Mark Doe’s Recipes For A Delicious Christmas Dinner

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Mark Doe of ‘Just Cooking’ Cookery School in Firies has recipes and tips to serving up an amazing Christmas dinner…

The key to a stress free Christmas lunch is preparation and timing. You want to be able to enjoy the day without being tied to the stove all day long. Below you will learn some tips to make your Christmas lunch as stress free as possible.

Turkey gravy

Serves 8-10


• 25g plain flour

• 2 tablespoons of red currant jelly

• Salt and pepper

• 600ml of chicken stock


• Pour of the turkey juices into a bowl and allow too cool.
• Remove any fat from the top of the juices with a spoon or ladle.
• Remove the turkey from the roasting tray, and place the turkey on a medium heat.
• Add the flour and cook for 2-3 minute, stirring well to scrape the sediment form the tray and allowing the flour ro colour slightly.
• Gradually pour in the stock whisking well.
• Add the redcurrant jelly, bring to the boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes.
• Add the juices from the turkey, bring back to the boil and season with salt and pepper.

Perfect roast turkey

As a rule a 7kg (14-15lb) turkey will feed 10-12 people with left over.


• 1 x 7kg Turkey (14-15lb)

• 175g unsalted butter (soft)

• 1 Lemon, cut in half

• 1 large onion, peeled

• 2-3 bay leafs

• 4 garlic cloves cut in 1/2

• Few sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme

• Salt and pepper

• 200ml white wine

• Stuffing (see recipe below)


• Pre-heat your oven to 220c/Gas mark 7
• Remove the giblets from the turkey.
• Season the butter well with salt and pepper.
• Use your hands to loosen the turkey skin away from the breast, and spread          the butter under the skin.
• Now stuff the neck end of the turkey with some of the stuffing.
• Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the lemon, onion, garlic, bay leafs and rosemary or thyme.
• Place the turkey into a roasting tray. Pour 100ml of water into the tray.
• Loosely wrap the turkey, ensuring the parcel is tightly sealed.
• Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes at the high temperature.
• After 40 minutes, reduce the temperature to 170c/gas mark 3 and cook for a further 3 ¼   hours.
• After the 3 ¼ remove the foil from the turkey and increase the oven temperature to 200c/gas mark 6 and give the turkey a final 30 minutes, basting the trurkey occasionally. • This will ensure the turkey has a lovely golden colour.
• After the 30 minutes, pierce the thickest part of the turkey leg with a small knife and check that the juices run clear.
• Remove the turkey from the oven, wrap the tray lightly with foil and allow the turkey to rest for 30-40 minutes.
• Cooking times for other size turkeys
• 8-10 lb (3.5-4.5 kg) – 30 minutes at the high temperature, then 2 ½   hours at the lower temperature, then a final 30 minutes (uncovered) at gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).
• 15-20 lb (6.75-9 kg) – 40 minutes at the high temperature, then 4 ¼  hours at the lower temperature, then a final 30 minutes (uncovered) at gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

Please bear in mind that ovens, and turkeys vary and the only way of knowing if a bird is ready is by using the test described above.

Christmas tip — Before roasting, remove the wish bone of the turkey. This makes carving the turkey easier.


Smoked bacon, sage and cranberry stuffing

Both stuffings makes enough stuffing for a 7kg (14-15lb) turkey. This stuffing is for cooking inside the turkey or roasting as individual balls of stuffing.


• 500g sausage meat

• 300g fresh breadcrumbs

• 300g cooked chestnuts, roughly chopped

• 150g butter

• 2 large onions, chopped

• 100g dried cranberries, finely chopped

• Salt and pepper

• 250g smoked bacon, chopped

• A good pinch of dried sage


1.  Melt the butter in a pan and add bacon and add the onions, cranberries, dried sage and smoked bacon.

2.  Slowly cook, without colouring, until soft (approx 5-6minutes).

3.  Add the chestnuts and breadcrumbs and mix through well.

4.  Remove form the heat and allow too cool slightly.

5.  Mix through the sausage meat and season with salt and pepper.

Crispy Brie with a bacon & apple salad & cranberry dressing

Serves 4


• 12 pieces of Brie (small wedges)

• 4 tbsp lemon juice

• 200g fresh breadcumbs

• 6 tbsp olive oil

• 4 tbsp cranberry sauce

• 1 tsp of  honey

• 2  apples Mixed leaves

• 3 eggs

• 100g plain flour

• 3 back bacon rashers, grilled till crispy and then cut into thin strips.


