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THE BOROUGH MARKET GUIDE TO

Christmas

From the perfect roast turkey to the perfect cheeseboard, a guide to sourcing and cooking a Christmas feast

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KIM LIGHTBODY

Christmas turkey with chestnut, sage, apricot & quatre épices stuffing balls


THE BOROUGH MARKET GUIDE TO

Christmas

Food and drink have always been pretty fundamental to our enjoyment of Christmas, but after last year’s rather miserable lockeddown festivities, the simple pleasures to be found in buying, preparing and sharing food are likely to be felt even more intensely than usual this time around. And there really is nowhere better to start the process than at Borough Market, a place unmatched in the quality and diversity of its seasonal produce. If you’re looking to have your spirits thoroughly lifted and your stomach just as comprehensively filled, our traders have got you covered. In these pages, you’ll hopefully find some of the inspiration you need to make your festive feasting truly special. Covering the three days from Christmas Eve to Boxing Day, we’ve got a selection of seasonal recipes from Ed Smith and Saliha Mahmood Ahmed, including a classic roast turkey, a couple of vegetable sides, and a suitably light dessert to follow. We’ve also enlisted Ed and couple of other top food writers to help you prepare the perfect cheese board and cured meat plate, plan your wine drinking, make the most of the season’s seafood, and ensure that your Christmas dinner is as pain-free in its preparation as it is delicious in its consumption. BOROUGH MARKET ONLINE Borough Market Online offers a wide selection of our traders’ produce, delivered direct to London addresses and, where available, by post to the rest of the UK. Order by midday on 22nd December for pre-Christmas delivery. goodsixty.co.uk/borough-market

CHRISTMAS EVE Christmas fishes: the perfect Christmas seafood Bee Wilson Salt-baked white fish Ed Smith CHRISTMAS DAY Turkey delight: the perfect Christmas dinner Ed Smith The Christmas turkey Ed Smith Chestnut, sage, apricot & quatre épices stuffing balls Ed Smith Wine-braised chantenay carrots Ed Smith Smoked pig cheek & farmhouse cheddar sprout gratin Ed Smith Deep and crisp and even: the perfect Christmas wines Jane Parkinson Cranberrymisu Ed Smith Board games: the perfect cheese board Ed Smith BOXING DAY Miracle cures: the perfect cold meat platter Ed Smith Harissa turkey salad with freekeh & pomegranate Saliha Mahmood Ahmed Rose & raisin one-crust tart Saliha Mahmood Ahmed



24

CHRISTMAS EVE


CHRISTMAS FISHES: THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS SEAFOOD Bee Wilson

Every season has its particular scents, and perhaps none more so than Christmas. For many of us in Britain, Christmas really begins when the house smells of cinnamon and cloves from the mulled wine and mince pies, and the zest of clementines lingers in the air. In Iceland, by contrast, you know it’s Christmas when you can smell the inimitable tang of rotten skate and the thick cloud of ammonia and fishiness it leaves in its wake. In Iceland, Christmas is preceded on 23rd December by Thorláksmessa, St Thorlak’s day, a celebration of the patron saint of Iceland. Thorlak’s memory is toasted each year with a special dish of putrefied skate, known as skata, which is fermented for a long time before being eaten with rye bread, butter and potatoes. Many Icelanders live in apartments and the overwhelming pong created by the cooking of skata gives rise to heated arguments. Some insist it should be cooked outside on the barbecue, even at the height of winter. Others seal the doors of the kitchen with duct tape. But for devotees, the Christmas season would not be the same without it. Those who love it say that – as with a pungent cheese, or a bottle of Thai fish sauce – the awful smell and mouth-numbing pungency give way to the most wonderful sweet-savoury flavour. In any case, Icelandic cooks drive out the smell of the skata with the still stronger smell of the smoked lamb eaten on Christmas Day. Skata may be an extreme example, but it’s just one of many European Christmas and New Year rituals involving fish and seafood. In Britain, we tend to mark the season with meat, but in most of the rest of Europe, the

