Jack’s Christmas Crowd Pleasers

November 13, 2018

Just as you’re thinking about getting friends and family around for a pre-Christmas gathering, and wondering what on earth you can cook, we thought we’d ask our chef, Jack, what 3 things he would recommend cooking over the festive season. Here’s his answer:

First off, without hesitation, I’d suggest Beef Short Ribs. They are full of flavour, easy to cook and you get good value for money. Cook them with the bone on. You just need to sear them and braise on a low temperature in tomato puree and beer until the meat is really tender and almost falling off the bone. Once cooked, remove the meat and reduce the cooking liquor down to a glaze. I’d then pull the meat off the bone and shred it (a bit like you would with pulled pork) for everyone to share.

Another good option is Denver Steak. It’s quite a cheap cut that is taken from the shoulder/chuck. It has loads of flavour and great marbling, and it’s tender too. Either chargrill it or cook it on the BBQ (I quite like getting the BBQ out in winter and it’s fun to gather around outside and enjoy some mulled cider or wine before serving dinner) to your desired cooking preference, ideally medium/rare to medium to be at its best. Allow it to rest for 10 mins before serving – this is very important, so don’t skip this part! Make sure you carve it against the grain.

My final choice would be Rolled Lamb Loin in Belly. This uses prime (loin) and lesser used cuts (belly) so you get more for your money. Essentially it’s lamb saddle that has been boned and rolled (just ask your butcher to do this for you!) You want to sear the lamb all over on a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes. This renders the fat and keeps the middle nice and moist. Then put it in the oven for 20 minutes (the internal temperature should be 45c when you take it out). After you take it out of the oven, let it rest for at least 20 minutes – it’ll continue to cook during this time. Again, this is really important for the flavour and texture of the meat (and to bring it to the right temperature for eating!). When you carve it, it will be nice and pink inside, just the way lamb should be!


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