• Quarter, core and thinly slice the red apples.

• Place the apples in a bowl with the  lemon juice and 3 tbsp of water and toss well.
• Pre-heat your oven to 200c/gas mark 6/400f.
• Set up three bowls, 1 with the beaten egg, 1 with the flour and the final 1 with the bread crumbs.
• Pass the Brie though the flour, then the egg and finally the bread crumbs.
• Heat some sunflower or olive oil in a pan and fry the Brie on both sides until golden.
• Place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 2-3 minutes until the cheese is soft.
• Meanwhile to make the dressing, take the lemon juice from the apples and place in to a bowl.
• Add the cranberry sauce, olive oil and honey. Season with salt and pepper  and whisk to form a dressing.
• In a bowl, dress the leaves with some of the cranberry dressing and mix through the apples.
• Add the bacon to the leaves. (you can heat the bacon slightly if you wish)
• Arrange the leaves neatly on a plate and top with the Brie.
• Drizzle the remaining dressing around the plate.

Goose fat roast potatoes

Serves 8

Duck or goose fat is available form most supermarkets and is the best fat to use for roast potatoes.


• 2kg potatoes, peeled and cut to size (approx the size of an egg)

• 2tbsp flour

• 5 tbsp duck fat or sunflower oil

• salt and pepper


• Place a large pan of salted water on the stove and bring to the boil.
• Add the potatoes, bring back to the boil and cook for 7 minutes.
• Drain the potatoes really well and sprinkle over the flour.
• Season with the salt and pepper. Place a lid back on the pan and give the pan a few hard shakes.
• Heat the oven to 180c. Spoon the fat into a large roasting tray and place in the oven for 6 minutes.
• Carefully pull out the tray and add the potatoes, giving them a couple of turns.
• Roast the potatoes for 40 minutes, turning a few times,  until golden and crisp.

Honey roast vegetables with balsamic vinegar

Serves 6


• 500g parsnips

• 500g carrots

• 500g turnip or celeriac

• 4 tbsp honey

• Pinch of dried mixed herbs

• Salt and pepper

• 4 tbsp of sunflower oil

• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


• Preheat the oven to 180c.
• Quarter the parsnips lengthwise and remove the woody core from the centre.
• Cut the carrots and turnip or celeriac into wedges approx the same size as the parsnips.
• Place in a roasting tray and drizzle with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the dried herbs.
• Cook in the oven for 35-40 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.
• Remove from the oven, drizzle with the honey and balsamic and return to the oven for 2 minutes.

Chef’s tip — Try and purchase smaller parsnips as they tend to not be so woody.

Brussels sprouts with bacon and parmesan

Serves 6


• 1kg Brussels sprouts

• 1 tbsp unsalted butter

• 6 streaky bacon rashers cut into small strips

• 25g freshly grated parmesan

• Salt and pepper


• Trim the sprouts and boil in salted water for 6-8 minutes then drain well.
• Heat a frying pan on a high heat and add the bacon. Cook until crispy.
• Add the sprouts and  butter, and cook for a further 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Glazed ham

Serves 10-12


• 3 kg piece of boned ham(boiled)

• Cloves for studding

• 120ml of orange juice

• 100g brown sugar

• 50ml Dijon mustard

• 75ml honey


• Preheat the oven to 180c.
• Remove some of the fat from the ham and discard. Score the fat in a diamond pattern then stud a clove in the middle of each diamond.
• Place the ham in a roasting tray and add a liitle water to the tray.
• To make the glaze, place the orange juice, honey, sugar and mustard in a small saucepan over a medium heat.
• Simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-12 minutes until thickened.
• Brush the ham with the glaze and bake for 10 minutes.
• Glaze again and bake for another 10 minutes.
• Repeat and bake for a final 10 minutes.

Planning ahead
• Boil the ham on Christmas eve.

• Allow to cool and store in the fridge.

• Glaze the ham on Christmas day.