meal that really matters is not the feasting lunch on 25th December but the fasting dinner on Christmas Eve, which according to Christian custom always included fish. In Spain, for example, the Christmas Eve dinner may start with a joyous platter of pink prawns in their shells and proceed to hake or bream. In Poland and much of Scandinavia, the celebratory fish of Christmas will be some kind of preserved or salted herring. In her book Polska: New Polish Cooking, Zuza Zak notes that one of the Christmas Eve staples in her family is preserved herrings dressed with olive oil, shallots, white pepper and just a little cinnamon. Zak eats this as part of a zakuski spread with rye bread or bagels. The other essential ingredient to go with Polish Christmas Eve herrings is very cold vodka. You have a sip of vodka and then a bite of oily fish. Elsewhere in the Catholic world, the fish of Christmas tends to be salt cod. In her book European Festival Food, Elisabeth Luard describes the Christmas Eve fasting suppers of Provence, where the meal is called the ‘gros souper’. This starts at around 7pm with a substantial vegetable soup or vegetable gratin made from chard or cardoons. Next come snails, and salt cod, perhaps served with a Provençal sauce of tomatoes with garlic and capers. Luard notes that in Provence at Christmas there are special stalls selling salt-cod puree (‘brandade de morue’) and ready-soaked fish. After the salt cod, the family go out for midnight mass, before returning for mulled wine and 13 desserts – various dried fruits and nuts that represent Christ and his disciples.


REGULA YSEWIJN

It’s well worth copying the tradition of fish on Christmas Eve. For one thing, the lightness of fish is just right to prepare you for the debauch of brandy butter and roast meats that awaits you the following day. I also feel that fish – really fresh fish – has become one of the greatest of all treats because in so many parts of the country, it is hard to get. The question is what fish? As with Icelandic skata, there are some Christmassy fish customs that seem like less than a treat. American writer Garrison Keiller recalled his horror during childhood at being served lutefisk – wind-dried stockfish soaked in soapy lye – in honour of his Norwegian ancestors. Keiller knew he would be told to have just a little. “Eating ‘a little’ was,” he notes, “like vomiting ‘a little’, as bad as ‘a lot’.” I’m afraid I feel the same about carp, even though it brings Christmas joy to millions of people across eastern Europe. Carp in grey sauce is a Christmas Eve delicacy in Germany. As Jane Grigson explains: “The fish is cooked with its scales on and everyone treasures a scale or two in their purse to

bring them good luck in the coming year.” I’m charmed by this idea, but not by the fish itself. One December, several years ago, I made a jellied carp and those who ate it are still traumatised by the muddy flavour and strange, fleshy texture. Another great fishy centrepiece is salmon baked in pastry with currants and ginger, a dish that was originally created by George Perry-Smith of the legendary Hole in the Wall restaurant in Bath. But I have half a mind to make a big fish soup on Christmas Eve, for our own version of le gros souper. The greatest fish soup recipe I have ever come across was in Gill Meller’s book, Gather. I have made it several times, never with exactly the combination of fish Gill recommends, but following his aromatics to the letter. What makes it so sublime is that the soup is seasoned not just with fennel and saffron but also paprika and star anise, which give the broth an almost otherworldly warmth. The scent of this soup cooking is so good, it makes me feel it’s Christmas even when it’s not.


SALT-BAKED WHITE FISH Ed Smith Serves 4-6

Method

This is an impressive way to cook and serve fish. The moment you break through the hard casing is as striking and memorable as any first slice into a prime roast joint, and in that sense alone it’s a suitable centrepiece for the festive season. More importantly, though, it’s also extremely tasty. The lemon and herb flavoured salt crust creates a self-seasoning oven, which when cracked into and opened at the table presents steaming, tender and flavourful fish. You’ll often see sea bass as the suggested fish (make sure it’s wild), but the method works well for bream and grey mullet – both of which are more economical. Serve with boiled or gratin potatoes, seasonal greens and wedges of lemon. Use the leftover egg yolks to make a custard, ice cream or other eggy dessert.

Heat the oven to 200C. Strip the leaves from 3 rosemary sprigs, chop them roughly and set aside, then slice the lemon.

Ingredients

Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 30 mins, then remove and leave to rest for a further 10 mins.

