All I Want for Christmas is Food
Christmas and food, they just go together. A Christmas day is not complete until the family are sitting around the table or on the couch, surrounded by crumpled wrapping paper, trying to move from a food coma while contemplating just one more tiny helping of lunch even though you know you’re probably going to be eating leftovers until January.
A South African Christmas meal comes in very different forms. From gammon and lamb to turkey and chicken (or a turducken), there’s a lot to choose from when planning what to make for Christmas lunch. Here are three main course options that may have you starting a whole new tradition this year (it’s 2020, anything can happen).
The best thing about these three mains is that they can be done in the kitchen or on the braai!
Coke and Brandy Glazed Gammon
Recipe by Jeanne Horak-Druiff on Cooksister.com (with adjustments)
Prep Time: 10 Mins
Cooking Time: 2.5 – 3 hours
1 Large Gammon Joint (+- 2kg, Deboned Or Bone-in)
1 Onion, Halved
10 Whole Cloves + Extra for Finishing
Brandy Glaze Ingredients
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Brandy
1-2 tbsp Cider Vinegar
2 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
Pinch of Ground Cloves (Optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C or start the braai.
Place your gammon in a large stock pot, add onion, whole cloves and Coca-Cola. Bring to a simmer, loosely cover with a lid and leave to cook for at least 30 minutes per 500g (40 minutes if bone-in) or a little more if you have time. Eg. A 2kg deboned gammon will need at least 2 hours to cook.
Once the gammon is cooked, use two forks to lift it out of the cooking liquid and into an ovenproof dish or foil tray if braaing.
While the gammon is cooling, make the brandy glaze. Heat all the ingredients together in a small saucepan on a low to medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved. Add more sugar if the glaze is too watery or a little water if too thick. Do not boil as it will turn to hard caramel!
When the gammon is cool enough to handle, carefully peel the skin/rind off.
Score the fat to create a diamond pattern and press a clove into the centre of each diamond, baste liberally with the glaze and return the gammon to the oven or braai, uncovered.
Baste frequently until the glazed fat has browned nicely (about 15 mins).
Carve and serve with your choice of sides such as roast potatoes, carrots, green beans or butternut.
Festive Leg of Lamb
Recipe by Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen (with adjustments)
Prep Time: 5 Mins
Cook Time: 2 hours
Resting Time: 15 minutes
1 Leg of Lamb (+- 2kg), room temperature
3 Sprigs of Rosemary
1 Heaped tbsp Cranberry Sauce
1/4 Orange – Zest only
Salt to taste
Take lamb out of the fridge about an hour before cooking, remove all packaging and place into a large roasting dish. Cover the lamb with cling wrap and allow it to come up to room temperature before roasting.
Pre-heat oven to 180°C or start the braai.
Remove the clingwrap and use a sharp knife to cut small slits in the lamb.
Place a clove in each slit, season with salt and top with fresh rosemary.
In a small bowl mix cranberry sauce (1 heaped tbsp) and orange zest (¼ orange) together.
Roast the lamb in the oven about 1.5 hours or in a foil tray on the braai for 30 minutes, basting regularly.
30 mins before the lamb has finished cooking in the oven or 10 mins before on the braai, remove it from the heat and brush it with the cranberry and orange mixture so it has a thin coating all over the outside then return it to the oven or braai to finish cooking.
Once the lamb has cooked remove it from the heat, cover with foil and leave to rest 10 – 15 minutes before carving.
Remove the cloves and rosemary sprigs before serving.
Lemon Garlic Prawns
Recipe by Knorr (with adjustments)
Prep Time: 25 Mins
Cook Time: 8 Mins
1 Kg Prawns, deveined with shell and head intact
250ml Creamy Garlic and Herb Salad Dressing
3 Lemons, halved
15ml Fresh Parsley, chopped
Paprika to taste
Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
Start the braai.
In a bowl, mix together the Creamy Garlic & Herb Salad Dressing, juice of two lemons, parsley and a sprinkling of Paprika.
Pour the sauce over the prawns then season with salt and black pepper and leave to marinate in the fridge.
Grill the prawns over hot coals or in a pan over medium heat on the stove, turning over occasionally until the prawns turn pink (this indicates that they are cooked through).
Continue basting the prawns with the remaining marinade and squeeze the juice of the remaining lemon over the prawns as they cook.