Christmas Food with JP Passion - Amazing Christmas turkey and ham

By JP Kennedy

John Paul Kennedy is a self-taught cook and an avid fan of collecting cookery books with a passion for good old fashioned home cooking. his passion for proper family cooking stems from his TWO Grandmothers who were both excellent cooks, one of whom was a trained chef! JP is also a Christmas fanatic so he has pulled together a selection of some of his family’s favourite Christmas recipes, to share with you in the lead up to Christmas.

The big day is almost upon us and for me prepping and cooking the Christmas Turkey and Ham is my favourite meal to prepare for my family every year. I couldn’t let this year go without sharing with you all, the perfect Christmas Turkey and Ham.

Every year I order my turkey through my local butcher in Citywest. I go for the full bird as I find it gives better flavour and goes a long way! I order a large heritage cured ham from Avoca.

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The great thing about my ham is it’s a roasted ham, so no boiling required. It roasts low and slow on Christmas Eve for 5 hours and then on Christmas day I add all the amazing flavour and glaze and pop back into the oven for 30 minutes to become burnished and golden.

It’s simply delicious I promise you. I serve my turkey and ham with my heavenly crunchy roast potatoes, Nanny Rena’s stuffing and perfect mustard-glazed roasted carrots and parsnips! I’m getting both hungry and excited juts thinking about it!

Turkey & Ham - Ingredients: Caters for 16 -20 people

  • 16lb turkey – Full bird
    11lb Heritage-cured ham – part boned, makes for easier carving
    1lb unsalted butter
    1 packet of streaky bacon
    Light brown sugar
    Maple syrup
    Zest of 1 orange
    1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
    Sea-salt and cracked black pepper
    Freshly chopped thyme and sage – Tablespoon of each

Roasted Heritage Cured Ham – Method

1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees
2. On Christmas Eve take your ham out of the fridge and allow to come to room temperature for about 45 minutes
3. Cover in foil and place on a large roasting tray with a little water underneath and place onto the middle shelf of your oven and cook for 5 hours
4. Allow to cool completely and recover with fresh tinfoil and pop back into your fridge until Christmas Day
5. On Christmas Day when you’ve finished cooking the turkey take your ham back out of the fridge
6. With a sharp knife cut off the excess thick layer of outer skin leaving a thin layer of fat
7. Score the ham creating a diamond pattern and score each intersection with a clove
8. Pack on tightly the light brown sugar and liberally apply the maple syrup, Dijon mustard and grated zest of one orange
9. Roast in the oven at 180 degrees for about 30 minutes until it’s burnished and golden

My Christmas Turkey – Method

1. On Christmas morning take your turkey out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. This will take about an hour
2. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees
3. I use a foil throwaway turkey roasting dish, saves on the washing up. Place a large piece of tinfoil lengthways and across the roasting dish and place the turkey inside. This will enable you to cover the bird easily creating an oven within an oven
4. If stuffing the inside of the turkey, I always do, gives more flavour, place your stuffing inside the cavity but remember not to pack it too tightly
5. Smear the entire bird liberally with the unsalted butter
6. Place strips of streaky bacon across the breast of the bird
7. Sprinkle on your chopped thyme and sage and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper
8. Pull the tinfoil over the bird making sure to leave space between the breast and the tinfoil – these should not touch
9. Pop into the oven. A bird this size will take about 5.5 hours to cook. For the last 1.5 hours of cooking remember to baste the turkey every 30 minutes. You can then remove the tinfoil for the last 45 minutes of cooking and take the bacon off the breast to ensure it gets a nice even golden colour
10. To check your bird is cooked pierce the thickest part of the meat between the breast and the leg. Once the juices run clear your turkey is fully cooked. Cover in foil for up to 1.5 hours if required, to give you time to roast your ham, roast vegetables and heavenly roast potatoes

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