5 sprigs of rosemary Finely grated zest of 1 lemon 4 large egg whites 1kg fine salt 1.5-2kg line-caught sea bass, bream or grey mullet, gutted

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Whisk the egg whites in a large mixing bowl until loose and beginning to foam. Add the salt, lemon zest and chopped rosemary, and mix thoroughly. Pack the cavity of the fish with the lemon slices and the remaining rosemary sprigs. Put a quarter of the salt mix on a baking or roasting tray big enough to fit the fish. Spread it out to mirror the footprint of the fish, then lay the fish on top. Spoon the remaining salt over the top, plastering it tightly around the fish. If you run out of mix, it’s fine if the head and tail stick out from the igloo.

Carefully open the salt casing with a heavy knife, brush away any excess salt, and peel away the skin as you serve. The flesh beneath should be fragrant but not overly salty, and should come away in fairly meaty chunks from the central bone.

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White fish Furness Fish Markets Shellseekers Fish & Game



25

CHRISTMAS DAY


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TURKEY DELIGHT: THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS DINNER Ed Smith

The Christmas turkey has a strange reputation in the UK. For a significant proportion of households, turkey is The Thing to have as a centrepiece on The Big Day. And yet, so many of us claim to fear the cooking process and feel (at best) somewhat ambivalent about the eating experience. “Takes too long”, “it’s dry and tasteless” and “there’s no room or time for the best bits – the trimmings”: these are all common complaints. And yet, it really doesn’t need to be this way. Your meal will always taste best if you focus on high-welfare animals and seasonal fruit and vegetables. You will enjoy both the cooking and eating of the turkey far more if you can buy a slow-grown heritage breed turkey, such as those you will find at Wyndham House Poultry, Ginger Pig and Northfield Farm. They are almost totally different animals to the intensively farmed Broad-breasted White (there’s much more to be read on how the modern industrialised turkey came to be in Mark Riddaway’s Borough Market: Edible Histories). When it comes to creating the perfect Christmas dinner, bear in mind these five points:

1. S ource a high-welfare, slow-grown heritage breed turkey. 2. Don’t panic about cooking the bird, nor assume that it’ll take all day – just follow the instructions I’ve set out here. 3. Plan only a couple of ‘star sides’, such as my recipes here, one of which is virtually hands-free, the other easily prepared in advance. Beyond them, keep things simple: cranberry sauce and bread sauce, stuffing balls, roast potatoes, gravy. 4. For the potatoes, the most important steps are: a) par-boil the potatoes a day earlier in salted water with some garlic and a few sprigs of rosemary, drain, rough-up, leave to cool, then refrigerate overnight; and b) when you roast them, do so in a shallow-sided tray in which the potatoes sit with plenty of space around them. 5. Rest the bird for at least an hour – it won’t be cold! – and cut the breasts from the carcass before slicing across them. Both steps are helpful for ensuring tender, succulent meat.


THE CHRISTMAS TURKEY Ed Smith Serves 6-12 These instructions and the cooking times are for high-welfare, slow-growing heritage breed turkeys, such as the Norfolk Bronze. These birds cook more quickly than commercial varieties, and taste so much better too. Ingredients 3.5-7kg turkey 2-3 onions, peeled and quartered 2-3 sticks of celery, chopped into 4-5cm batons 2 bulbs of garlic, halved through their middles 1 lemon, halved 2-3 sprigs of rosemary Method The night before, ensure a) the turkey is already defrosted (if you have frozen yours); b) any plastic covering has been discarded; and c) the pack of giblets have been removed from the cavity. Pat the bird dry, rub a generous amount of fine salt all over the breast, legs and cavity, then return the turkey to the fridge and leave it uncovered overnight so the skin dries out a little.

