Nick’s Christmas recipes
When our Director of Operations, Corporate Development and Strategy, Nick Holt, was asked to give his best Christmas cooking tip for the #BVChristmasCountdown, he went the extra mile with this handy guide.
The key to potatoes…
- Good quality potatoes; fresh and not too watery. At this time of year you want King Edwards. Local farm grown and going to give you the best flavour.
- Nicely peeled, taking away any dark patches. Cut into relatively good size, but equal chunks
- Drop into a pan of boiling water. I use a couple of pinches of salt into the water. Par boil for 7 minutes. I put a lid covering 90% of the pan
- Drain off the water and then pop them back into the pan. Lid in and shake them around… you are trying to soften up the outsides to make them fluffy.
All this can be done in the morning!
- Pop them on a tray and take them outside to cool and air dry… get all the excess water off them. You can leave them there for several hours, just make sure they don’t get rained on
- When ready, back inside… put the potatoes into a pot, add a good glug of rapeseed oil (not olive oil because it burns) or you can use a little goose/duck fat if you fancy and a few pinches of salt. I also through in a few cloves of garlic with the skins on (take the skins off and they burn and go black) and perhaps a little black pepper. Stir them around to coat the potatoes in the oil. Should be coated but not soaked.
- Pop them onto a hot baking tray (that has been in the oven) so that they sizzle when they go on
- Cook at 180 degrees fan for 45-60 minutes.
- Turn half way through to ensure that they are getting crispy all over and potentially add some sprigs of rosemary (not too early, or else they will burn).
- They need to be taken out and served. If left sitting around, the crisp skins will become mushy.
That’s it! Dead easy.
Key to Yorkshire puddings…
- Buy them pre made!
If you do want to make them yourself…
- Prepare a tray with an inch of lard in each cavity. Pop it into an oven that is as hot as you can do.
- Pancake batter needs to be freshly made – or at the very least whisked right before serving.
- No over whisking; you don’t want too many air bubbles.
- Take the tray out once the lard is melted but not burnt.
- “Inject” the batter mixture to the bottom of each cavity such that the mixture sits underneath the fat.
- Pop in the oven for 7-8 minutes. QUICKLY take the tray out half way through and rotate it to ensure an even cook.
- Serve immediately. Those impressive puddings will sag if they are left!
Perfect mince pies…
- Buy them. Honestly, all the home made ones I have ever made have never come close to a good shop bought one!
Key to Christmas cooking…
- Don’t do it all by yourself.
- Try and work out what you can do days in advance; your freezer is your friend.
- Try and keep it simple… don’t attempt mashed potato… just cook a turkey crown rather than the whole thing (the weight of the legs always throw the timings on cooking a turkey).
- Enjoy it… there is always someone somewhere who is moments away from setting their house on fire!