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Scottish/Canadian Christmas Cooking starts now!

Discussion in 'Recipes' started by runswithdogs, Dec 23, 2017.

  1. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    Last day of work was yesterday & today.. im starting the Christmas feast.
    Now one thing I will full admit to, I am a total control freak when it comes to the Christmas meal.
    I want everything done right & dont like to share the load because quite frankly, people that think you can microwave a turkey and melon balls are a appropriate starter should be burned at the stake.
    (*cough* I will not mention names)
    So, yes. Im doing all the cooking for Christmas myself with the handy tidying services of DH. (because im not one of those tidy cooks that has the lovely spotless kitchens as they are whipping up 8 diffrent dishes at once..)

    So, first things first.
    Base for the turkey gravy is currently in the oven roasting its wee lil brains out.
    Now I know most people just wait till the turkey is done then use the dripping and add some thickener etc.. (Or use the abbomination that is bisto.. we wont talk about that)
    But I found out years ago that pre-making a base for the gravy (& this can be done way ahead of time & frozen if you like) makes for a kick ass gravy & much easyer to do on the day. (I fully admit I got the idea from that whiney lil Jamie Oliver but mines better)

    So, large roasting tray, chop a couple carrots, 2 onions and some celery and toss in, add cranberries, rosemary, sage, tyme, a couple bay leaves, allspice, 1-2 star anise, couple cloves of garlic and a couple slices of good bacon chopped up.

    Bash up some chicken wings (about a dozen & you want to break/crush the bones to release the flavour) and any giblets/neck from your turkey if avalible, Throw them on top. Toss in some suet (screw your "healthy" olive oil jamie!) salt & pepper

    Toss in the oven for about 60-90 minutes at 180/360 to get al nice & roasty, give it a bit of a toss about half way though.

    ...to be contenue as Im going to walk the dogs while its roasting....
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  2. SB21

    SB21 Monkey+++

    Looking good so far.
  3. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    Done roasting, pop on gas, splash of Sherry(dry) 2 splashes Port, add water. bring to simmer scrap bottom, then give a stir every so often, top up water to keep simmering as needed.

    Start Carrot cake 1.0

    2 cups flour(1 cup spelt flour, 1/4 coconut flour, 3/4 cup almond flour.)
    2 cups sugar
    1 tsp baking powder
    1 tsp baking soda
    2 tsp ground cinnamon

    Dried fruits of choice optional (I added candied ginger, candied peel, Black burkart Raisins, & currants)
    mix dried ingredients, then add...
    3 cups finely shredded carrots
    1 cup melted butter
    4 eggs(Duck)

    2 - 9" round pans or 1 - 9"x13" pan, greased and floured.
    In large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Add carrots, oil and eggs. Beat with electric mixer til combined. Pour into prepared pans. 350o for 30-35 minutes for round or 35-40 for rectangle or til wooden toothpick comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. Cool thoroughly.


    Ready to pop in oven


    Contenue stewing the gravy base, once it starts breaking down, start reducing.

    Dunerunner, 3M-TA3, Bandit99 and 2 others like this.
  4. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    Potato masher the bejeebees out of the gravy base....
    Strain off liquid through a cheesecloth or fine seive etc... (waiting for it to cool off enough so I can squeeze out as much liquid as possible without cooking my fingers.)


    Carrot cake out of oven...

    Ghee going on stove (I actully started it when I started the cakes.. made it easy to get the butter for the cake without fussing.)
  5. Motomom34

    Motomom34 Monkey+++

    I had always heard suet was something that you put in a mesh bag and feed to the birds. This is the second time this week I have read about people cooking with it.
    @runswithdogs looks wonderful, keep it coming. I can't wait to see what you frost the cake with.
    Ganado likes this.
  6. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    I am going to faint due to all the food porn......looks amazing!!!!! [drooling]
    Your family is lucky to have a great cook!!
    Dunerunner, Ganado, Bandit99 and 2 others like this.
  7. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @runswithdogs Can I make a dinner reservation for two? (psst! Who do I slip a few bills to get to the top of the list?)