25 mins per kilo. Try not to open the oven or add other things to it during this time. With 30 mins to go, baste the turkey with any juices in the pan. If it’s looking pale (smaller birds might), rub with a little butter and increase the temperature to 200C. Return to the oven. When time is up, use a temperature probe to check the biggest part of the breast is around 65C, and the legs above 80C. If not, return to the oven for 10-15 mins more. If so, remove from the oven and leave to rest in a warm place for 60-80 mins before carving. Meanwhile, turn the oven right up to cook your potatoes, stuffing and sides. Make your gravy by pouring any fats and juices from the roasting tin into a smaller tin or saucepan, vigorously whisking 1 heaped tbsp plain flour into that, then gradually whisking in a few spoons of vegetable or giblet stock. Pour through a fine sieve if a little lumpy. To carve the bird, remove the legs from the body and slice the meat from them. The breast will be most tender and succulent if you remove it whole, then cut into slices across its width. Transfer to a warm serving platter and douse with some hot gravy before serving.

Bring the turkey out of the fridge a few hours before cooking. Heat the oven to 220C. Fill the base of a roasting tin into which the turkey snuggly fits with the onions, celery, and garlic bulbs. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp oil over these aromatics, tumble until glossy then place the turkey on top. Place the lemon in the cavity of the bird, plus a couple of sprigs of rosemary. Drizzle 1-2 tbsp oil over the skin of the turkey, rubbing it so that it’s glossy all over. Place in the oven, reduce the temperature to 180C and cook for Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

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Turkey Wyndham House Poultry Northfield Farm Ginger Pig


CHESTNUT, SAGE, APRICOT & QUATRE ÉPICES STUFFING BALLS Ed Smith Serves 6-8

Method

The quatre épices and sage in these stuffing balls add a festive fragrance, the chestnuts and apricots a pleasing texture and sweetness. You can prepare the mix well in advance, but if more than 12 hours before cooking, leave the egg out and add that just prior to rolling into stuffing balls. Cooking these separately from the turkey reduces the time the bird needs to be in the oven, and just generally makes the logistics easier.

Crumble the chestnuts into a mixing bowl, then use a fork to mash them further. A little rubble is fine, it doesn’t need to be a puree. Combine with the remaining ingredients (except for the egg if you’re preparing this in advance – I leave an unbroken egg on top of the otherwise mixed ingredients before covering and refrigerating, so it’s not forgotten). Mix thoroughly until you’ve a fairly uniform paste – turning and squeezing with your hands is the best way.

Ingredients 200g cooked chestnuts 500g Cumberland sausage meat 1 shallot, very finely diced 200g apricots, diced 12 sage leaves, finely chopped 1 medium egg 50g soft breadcrumbs 2 tsp quatre épices

Take a spoonful and squash it into a patty, fry in a hot pan for 1-2 mins on both sides. Then taste – season with salt and pepper as you think appropriate, or add more herbs, spices or apricots if you think they’re needed. Wet your hands and roll the stuffing mix into 45g balls – something between a golf and snooker ball size. Line a small baking tray with parchment. Set the balls on this and refrigerate until required. When the turkey is resting and there’s more space in the oven, blast at 200-220C for 15-20 mins, turning once after 12 mins to ensure fairly even colouring.

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Cooked chestnuts Brindisa Sausage meat Northfield Farm Quatre épices Spice Mountain


WINE-BRAISED CHANTENAY CARROTS Ed Smith Serves 6

Method

Chantenay carrots always look cute, but in this recipe they’re also a very easy, low effort but high reward side dish that will feel special. No peeling, and no worries about hob space or overcooking either. Elsey & Bent tends to have multi-coloured heritage carrots, so look out for those. If you can’t find these mini carrots, then peel normal carrots and chop across them into cylinders about 4cm long.

Heat your oven to 200C (if you’re roasting potatoes or other Christmas sides at the same time, 220C is also fine).

Ingredients 600g chantenay carrots 2 sticks of celery, very finely diced 30g butter, diced 200ml dry white wine or dry vermouth 2 heaped tbsp finely chopped parsley

Scrub the carrots and trim any stringy bits, but don’t peel them. Transfer to an ovenproof dish or shallow casserole into which they fit snugly in one or two layers. Add the celery, dot with the butter, tumble everything together, then pour in the wine. Put a tight-fitting lid on the dish or cover with two layers of kitchen foil and bake for 45-60 mins. Check that the carrots are tender. Remove from the oven if so, or leave for another 10 mins if not. The carrots can sit warmly in this dish without ruining for longer if other trimmings are not quite behaving. Just before serving, add the chopped parsley and a heavy scattering of flaky sea salt.

