Festive recipes - Annie Stirk's recipes

PUBLISHED: 11:05 16 November 2011 | UPDATED: 16:20 20 February 2013

Festive recipes - Annie Stirk's recipes

Festive recipes - Annie Stirk's recipes

There's nothing more delicious on Boxing Day than a festive-style baked ham. Our food and wine consultant Annie Stirk shows how to make the most of this treat with a tasty roulade and mulled wine accompaniment

I come from a large family and fun-filled get-togethers are always a big part of our Christmas celebrations. I really enjoy feeding a crowd and a Christmas ham has always been a family tradition. As a centrepiece it looks impressive and it also helps to get everyone into that Christmas spirit. I always find it hard to resist carving off a sneaky slice as it comes out of the oven, glistening with its sticky, caramelised honey glaze. But it really comes into its own served cold.

David Lishman, Ilkleys award winning butcher, knows a thing or two about ham and has recently opened another shop in Bolton Abbey, overlooking the village green, which specialises in reviving traditional methods of curing ham. This months magnificent ham is one of Lishmans Great Yorkshire Hams from pigs reared in Yorkshire and I love the fact that it didnt need soaking before cooking. I baked it on a bed of spiced dried fruits which make a delicious alternative to chutney. The chocolate and chestnut roulade, or Bouche De Noel, is another festive family favourite ideal for the Christmas tea table and can be made in advance.

I do hope you enjoy these recipes and I would just like to raise my glass of gently spiced mulled wine to wish you a very happy Christmas.

Hamming it up

Cooking a whole ham is best done in the oven but for smaller cuts, such as a corner gammon, I prefer to boil them first in a large pan before glazing with honey.

Hot glazed ham is moist and delicious. Serve with a variety of fruity or spicy chutneys.

Cut thick slices of ham and serve with fat chips and a couple of fried eggs.

Ham and eggs Benedict warm the ham then serve on a toasted muffin, topped with a poached egg and drizzle with hollandaise sauce. Great for brunch.

Ham sandwich with English mustard on granary bread is there a nicer lunch?

Turkey and ham pie use diced cooked ham pieces and turkey left-overs, cover with white sauce and a crisp pastry crust.

If you boil ham save the stock to make a delicious pea and ham soup great after a bracing Boxing Day walk.

A full ham will give you 60-70 slices perfect for a party.


I didnt soak this ham because Lishmans hams use less salt in the curing process but do check with your own butcher if you do need to soak your particular ham overnight before following the recipe below.

There are plenty of smaller cuts of ham available try a corner gammon.

Serves a big festive crowd


1 whole ham or a size to suit your family

4 oranges, sliced

250g selection of ready to eat dried fruit pineapple, dates, papaya, prunes, figs, mango, apricots, etc

3-4 star anise

1 cinnamon stick broken

4 tbsp runny honey

300ml apple juice or local cider


6 tbsp runny honey (for the glaze)


Pre heat the oven to 180C / 170C fan / gas mark 5.

You will need a large turkey-sized tray if you are cooking a whole ham. Lay a large piece of foil on the base of the tray, leaving plenty to cover the ham.

Arrange the sliced oranges in the tray and then scatter the dried fruit on top, along with the star anise and cinnamon stick. Drizzle with the 4 tbsp of runny honey. Pour in the apple juice or cider.

Fold the foil over the ham so it is completely enclosed and place in a hot oven for about 5-6 hours. But do check this timing as ovens and Agas do vary. Use a thermometer to check the temperature the centre of the ham should be approximately 74C.

Once the ham is cooked remove carefully from the oven. Lift the ham out of the tray and strip away the foil. Spoon the dried fruits into a serving dish.

Place the ham back into the roasting tray and strip away the rind, leaving the fat. Criss-cross the fat, cutting through almost to the meat, to create diamond shapes. Place a clove in the centre of each square. Drizzle with the runny honey.

Turn the oven up to approximately 200-220C / gas mark 6-7 and return the ham to the oven for about 15-20 minutes, until glazed and golden brown. Do be careful here, the honey will caramelise very quickly so dont relax too much with that glass of mulled wine.

Remove the ham from the oven and serve on a large platter garnished with orange slices, pomegranates, etc.



1 orange

1 lemon

2 cinnamon sticks

4 cloves

Pinch nutmeg

1 star anise

1 bottle of reasonable quality red wine

4 tbs Demerara sugar


Add the cinnamon stick, cloves nutmeg star anise and thinly pared rind of the orange and lemon to a mug full of boiling water. Reduce the heat and simmer very gently for 10 minutes. Strain and keep the spiced liquid.

Pour the red wine into a saucepan and add the strained spiced liquid and sugar. Heat through gently but do not allow to boil. Serve in pretty glasses with slices of orange to decorate.


This traditional and rather decadent dessert is great as a centrepiece for festive family entertaining. The light, airy sponge offsets the richness of the delicious chestnut and cream filling.

Serves 8


6 large eggs, separated

150g caster sugar

teaspoon vanilla extract

50g cocoa powder, sifted

Icing sugar, for dusting

For the filling

250g tin sweetened chestnut puree

25ml Cognac, optional

25g icing sugar

200ml double or whipping cream, chilled

75g vacuum-packed cooked chestnuts or use a tin


Pre heat the oven to 180C / 170C fan / gas mark 5.

Use a shallow baking tin, 23 x 32.5cm and 1cm deep. Lightly oil the baking tin and line with baking parchment, to stand 2.5cm proud of the tin.

In a large mixing bowl, using an electric hand whisk, beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla extract on high speed, until the mixture has doubled in volume, is pale in colour and leaves a trail. This will take approximately 10 minutes.

In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks. Make sure your bowl is grease free or the egg whites will not whisk to the correct volume.

Using a large metal spoon, fold one third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture and then fold in the remainder followed by the sieved cocoa powder. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 20 minutes.

Remove the roulade from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Place a clean sheet of baking parchment over the roulade with a damp tea towel on top; this keeps the roulade nice and moist.

When the roulade is cold, turn it out onto sheet of baking parchment which is slightly larger than the roulade and which has been dusted with icing sugar.

For the filling, mix together the chestnut puree, Cognac and icing sugar. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks. Then roughly chop the cooked chestnuts.

Carefully peel the lining paper from the roulade.

Spread the chestnut puree mixture over the roulade, leaving a 2.5cm gap all round from the edge of the roulade.

Next, spread the whipped cream over the chestnut puree and then sprinkle with the chopped chestnuts.

Holding the baking paper, carefully roll the roulade widthways. Dont worry when cracks appear on the surface of the rolled roulade its the sign of a really good pud.

Serve with a generous dusting of icing sugar.

Many thanks to David Lishman of Lishmans of Ilkley, who provided the fabulous Great Yorkshire Ham for this months masterclass. Also try Abbotts Cure based on a 12th century monks recipe or the Barden Smokey, a special ham which recreates the magical taste of years gone by. Check out Lishmans on-line shop at www.lishmansonline.co.uk. Lishmans of Ilkley. 23-27 Leeds Road, Ilkley, West Yorkshire LS29 8DP. 01943 609436.

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