    Question: All, Can one even purchase Suet in the states? (sorry if stupid question but...)

    Question: "splash of Sherry and 2 splashes of Port"... Is it a dry or sweet Sherry? Will any Sherry or Port do or can you recommend a decent one (preferably one that can also be drunk)? I have no idea of a palatable Sherry or Port one can purchase here stateside or Canada...recommendation?

    BTW I am saving gravy recipe and hope to try it for New Years...so sorry in advance but expect more questions...:)
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
    Motomom34 likes this.
  8. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    Suet is the hard fat on beef from around the kidneys, its the best for making pastry dough, and I use it for frying off meat, adding flavour, render down for cooking fat, etc etc... My butcher just give it to me free!:D

    Heh, you have to talk to mrrunswithdogs... he said something earlier about not sharing though....

    2nd carrot cake in the oven, this one with Kraken rum soaked tart cherries (dried) and pecans....
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  9. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    @runswithdogs "...he said something earlier about not sharing though...."

    Okay, I will talk to a meat section about suet...

    "2nd carrot cake in the oven, this one with Kraken rum soaked tart cherries (dried) and pecans..."
    These are simply mixed into the cake mix, about how many?
  10. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    I mix in with the dry mix & then add the wet..

    No real messurements,, I soaked about cup & a half of the dried cherrys in roughly 2 shots worth of rum, gave it a stir every so often till it sooked it up & added it & about a cup of chopped pecans to the mix.

    But You can use whatever dried fruits & nuts you like..
  11. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    Hes gonna be one sick puppy if he tries to eat it all LOL

    I usally give the neibours some of the cakes/sweets for christmas... thats why Im making 2 carrot cakes
    Motomom34 likes this.
  12. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Great! The rum-soaked cherries sound delicious...Thanks! I will be monitoring the gravy play-by-play the rest of the day. Please ask the Chef about the Sherry, dry or sweet, as think that might be important....
    Ganado likes this.
  13. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    Dry sherry.

    The gravy base is now drained & in the fridge. since ill be using it in 2 days I dont need to freeze it but you can make it weeks or even months ahead to have it ready for Christmas (or Thanksgiving...)
    Dunerunner and Bandit99 like this.
  14. LargeWayRound

    LargeWayRound Monkey

    Yum Yum ... I enjoyed testing the Dried Cherries
    Motomom34 likes this.
  15. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Watching and drooling...
  16. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    I though @runswithdogs was the Mr cooking !
    And what do you doo with the gravy making chicken & ingredients ???

    Wife & Myself drop in with A Panettone fruit Italian cake from there. We order too many & carry them in the wheels as we visit & say hi .[​IMG]
    ITALPASTA is the brand this year & for the weight = fruit , these are the best so far. What we don't share , we have till summer .
    French Toast with Duck eggs are a knock out .[​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2017
  17. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    Pfffft, thats the first time ive been mistaken for a man..... :cautious:

    So the gravy base. so need to add something to thicken (im a bit gluten intolerant so will be using rice flour but you can use flour) make it a bit thicker than you want the end product... store in fridge.
    Take out when ready to make up, pop in a saucepan & heat, add the drippings from your turkey.. give a good wisk. Done.
  18. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Okay, I'm going to go to the store today to get suet, a bottle of Sherry (dry) and Port and '1-2 star anise' as we got everything else required...

    Reference '1-2 star anise'... Can I use plain Anise seeds in place of it, say 1-2 teaspoon?
    I ask because we got a package of Anise Seeds...
    3M-TA3 likes this.
  19. Ganado

    Ganado Monkey+++

    yum best post of the year! I have never made gravy like this i am going to have to try it thanks for pics and details!
    Motomom34 and Bandit99 like this.
  20. runswithdogs

    runswithdogs Monkey+++

    NOT Anise seeds!

    Star Anise.. Not the same thing. Looks like this...

    & dont use 2 teaspoons of it LOL.. I like the flavour but if you pile a bunch into a teaspoon.. well trust me theres such a thing as To much of a good thing...
    Use 1-2 pods.
    Zimmy, Motomom34, Bandit99 and 3 others like this.
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