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Chantenay carrots Elsey & Bent Butter Hook and Son Vermouth Borough Wines


SMOKED PIG CHEEK & FARMHOUSE CHEDDAR SPROUT GRATIN Ed Smith Serves 6

Method

This sprout dish should appease the nonbelievers. It’s also excellent as a get-ahead dish – you can assemble the gratin dish the day before and simply heat at a high temperature for 10-15 mins while everyone’s ambling towards the table and the turkey is ready to be carved.

Trim any woody bases from the sprouts then shred very finely (use the shredding attachment on a food processor if you like).

Ingredients 130g smoked pig cheek lardons 600g brussels sprouts, finely shredded 1 large echalion shallot, finely sliced 2 large cloves of garlic, crushed 300ml double cream 60g Isle of Mull Cheddar (or other mature farmhouse cheddar), grated 2 tbsp finely chopped rosemary 1 heaped tsp ground black peppercorns ¼ nutmeg, finely grated 150g focaccia (or the end of a sourdough), cut into fingernail-sized cubes 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Set a large frying pan or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the lardons into the pan while it’s still cold, then let these render and fry for 7 mins until crisp. Reduce the temperature a little, add the shallot and soften for 5 mins without colouring, stirring occasionally. Add the sprouts and crushed garlic and cook for 2-3 mins, stirring occasionally, just until the sprouts change to a vivid and glossy green. Add the cream, 100ml water, the cheese, half the rosemary plus the black pepper and nutmeg. Allow the liquid to bubble up and warm through for 1-2 mins maximum (we don’t want to overcook the sprouts). Remove from the heat and decant into a gratin dish or low-sided casserole (around 2 litres). If assembling in advance, stop at this point, cover the dish and refrigerate. On the day, tumble the bread and remaining rosemary in extra virgin olive oil (1 tbsp if focaccia, 2 tbsp if sourdough) and scatter over the dish. Heat the oven to 220C, then bake for 15 mins or so, until the bread layer is browning and the cream is bubbling through.

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Smoked pig cheek Ginger Pig Isle of Mull Cheddar Neal’s Yard Dairy Focaccia Bread Ahead



DEEP AND CRISP AND EVEN: THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS WINES Jane Parkinson

There are endless reasons to twist a screwcap or pop a cork at this time of year, so the wine options are endless too. Those of us who take pains to drink the right bottle for every occasion can wallow in our obsessions with reckless abandon as we perform the noble task of choosing the wine of the moment. Christmas Day itself is packed full of possibilities, so here’s my guide to the perfect wine styles, from dawn to dusk. When the adults start opening presents (let’s assume, for the sake of decency, that this is mid to late morning), one delicious, failsafe option is a moscato d’Asti from Piedmont in northern Italy. Its frothy fizz immediately puts a smile on your face (which could be handy if Big Day tensions are already in the air), and its slightly sweet elderflower and pear fruitiness really peps up the palate in a ‘naughty breakfast juice’ kind of way. Perhaps its best attribute is its low alcohol – it rarely exceeds 6.5%, perfect for a wine consumed early in the day. Plus, if there’s any left over, it’s a handy match with trifle. The next likely wine opportunity would be pre-lunch, perhaps with a plate of smoked salmon. The answer? Champagne, of course. Perhaps try the blanc de blancs style, made with chardonnay only – zesty and light on its feet – or a brut non-vintage style, with its drinkable ratio of fruitiness to toastiness. If moscato followed by champagne is too much effervescence, pour a glass of still white instead. Smoked salmon enjoys many white wines, so this could be the opportunity to try something off-piste but hugely drinkable. The vermentino grape,

