Becky Excell’s gluten-free Christmas dinner

Food blogger and Sunday Times bestselling author Becky Excell joins the kitchen with recipes that prove gluten-free Christmas dinner can be both easy and delicious!

Bread sauce

Servings: 5-6

Ingredients

leek or 1 small onion, chopped tsp black pepper50 g of butter500 ml of milk2 dried bay leaves3 small slices of gluten-free breadA pinch of ground cloves teaspoon ground nutmegA pinch of salt3 tablespoons of double (heavy) cream

Method

1. Add leek or onion, peppers, butter, milk and bay leaves to a large pot and put on low heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and making sure it doesn’t bubble.

2. Fry the bread in a food processor into fine breadcrumbs.

3. Strain the milk mixture through a strainer into a large pitcher and discard the solids. Pour the simmered milk back into the empty pot (make sure there are no solids left in it) and put it back on the heat.

4. Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook for 2-3 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Finally, mix in ground cloves, nutmeg, salt and cream and serve.


Gingerbread filling support

Servings: 9-10

Ingredients

3 tablespoons of butter medium leek or 1 small onion, chopped500 g minced pork1 teaspoon of salt teaspoon ground black pepperGrated peel of 1 orange150 g applesauce2 slices of gluten-free gingerbread6 slices of smoked streaky bacon

Method

1. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat, then add the leek or onion. Bake until softened before removing the pan from the heat.

2. Put the pork in a large bowl and add salt and pepper. Mix well with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the orange peel and applesauce and mix again. Add the leek/onion mixture to the bowl and stir once more.

3. Crumble the gingerbread into small pieces in a bowl with your hands and mix gently until it is evenly distributed.

If using for turkey stuffing: spoon into the neck cavity of the turkey and cook according to the weight of the turkey.

If you are making filler wood, proceed as follows.

1. Place a large piece of cling film on the work surface and place the bacon strips on top, next to each other and slightly overlapping. Spoon the filling mixture over the bacon into a long log (seal by hand).

2. Lift the other side of the foil and wrap the bacon over the filling. Carefully remove the foil and leave the bacon on top of the filling and lay the foil flat.

3. Repeat on the other side, but this time don’t remove the foil – instead, tightly wrap the opposite side of the foil back to seal the logs and close the ends tightly.

4. Compact the fillings even more by gently rolling the compacted wood on the work surface, creating a neat support shape. Refrigerate for 10 minutes to harden.

5. Heat the oven to 160 fan. Line a large baking sheet with foil.

6. Place the filling stick on the prepared baking sheet and open it carefully. Do not lift too much (it is very delicate and can easily break). The bacon seam should be underneath.

7. Cover the pan tightly with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and return to the oven for the last 20 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Three ingredients for Yorkshire pudding

Brand: 12

Ingredients

Vegetable oil200 g corn flour6 eggs300 ml of milk

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 200 fan. Fill each hole of the muffin tin with a little less than 1 tablespoon of oil and put in the oven to warm up – the oil should be almost spitting.

2. Add the cornmeal to a large bowl, break the eggs and whisk together.

3. Gradually add all the milk a little at a time, whisking in between. Pour the batter into the jug.

4. Quickly remove the muffin tin from the oven and fill each hole with the mixture until it is full. If they don’t hiss when you pour in a fight, the oil isn’t hot enough. Immediately put back in the oven.

5. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and risen (do not open the oven door to check or they will deflate immediately!). When they are fully risen, let them rest for another 2 minutes to make sure they crisp up and don’t deflate when you remove them.

6. Serve immediately.


Fathers excellent turkey

Serving: 10-12

Ingredients

1 turkey, 5.5-6.5 kg, preferably Norfolk Black or Bronze300g gluten-free pork filling (like the gingerbread filling above)2 sprigs of fresh rosemary2 sprigs of fresh thyme2 large dried bay leaves2 clementines, halved1 lemon For the lemon butter80g (cup) butter, softened1 teaspoon of ground garlic paste or 2 tablespoons of garlic-infused oilZest and juice of 1 lemonA generous pinch of salt and ground black pepper

Method

Before Christmas:

1. If your turkey is frozen, put it in the fridge 4 days before Christmas in a suitable sized container on the lowest shelf. If it is a larger turkey, let it thaw in the refrigerator for 10-12 hours per kilo.

