Ricochet News

Popular Christmas Recipes – simple and easy to do!

By Jesica Slabbert - Dec 23, 2016
Popular Christmas Recipes – simple and easy to do!

We all know how stressful it can be to plan and decide on a Christmas meal for your family. Here are a few simple and easy recipes for traditional Christmas dishes for your whole family to enjoy.

  1. Roast Gammon

A Roast Gammon can seem a little daunting to cook – perhaps it’s because they look fancy with all the pineapples and cherries and the talk of this glaze or that glaze. You’d think that Gammon is only a dish for the culinary experienced, but fear not, there is an easy to understand recipe to follow right here:


  • 1 Gammon (1.5kg – if yours is bigger, the cooking time will adjust slightly – more on that below)
  • 2 Carrots
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Can of Pineapple Rings
  • 4 Tablespoons of Honey (for glaze)
  • 1 Tablespoon wholegrain mustard (for glaze)
  • 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard (for glaze)


1)      Chop up the carrots into large chunks

2)      Chop the onion into 8 wedges

3)      Place the gammon, with its string-cover still on (if it has one), into a large pot. Put the carrots in and the onion. Now pour water into the pot so that the water covers half the gammon.

4)      Put the lid on and boil for 40 minutes (only make the temperature just high enough to boil gently.)

5)      You may need to add a little water once it’s been boiling for 20 minutes or so, just so that the water is still halfway up the gammon.

6)      In the meantime, prepare the glaze – mix the honey and mustards together. Easy!!

7)      Preheat the oven onto 210°C

8)      After boiling for 40 minutes, discard the water, carrots and onion (alternatively you can freeze the water into ice cube trays and use it as stock for soups and stews) and remove the string-cover from the gammon.

9)      Place the gammon in a roasting dish and spoon or brush the glaze over the top of the gammon.

10)   Place the pineapple rings on the bottom of the roasting dish (this adds juice to glaze which you can use as a sauce when serving)…and it looks nice too!

11)   Roast (without a lid) for 40 minutes at 210°C, until browned and crispy.

12)   Slice and serve with your choice of starch and vegetables. You can pour the leftover juice in the roasting dish over the meat. Delicious!

  1. Roast Turkey

If you are expecting a fairly large number of guests and need to put together a big meal, whether it’s for Christmas or any other special occasions, a big turkey can feed a good few. Turkey needs to roast in the oven for hours, which gives you plenty of time to prepare your side dishes. Remember to take your frozen bird out of the freezer a couple of days in advance and let it thaw slowly in the fridge.


Rinse the turkey inside and out in cold water before patting it dry with paper towels. If you want to stuff the turkey, do it just before it goes into the oven. Stuffing can however interfere largely with cooking time, so it’s sometimes easier to prepare this separately.

Now get your hand between the turkey’s skin and breast meat, and rub on some butter and herbs. Don’t butter the outside of the skin, but salt and pepper it to make it crispier. Place the turkey, breast up, in a shallow roasting pan in order to let air flow freely around it while cooking, and add half a cup of water to the bottom of the roasting pan for easier clean-up.


1)      Preheat your oven to about 165°C. Insert the meat thermometer into the inner thigh area near the breast of the turkey, but not touching the bone, and place the roasting pan on the lowest oven rack.

2)      Many factors can affect the roasting time on a turkey – the most obvious being its weight. Allow about 0.45kg per person, which will normally give you some scrumptious leftovers.

3)      Always use the meat thermometer to decide when the turkey is done. When the interior breast meat is 76-77°C and the thigh meat is 82-83°C, your bird should be ready.

4)      Remove it from the oven and leave to rest for 20 minutes – allowing the juices to redistribute themselves and making it easier to carve the turkey.

5)      You can serve your turkey with roast potatoes, parsnips, Brussels sprouts, squash, corn, green beans, sweet potatoes or other popular vegetables. Gravy and cranberry sauce also add flavour to this popular Christmas meal. And don’t forget the stuffing!

  1. Roast Beef

Prime rib, standing rib roast, and beef tenderloin are special-occasion cuts that are perfectly suited to the holiday table. All these roasts need is a simple seasoning rub to add to their already mouth-watering flavour.


Firstly you need to pick your cut of meat; the meat cuts best suited for a roast style cooking are topside, sirloin, rib and wing rib. Once you have your cut you can select the temperature cooking method from high to slow.

The best cuts for the high temperature method are sirloin and ribs. In a hot oven at about 220°C, allow 15 minutes per 0.45 kg plus 15 minutes if required rare, or 20 minutes per 0.45 kg plus 20 minutes for medium-done.

The moderate temperature method requires a fairly hot oven of about 190°C. With sirloin and ribs, unboned, allow 25 minutes per 0.45kg for medium to well-done results. If joint is boned and rolled, allow 30 minutes per 0.45kg.

For a slow roast in a warm to moderate oven (160°C – 175°C), allow 40 minutes per 0.45kg to give a medium to well-done result when using a cheaper roasting cut on the bone (e.g. brisket). If boned and rolled, allow 45 minutes per 0.45kg.


1)      Place the weighed joint on a rack or straight in the roasting tin.

2)      Sprinkle with flour or add some dripping or lard if the meat is lean.

3)      When the meat is cooked, remove it from the tin and keep it hot while making the gravy.

4)      Basting is necessary only when the meat is very lean. For “self-basting”, use aluminum foil and cook at the high temperature; either brown the joint first and then place it in the foil, or open the foil for the last 20 minutes.

5)      Potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions and marrow are all good when roasted with the joint, and par-boiling (except in the case of marrow) shortens the cooking time and gives an excellent result.