for example, makes a dry, super-fresh lemon and lime-flavoured wine – a clever and unpredictable option that also makes a great talking point. And so on to the starters: if you’re having a pâté of some description, crack open a bottle of pinot gris. It’s the same grape as pinot grigio, but when called gris it’s a very different style. Gris is the more serious version, dry or slightly off dry (the latter better with pâté), with a smooth, rounded apple and pear lusciousness. If there is any left over, this grape also makes a great pairing with many cheeses, including brillat-savarin, feta, halloumi or most kinds of goat’s cheese. For turkey with all the trimmings, red usually works best – even though there is plenty of white meat on the bird, the plate is also adorned with many rich accompaniments. This is where the pinot noir comes in very handy, being a red grape full of sumptuous red fruit flavours as well as a gentle savouriness that respects the earthier flavours of the dish. We’ll finish, as is only right and proper, with port. Nothing works better with stilton than a glass of vintage port, the sweetness and depth of flavour of which makes it one of the few wines that can match up to the blue cheese’s pungency. For Christmas pudding, mince pies and Christmas cake, a lighter and slightly less expensive tawny port is sheer heaven. Tawnies come in different ages (10, 20, 30 and 40 years old), and the younger the age, the more chilled the drink should be served. Avid port drinkers would declare port to be a course all by itself: the perfect finish to the perfect festive wine drinking day.


CRANBERRYMISU Ed Smith Serves 6-8 Tiramisu + cranberries = a winning and festive combination. I think this is best whipped-up and assembled around the time the turkey goes in – ideally one person does this while another concentrates on savoury stuff. But if that’s not possible, it’s fine if made overnight. Just add the cocoa and chocolate topping at the last minute. This fits a 2-litre container, ideally with 4-5cm high sides. Rectangular is best, I think. Ingredients 250g cranberries 1 large orange, zest and juice 110g caster sugar 250ml strong black coffee 75ml Grand Marnier 3-4 tsp cocoa powder 3 egg yolks 250g mascarpone 300ml double cream 20-24 savoiardi biscuits (lady fingers) 20g dark chocolate (80-90% cocoa solids) Method In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, orange zest and juice and 50g sugar. Bring to a steady simmer and cook for around 5 mins, until roughly half of the berries have popped and broken down, but the remainder are whole, yet soft. Remove from the heat and leave to cool. Brew the coffee, decant into a small container that will snuggly fit the length of one savoiarde biscuit. Add 3 tbsp Grand Marnier to the coffee and set aside.

a few minutes, until the mixture is light in both colour and texture and has more than doubled in volume – it should look and feel like a thin mayonnaise. Use a spatula to combine this with the mascarpone. In a separate bowl, use a balloon whisk to whip the cream to an airy, luscious but nottoo-stiff ribbon stage. Fold and beat the egg yolk mixture into this, then very briefly use a balloon whisk to whip it back to that notquite-soft peak stage (it will set further once in the fridge and a little ooze is preferable to over-whipped). To assemble, dust the base of a 2-litre capacity serving dish with 1 tsp cocoa powder. One by one, soak half the biscuits in the coffee and booze mix so that they’re wet and flavourful but not soggy, then transfer directly to the dish until the base is covered (I hold a biscuit flat in the liquid without letting go, say “and one”, then move it to the dish). Spread the cranberry sauce over the biscuits and dust that with another teaspoon of cocoa powder. Spread just under half of the mascarpone mixture on top. Repeat the biscuit soaking and arranging for a second layer. Cover with the remainder of the mascarpone, then refrigerate for 3 hours or more. Just prior to serving, dust with a final, generous teaspoon of cocoa powder, then use a fine microplane or similar to grate the chocolate over the top.

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Cranberries Ted’s Veg Savoiardi biscuits Gastronomica Dark chocolate So Chocolicious

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BOARD GAMES: THE PERFECT CHEESE BOARD Ed Smith

When discussing cheeseboard strategy, I normally tend to argue (strongly and perhaps a little patronisingly) that the correct approach is to go big on just one or two things – I’m partial to a quarter of Stichelton and a significant wedge of aged comté.

BATH BLUE Bath Soft Cheese Co A mellow, creamy, blue-veined cheese, made at Park Farm from the organic milk of its own herd of cows. Powerful flavour without being gum-receding.

But let’s be honest, it’s impossible to limit yourself to two types of cheese when you arrive at Borough Market, where there are over 20 different traders from whom you can buy quality, artisan-produced cheese.