2. Take the turkey out of the fridge on Christmas Eve to make sure it is at room temperature the next day. Cooking a turkey in the fridge means the outside will be done and start to dry out before the inside is safe to eat, so make sure that doesn’t happen!

On Christmas Day:

1. Take the filling out of the refrigerator about an hour before use so that it warms up to room temperature.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C fan / 220C / 425F.

3. In a small bowl, combine the lemon butter ingredients.

4. Remove the giblets bag from inside the turkey. Pull back the skin on the end of the turkey neck to expose the cavity and loosely spoon in the stuffing, not packing in too much. Pull the neck skin back and secure with a small cocktail stick. Turn the turkey over so that the body cavity is facing you, then place the rosemary, thyme and bay leaves, clementine halves and the whole lemon inside.

5. Line the bottom and sides of a large baking dish (big enough to fit the turkey!) with foil and place the turkey in it, breast side up. Rub all over with lemon butter. Cover the entire turkey loosely with foil, making sure there is enough tenting to cover the turkey without the foil touching it. 8 Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150C fan / 170C / 340F and bake for another 3-3-12 hours depending on the size of the turkey. Remove the foil from the top of the turkey and increase the heat to 180C fan / 200C / 400F and roast for a further 30-40 minutes until nicely golden brown, basting every 10-15 minutes.

6. Use a digital cooking thermometer to measure the turkey breast and thighs (and stuffing in the neck cavity) to make sure it’s done. 70C / 160F is perfect. Alternatively, you can pierce the thigh with a skewer to ensure the juices run clear.

7. Transfer the turkey to a large wooden board or serving plate, cover with a generous amount of foil and let it rest for 1-2 hours. This resting time can make the difference between keeping all the juices in your turkey or watching them all ooze out if you cut them too early. Reserve the juices in the bottom of the baking dish, transfer to a jug(s) and use them to make my homemade gluten-free turkey gravy (recipe above).

8. After resting, cut with a newly sharpened knife.


Super crispy roasted potatoes

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

1 kg of Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into 4 cm piecesVegetable oil or goose fatA small handful of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)Salt

Method

1. Heat the oven to 200 fan / 220 degrees.

2. Heat a large pot of boiling salted water and add the potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes, starting at the point where the water bubbles, until the pieces are softer on the outside but still firm in the middle.

3. When the potatoes have boiled, put a large baking sheet in the oven with plenty of oil or goose fat.

4. Drain the potatoes and transfer them back to the pan and put the lid on. Shake the pan a few times to fluff up the outside, which helps achieve a crispy exterior after roasting.

5. Put the potatoes on a hot tray in oil or fat, making sure they are in one layer, they should sizzle. Either turn all the potatoes quickly on a baking sheet so that the oil or fat covers all sides, or drizzle a little extra oil on top.

6. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, turn the potatoes over, sprinkle with fresh rosemary or thyme if using, and bake them in the oven for another 10-15 minutes until they are crispy and golden brown.

7. Season with a little salt and serve.


Homemade turkey gravy

Capacity: 500ml

Ingredients

400-450 ml of turkey drippings from the baking dish4 tablespoons of cornmeal (cornstarch) or gluten-free plain flour225 ml gluten-free chicken brothSalt and ground black pepper to taste

Method

1. Use a tablespoon to skim most of the drippings from the top of the reserved juices into the jug, leaving about 5 tablespoons of fat. Pour the remaining juices into a small saucepan. Put the pot on a low heat, add the flour and stir until it disappears.

2. Add the stock, stir and simmer for 5-10 minutes until it has thickened into a sauce. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

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