Traditionally Christmas lunch is spent with my dad’s family, but this year lunch was relegated to a 7:30am breakfast (which we couldn’t bring ourselves to commit to) so we decided to cook Christmas lunch for a party of 3!
Our Christmas morning started with what has become a tradition for us – Waffles with fresh berries and vanilla ice cream – yum!
After breakfast we began to work on lunch. We chose a pretty simple menu to make things easy on ourselves…
My dad loves duck, and there was a delicious looking recipe in the December issue of Gourmet Traveller for Roast duck with cherries and roast kipfler potatoes so that was main course sorted. As the weather was going to be warm, I was toying with the idea of a family favourite – shredded duck salad with jellyfish. Donny was slightly apprehensive, wondering whether a duck duo would be a bit too much, but the $7 ducks we stumbled upon sealed the deal. What a duck feast we were going to have!
For dessert, it wasn’t going to be Christmas if we didn’t have a Christmas pudding. My Gran used to make one every year with my aunt keeping up the tradition in more recent years. I consulted a few of our recipe books until I found what looked to be the closest ingredients match in my trusty Margaret Fulton Cookbook.
As we had 2 whole ducks to work with, Donny decided the best way to go would be to use the breast meat for the main & the leg meat for the salad, so he got to breaking the ducks down to roast the legs with enough time to ensure they were cooled in time to put in the salad.
The rest of this dish is so easy to prepare – just some chopping of vegetables, a simple dressing of rice wine vinegar, sugar & ginger, a rinse of the jellyfish and entree was served.
For main Donny roasted the duck breasts on the crown, which resulted in the most succulent duck I’ve had in a long time. (My dad is still singing Donny’s praises for cooking the best duck he’s ever had!!!)
The potatoes were super delicious as they were cooked in some of the duck fat & the cherries with Malmsey cut through beautifully. We opted to serve this dish with a simple rocket, pear & pomegranate salad rather than the suggested asparagus, and I think it was a good match considering the richness of this dish.
The Christmas pud had been steaming away since about 11am and after a suitable rest post-duck, it was ready to be served.
I actually made the pudding back in November & as it drew closer to the big day I was so worried that something would go wrong, or that it wasn’t sealed properly & I’d open it up & it would be covered in mould… But to my delight it was pretty close to perfect (which was much to Donny’s surprise as he told me when I was making it that I was doing it all wrong & it shouldn’t work!)
The only modification I made to the recipe was a the addition of grand marnier – and a larger volume of alcohol while soaking the fruit.
Donny made a most delicious vanilla custard to accompany the dish & we used a further shot of grand marnier to get the flames happening.
I was hoping it would be somewhere near Gran’s in flavour & I think it was, but the compliment of the day came from Dad when he said it was as good as the one his Gran used to make 🙂