Ho Ho Ho! It’s that time of the year again! I mean… not the opening-up-presents time (yet), but the planning-for-the-Christmas-menu time – which is just as fun, if you ask me. Because I love playing around with the Christmas menu and I always look for ways of maintaining traditional elements, while bringing new ideas on the table.
Meat has always been the centrepiece of the Christmas dinner in my family. Traditionally we eat pork during the entire winter holiday season, but charcuterie is also a big thing for Christmas and not only pork charcuterie, but also lamb, goat or beef.
The inspiration for this year’s Christmas dinner comes from my own personal journey, as I came to find that ‘tradition’ is not just what you know and what you value, but also what you learn along the way and what others are valuing too. Tradition is in the caring and in the sharing – and in the getting people together around the table. So this year’s Christmas dinner centrepiece is Waitrose and Partners No.1 Boneless Lamb Shoulder, served with Brussel sprouts, tarragon roast potatoes and honey roast carrots & baby parsnips. The Waitrose and Partners No.1 Boneless Lamb Shoulder is locally sourced from a small group of British producers. The meat is matured on the bone, then it is deboned, seasoned, filled with a garlic and herb paste and rolled – ready to go straight in the oven. The Waitrose and Partners No.1 Inca Bella Potatoes are great for roasting, as they get fluffy on the inside and nice and crispy on the outside.
When planning for big dinners, I always do all the prep in advance: prepping the meat, peeling, chopping vegetables and even parboiling if needed. Then I cook everything according to weight/cooking time & temperature so that everything is ready to serve at the same time. That way I can spend less time cooking, and more time enjoying the company of the people around me.
Christmas Lamb Shoulder with All the Trimmings
- 1.2 kg Waitrose and Partners No.1 Boneless Lamb Shoulder
- 1 kg Waitrose and Partners No.1 Inca Bella Roasting Potatoes
- 500 g carrots
- 250 g baby parsnips
- 500 g Brussel sprouts
- 1 bulb garlic
- 500 ml Onion Gravy
- 2 tbsp honey
- sunflower oil for cooking
- salted butter for cooking
- salt for seasoning
- pepper for seasoning
- fresh thyme
- fresh tarragon
- Preheat the oven at 180C (160C fan).
- Place the meat in a roasting tin, cover with foil and cook for 100 minutes. Remove the foil and continue cooking for another 30-40 minutes*
- Wash and peel all vegetables.
- Parboil the potatoes in salted water, thend drain and allow to cool.
- Preheat 200 ml oil in a roasting tray. Add the potatoes and fresh tarragon. Season with salt and bake for 60 minutes.
- Blanch the Brussel sprouts in salted water, then drain and allow to cool. Finish cooking in a hot pan with bubbling butter. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cut the carrots and baby parsnips lengthwise and place on a baking tray. Add the garlic cut in half. Season with salt, pepper, sunflower oil and honey. Bake for 45-60 minutes.
- Pour the onion gravy in a small pan and bring to a slow simmer. Keep hot until serving.