SAINT-FÉLICIEN Mons Cheesemongers This oozy-soft white rind cheese from the Rhône-Alpes region of France is as creamy and luscious as you would expect from something based on double cream. There’s a little tang to it too. A beauty.

If two might be too few, then I think that more than seven is too many. Plumping for five, six or seven cheeses allows you to cover the steady crowd-pleasers, while also exploring a few leftfield choices. If you lose all selfcontrol and find yourself with more, will anyone really appreciate the effort, or get to fully enjoy all the cheeses at their peak? Here’s my Borough Market cheese board for Christmas 2021. PITCHFORK CHEDDAR Trethowan Brothers An unpasteurised farmhouse cheddar from the Somerset-based makers of Gorwydd Caerphilly. Not overly mature or feisty (it’s aged for a touch over 11 months) but it’s characterful, grassy and earthy. RUYGE WEYDE GOUDA Borough Cheese Company An 18-month-aged gouda with a really amazing range of flavours (from grassy meadow through to banoffee) and an umami crystal crunch redolent of a punchy parmesan.

YOUNG PECORINO Bianca Mora Pecorino comes in many guises, and Bianca Mora’s aged variety is exceptional, but I think this young, pale, salty smooth version balances my board really nicely. The flavour of sheep’s milk is really evident. DORSTONE Neal’s Yard Dairy A light and fluffy cylinder of goat’s cheese with a bright white paste, displaying citrus acidity. This will contrast nicely with the likes of Bath Blue and Pitchfork (and indeed the turkey, goose or beef from earlier on). BASAJO L’Ubriaco Drunk Cheese Here’s my wild card: a sharp soft blue reminiscent of a roquefort, but this time it’s had a swim in passito di Pantelleria, an Italian dessert wine, so there’s a sweet and slightly boozy edge too. You don’t need much per biscuit, and yet it’s remarkably moreish!



26 BOXING DAY


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MIRACLE CURES: THE PERFECT COLD MEAT PLATTER Ed Smith

Given the likely presence of leftover turkey, glazed ham, maybe a rib of beef, you’d be forgiven for thinking that your home does not require any more meat over the festive season. And yet if a meal is taking too long to come together, if people presumptively ‘drop round’, if you can’t stand the thought of another hour of cooking, then having a collection of cured meats on hand could well be a lifesaver. As with my cheese board, I’d love to practice what I preach and just focus on one thing done well. One of my life goals is to have a meat slicer on my worktop, with a whole prosciutto hanging close to hand. And yet, in reality, a) the constraints of things like, ooh I don’t know, money and space, loom large; and b) it’s impossible to limit yourself to just one thing when walking round the many cured meat specialists at Borough Market. Here’s my Borough Market cured meat platter for Christmas 2021. COPPA DI ZIBELLO The Parma Ham & Mozzarella Stand This cut, from the hard-working collar of a pig, is both silky and flavourful, thanks to the balance of lean meat and a marbling of intramuscular fat. Most varieties are good, but this version is so pure and unadulterated, it’s wonderful. VENISON SALAMI Alpine Deli Make the most of the offer at Alpine Deli and walk away with three Tyrolean salamis. A mix of venison, boar and spicy pork sausages will see you through the period (cut them into slices slightly thinner than a pound coin). For the sake of this spread, use the venison.

SMOKED MUTTON Capreolus To my palate, this is one of the great British cured meats. It is very of this isle, and a wonderful expression of ‘lambiness’. Sweet, smoky, slightly tangy, very grassy, a little bit of Marmite too. Unique and memorable. IBÉRICO DE BELLOTA SALCHICHÓN Brindisa One of Brindisa’s concentric swirls of jamon Ibérico de Bellota would go down a treat – but maybe that’s something for that ‘just one thing’ mood. The acorn-fattened pigs from whom those hind legs hail are used for other cured meats too, including these rich, salty and pleasingly fatty slices of salchichon. MOUSSE DE CANARD Le Marché du Quartier Some soft charcuterie is a good call. I was tempted by pâté de campagne or duck rillettes, but something about the silkysmooth beige mousse grabbed me and demanded I take a slice. Rich and luxurious. BRESI The French Comte Dark red and bursting with flavour, as you would expect from cured beef fillet from a Montbéliarde cow. It’s lightly smoked, too, so there’s another thing that’ll bounce off your tongue. FINOCCHIONA Gastronomica Finally we return to pork, with perhaps its perfect partner, the fennel seed. Light, sweet, tangy and aromatic, with hints of anise, finocchiona will round this platter off nicely.


