1. Get Ahead Gravy
Jeez Louise - this had to be the highlight for me and I will most definitely be doing this again for futures roast dinners. It was a fair effort time wise but my Lord it was so worth it. The addition of port and cranberry sauce transformed it. It's a Jamie recipe so get it here.
Mr V informs me that it's not Christmas without the above. I thought this year I would try my sort of own -that is the sausage meat not the puff pastry as I needed a bit more time to perfect the PP. I used pre made. I gave it a twist and added a smoked chipotle salsa inside the rolls, onion chutney in some and pear and apple chutney in another. That sweetness combined with the pork was to die for. My first batch were driven by sheer greed and were more of a sausage pasty. They were to die for seriously. If you fancy doing your own then I just mixed 500g pork mince with 1 rasher of streaky bacon, sage leaves, onion, garlic and salt and pepper. Easy and yummy.
Smeared in mustard, studded with cloves and sprinkled with sugar (thank you Delia) this badboy was sugar and spice and bloody, ruddy nice. Melt in the mouth it accommodated a Christmas Eve buffet and is going in a pie with it's best mate chicken. I shall ensure that this gets a look in throughout the year and not just in the festive season.
4. Mince pie/Christmas cake ice cream
I cannot get enough of this. Forget Ben & Jerry's - this is sheer indulgence. Just mix in smashed up mince pies or add pieces of Christmas cake to vanilla ice cream and you have a dish of decadence. I used a Jamie idea of making it into a float by dissolving a few teaspoons of instant coffee and a couple of sugar lumps with hot water and pouring around the ice cream. For aesthetics serve in a vintage teacup. The choc sticks are mikados.