A larger ham may require more time.

Baileys and chocolate roulade

Chocolate roulade with Baileys cream & Maltezers

Serves 8


• 4 large eggs

• 100g caster sugar

• 65g self-raising flour

• 40g Cocoa powder

• 300ml cream

• 2 tablespoons Baileys

• 1 tablespoon icing sugar

• 1 bag of maltezers


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Grease and line a 33 x 23cm Swiss roll tin with baking parchment.
2. For the sponge, place the eggs and sugar together in a large bowl. Using an electric hand whisk, beat the mixture until it is pale, light and frothy.
3. Sieve the flour and cocoa powder into the bowl and carefully fold in to the egg mixture, using a metal spoon.

4. Pour in to the lined tin and spread out into the corners. Bake in the middle of the oven for about 8-10 minutes until firm and risen.
5. Place a piece of baking parchment bigger than the Swiss roll on the work surface. Invert the cake on to the paper and and peel away the baking parchment.
6. Roll up (from the longer edge) using the paper, rolling it up with the paper inside. Set aside to cool.

7. While the cake is cooling, whip the cream and then stir through the icing sugar and Baileys. Crush the maltezers lightly in the bag.

8. Once the cake is cool carefully unwrap, remove the paper and spread with the Baileys cream. Sprinkle with the crushed maltezers.

9. Roll back up and serve.

Red wine poached pears with Christmas pudding parfait

Serves 4


• 300g of Christmas pudding
• 125ml brandy

For the sabayon:
• 4 egg yolks
• 100g sugar
• Juice of 1 lemon
• 50ml sweet wine
• 300ml whipped cream, beat until it reaches the ribbon stage.


• Mix all the sabayon ingredients together except the cream.  Place over a pan of simmering water  in a heat- proof bowl and whisk until thick and creamy.
• Remove from heat and whisk until cooled.
• Pour the brandy over the Christmas pudding and heat in the oven for 10 minutes.  • Remove and allow to cool for 5 minutes,  break up the Christmas pudding with a fork and with a spoon add the sabayon mixture ensuring that it is folded in well. Then fold in the whipped cream.  Pour into a terrine mould lined with clingfilm and freeze for at least 8 hours.

For the pears

• 750ml bottle red wine

• 4 tbsp caster sugar

• 2 cinnamon sticks

• ½ tsp cloves

• 2 slices of orange

• 4–6 ripe, but firm, pears, such as Williams (depending on size)

• Pour the red wine in to a medium saucepan and add the sugar, spices, orange slices and  simmer gently for 15–20 minutes to allow the aromatics to infuse their flavours into the wine.
• Peel each pear, leaving the stalk on, and scoop out the core from the base with a melon baller. Gently lower the pears into the mulled wine. Rest a crumpled piece of greaseproof paper with a small hole cut out in the centre on top; this will help to keep the pears submerged in the liquid.
• Poach the pears for 10–20 minutes, depending on ripeness. To test, pierce with a fine metal skewer – it should meet with little resistance. Transfer the pears and mulled wine to a large dish and leave to cool. Cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight to allow the flavours to develop.
• Serve the pears warm, reheating them gently, or at room temperature, with the xmas pudding parfait.

Left over turkey stroganoff

Serves 4

Fed up with turkey sandwiches? Try this simple stroganoff for a tasty Stephens day treat.
Serve with rice or noodles.


• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• Small knob of butter
• 1 onion finely sliced
• 200g button mushrooms, finely sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• ½ tbsp paprika
• 700g leftover cooked turkey, cut into strips
• 200ml Left over turkey gravy
• 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
• 200ml cream
• 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
• Chopped parsley to serve
• salt and pepper


• Add the oil and butter to a heavy based frying pan, and place over a medium heat.
• Heat until the butter froths and then add the onions.
• Cook the onions for 3-4 minutes until soft.
• Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook for a further 3 minutes.
• Now stir in the paprika and cook for a further 1 minute.
• Add the turkey meat and gravy and bring to the boil.
• Add the white wine vinegar, Pour in the cream bring to the boil and simmer for 3-4 minutes until piping hot.
• Stir in the mustard and parsley, season with salt and pepper.

Serve with crusty bread and rice.

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