CARO’S TOP CHRISTMAS TIPS
We asked our very own in-house culinary queen, Caro, for her top tips when it comes to nailing your Christmas ham and the hardest job of all: hosting Christmas lunch. Here’s what she had to say.
For starters, the most important ingredient is a relaxed and attentive host, so do yourself a favour and plan everything the day before (and maybe pour yourself a drink…).
As for your ham, try your local butcher or a good food store and order early so you’re not running around at the last minute, ‘cos you won’t have much choice! Then all you need is a working oven, a sharp knife and some Rare Dry Gin Ham Glaze (obvs). The best thing about doing a Christmas ham, is that it’s really hard to screw up. Even if it doesn’t come out looking beautiful, it’s going to taste fantastic.
PREP IT, COOK IT
Score the ham (making crisscrosses) so the glaze evenly distributes into the meat. Then it’s glazing time! If you want, you can water it down by adding 30mL Australian Christmas Gin before basting. Pop it in the oven at 150 degrees Celsius and cook for an hour (that’s for a full-sized ham, like 5-7 kgs).
Then just take it out, cool it down and that’s all you need to do!
SLICE IT, STORE IT
As fun as it is to slice up the ham at the table come Christmas feast time, it’s also kind of a nightmare.
If you’ve got plenty of ham, just cut it into manageable pieces rather than slicing the whole lot. Then, just take out a piece on Christmas Day and slice that up, bit by bit.
To store it, I would get a good-sized plastic container and loosely have it in some greaseproof paper. You don’t need to seal it up because it will sweat. It should keep really well in the fridge for at least a week.
AND FOR AFTER?
Every Christmas lunch should end with some pud. When it comes to our Christmas Gin Puddings, all you need to do is pierce it and pop it in the microwave for three minutes. Save yourself the stress of boiling them for hours!
I like to eat it with custard, and if it’s a hot day I like it with a really good vanilla ice cream.
WHAT NOT TO DO
- Leaving everything to the day. Like Santa, write a list, check it twice and then do as much as that list on the day before. Delegate so you can really relax and enjoy your day, be prepared.
- Don’t try anything for the first time! I don’t always subscribe to that, but if you’ve got a new recipe, try it out before Christmas. Don’t risk it on the day. We’re so stressed in the lead-up, we need to cut ourselves a break on Christmas Day.
THE FINISHING TOUCHES
When it comes to adding a little something extra to your table for the big meal, I like to find nice things from the garden to create a little story. You can end up with so much on the table in terms of plates and things, I just think it’s nice to have some little bits and bobs to bring it to life!