 64 degrees C for 2-4 hours for breast.  It’s better without skin (it gets soggy and can be roasted separately), so this recipe works particularly well with pieces the butcher has pre-rolled.

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Christmas Carrots

Tom Kerridge has, in my opinion, one of the best carrot recipes for Christmas: http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/christmas_carrots_90489

I saw this on TV, and what isn’t mentioned on the BBC food website is that Tom made some comment to the effect of “this isn’t exactly what we do in the restaurant, it’s simplified”.  I’ve often wondered what he might do differently in his pub.

Here’s my take on how his recipe might be enhanced – use Carotene Butter instead of normal butter.

For what it’s worth, I also can’t be bothered using a scourer, but I do think using whole baby carrots makes for a nice looking dish, but this is optional.  You might also consider chopping the carrots up into batons and removing the cores as they’re slightly more bitter than the rest of the carrot, and this recipe lends itself to a sweeter carrot.

Ingredients

– 9 medium carrots, may be peeled, scoured, topped and tailed, cut into batons etc

– 250g unsalted butter (ChefSteps.com suggest using clarified butter, but I find it works ok without if I’m being lazy)

– 250g Carrot juice

– Sugar to taste (The original recipe calls for 150g, which I find quite a lot)

– Salt

– 2 or 3 star anise

– 400ml water (I’ve also tried 400ml veg stock, but it doesn’t seem to improve things much)

Method

– Heat half the carrot juice with the butter until melted.  Simmer for 30 minutes.

– Remove from the heat and add the other half of the carrot juice (this accelerates cooling of the liquid).  Refrigerate a few hours until the butter rises to the top.

– Skim the butter off the top of the liquid.  (You can use the remaining carrot juice for things like soup – I’ve thought about using a small quantity of it to make up part of my 400ml liquid, but not yet tried this)

– Cook the butter with all the other ingredients in a pan for 45 minutes until the carrots are soft.