HARISSA TURKEY SALAD WITH FREEKEH & POMEGRANATE Saliha Mahmood Ahmed Serves 6-8

Method

The indulgences of Christmas leave me craving a light, nutritious meal on Boxing Day. This recipe is an excellent way of sprucing up leftover roast turkey.

Boil the freekeh according to the packet instructions, drain well and add the butter while it is still warm.

Ingredients 300g freekeh (use giant couscous, quinoa, brown rice or pearl barley if you prefer) 25g salted butter 1 red onion, sliced 300g shredded cooked turkey 2 tbsp harissa 1 bunch of flat leaf parsley, finely chopped 250g fresh pomegranate seeds 100g toasted pistachios Juice of 1 lemon

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Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil in a pan and add the onion. When it starts to soften, add the shredded turkey and harissa, combining all the ingredients well. Build the salad by mixing the freekeh, rose harissa-flavoured turkey and flat leaf parsley. Sprinkle over the pomegranate seeds and toasted pistachios and squeeze over the lemon juice. Finish with an extra drizzle of olive oil.

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KIM LIGHTBODY

Harissa Arabica Pomegranate Stark’s Fruiterers Pistachios Oliveology


ROSE & RAISIN ONE-CRUST TART Saliha Mahmood Ahmed Serves 6-8 There is nothing quite like the floral perfume that fills the room when this beautiful creature emerges from the oven. Making it in one crust means that you really don’t need any fancy equipment, and you can create either one large pie or several smaller ones using the same technique. Either use my recipe for mincemeat, or buy a jar from Borough Market and add rose petal jam and rosewater. Ingredients For the mincemeat: 200g currants 200g raisins 100g sultanas 1 cooking apple, diced into 2cm cubes 80g butter ½ tsp cinnamon powder 120g light muscovado sugar 3 tbsp rose petal jam 3 tbsp rosewater For the pie: 225g plain flour 50g soft brown sugar 100g cold butter 1 egg, separated into the yolk and white 1 tbsp granulated sugar 2 tbsp ground almonds Dried rose petals to garnish

To make the pastry, sieve the flour into a bowl. Add the soft brown sugar and cubes of cold butter. Rub lightly together using your fingertips, until it forms a mixture that resembles breadcrumbs. Add just enough water to form a soft dough, cover with cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 mins. The colder the pastry, the easier it is to work with. Dust flour liberally onto a piece of greaseproof paper. Place the pastry ball in the centre of the paper then roll out into a rough circle 30cm in diameter and the thickness of a 50p coin. Lift the paper and pastry onto a baking sheet. Brush the egg yolk onto the pastry and sprinkle with the ground almonds. Pile the mincemeat filling into the centre, leaving a 5-7cm rim of pastry clear of filling. Carefully fold this rim over the filling, leaving a central area of mincemeat uncovered. Complete uniformity is not important. Brush the outer rim of the pastry with the egg white and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Cut a piece of greaseproof paper into a circle of approximately 8cm diameter and use to cover the exposed mincemeat, so that it doesn’t singe. Bake at 180C for 30 mins, until golden brown. Serve garnished with dried rose petals and covered with double cream or custard.

Method To prepare the mincemeat, combine the first seven ingredients in a pan. Allow the contents of the pan to melt over a low heat and simmer for 12 mins. Leave to cool, then combine with the rose petal jam and rosewater. Place in a sterilised jar in the fridge. Visit boroughmarket.org.uk for more recipes

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Raisins Brindisa Cooking apples Turnips Butter Le Marché du Quartier

KIM LIGHTBODY

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Christmas

HAVE YOURSELF A BOROUGH LITTLE CHRISTMAS For opening hours and to find out what’s on this Christmas, head to:

BOROUGHMARKET.ORG.UK/EVENTS