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Traditional Christmas menu for 8

 

If you want something a little different from the usual turkey and dark fruit pudding, you will love this menu.

 

Main Course

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Roast Goose with Forcemeat and Spiced Cranberry and Apple Stuffing (including goose giblet gravy)
The sharpness and freshness of both the cranberries and apple make an excellent accompaniment to roast goose as they balance the richness of the meat. Also, giving the goose a cranberry glaze makes it look very bright and festive.

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Served with 

Crunchy roast potatoes with saffron  (recipe x 2)

This is my old favourite recipe for roast potatoes but with a new twist, and that's a flavouring of saffron – not too much, just a hint – and with the added dimension of a deep saffron colour, which makes this look even more irresistible. Classic plain roast potatoes are cooked in exactly the same way, minus the saffron, and don't forget, it's always important to serve them straight away, before they lose their crunchiness.

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Brussels Sprouts in Riesling with Bacon

In Alsace cabbage is often braised in Riesling, a wine that also has an affinity with Brussels sprouts. If you can get tiny button sprouts for this so much the better, but in any event they should be tight and firm and not too large.

Desserts

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Light Christmas Pudding with Hot Punch Sauce 

If there are still people who claim not to like even our splendid Traditional Christmas Pudding, then this could be for them. It's a light sponge pudding containing mincemeat, chopped apple and mace so that the Christmassy flavour is there, and a very attractive arrangement of whole candied peel will look very pretty when it's turned out.

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or 

Iced Christmas pudding with glace Fruits 

If you would like to offer your guests a frozen alternative to Traditional Christmas Pudding, then this is unbeatable. It consists of creamy textured ice cream made with dark rum and creamed coconut, interspersed with chunks of glacé fruits that have been soaked in dark rum. Because this ice cream is soft in texture there is no need to remove it from the freezer in advance of serving. Any ice cream pudding left over after serving must be returned immediately to the freezer and taken out again for second helpings.

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or 

Christmas pud (without the pudding) served with Marsala Syllabub

I have come to the conclusion that those who think they don't like Christmas pudding deserve to have something similar that encapsulates all those wonderful, spicy fragrances and flavours of Christmas, but is lighter, cooler and slips down more easily after the excesses of the main course. What I've done is to take all the essential ingredients – the fruit, nuts, spices and so on – and make them into a very slowly cooked compote in Marsala wine, so that all the wonderful flavours can develop and mingle together. The result is quite sublime, and although I won't be serving it on Christmas Day itself, it is so good that I will be serving it on lots of other occasions during the party season.

 

 

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