Christmas Kitchen: All the Christmas Recipes You Need From Neven Maguire

By Emer Owens 13-12-2016


All the big Christmas recipes you'll need for the perfect Christmas dinner, all from Neven Maguire's new cookbook - Neven Maguire's Complete Family Cookbook.

Christmas Ham with Sticky Apricot and Ginger Glaze


Serves 10-12


1 X 5.25kg (11½lb) leg of gammon (on the bone)
4 celery sticks, roughly chopped
2 onions, sliced
5cm (2in) piece of root ginger, sliced
1 small bunch of fresh thyme
1 tbsp black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
2 star anise
1.5 litres (2¾pints)cider
1 tsp ground ginger

For the glaze:
175g (6oz) good-quality apricot jam or conserve
100g (4oz) light brown sugar
juice of 1 lemon
4 star anise
4 pieces of preserved stem ginger, cut into small matchstick-sized strips


1. Although gammon is less salty nowadays, it's still a good idea to soak it. Place the gammon in a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least six hours (or overnight is best), then drain.

2. Preheat the oven to 120°C(250°F/gas mark ½).

3. Use a large, deep roasting tin with a rack that's big enough to hold the ham. Pit the celery, onions, fresh ginger, thyme, peppercorns, cloves and star anise in the tin and pour over the cider, then put the rack on top. Sit the gammon on the rack and cover with a large tent of foil, sealing it well. Put on the hob over a high heat and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes, then transfer to the oven. Cook for 12 hours or overnight- you can now leave it for 1-2 days before finishing the recipe. Alternatively, leave it to rest and cool down for at least 30 minutes.

4. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

5. Now make the glaze. Put the apricot jam or conserve in a small pan with the sugar, lemon juice and star anise. Heat gently until the sugar has dissolved, then add the stem ginger and simmer for 3-4 minutes, until reduced to a thick glaze, stirring occasionally to ensure it doesn't catch at the bottom.

6. Carefully peel away the skin on the ham, leaving the layer of white fat intact. Using a sharp knife, score the fat diagonally to make a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat.

7.Rub the ground ginger all over the ham, then brush over all but a couple spoonfuls of the glaze, distributing the stem ginger strips and star anise evenly over the top of the ham. Roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until golden and sticky. Remove the cooked ham from the oven, transfer to a serving platter and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes.

8. To serve, carve slices from one side of the ham, cutting diagonally to achieve an even thickness. When you reach the bone, inset the knife at a flatter angle and slice across the top of the bone. Turn over the leg to carve slices from the other sides. Use as required.


Roast Crown of Turkey with Sage and Onion Stuffing


Serves 6-8


75g(3oz) butter, softened
1 garlic clove, crushed
finely grated rind of 1 orange
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 x 5kg(11lb) turkey crown
6 rindless smoked bacon rashers

For the stuffing
75g(3oz) butter
1 onion, diced
1 tsp chopped fresh sage
50g(2oz) pine nuts, toasted
175g(6oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the gravy
1 tbsp plain flour
300ml(½ pint) chicken stock


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C(375°F/gas mark 5).

2. To make the stuffing, heat a frying pan and melt the butter. Add the onion and sage and cook for a few minutes, until softened but nor coloured. Add the toasted pine nuts, then stir in the breadcrumbs, mixing well to combine. Season to taste. Wrap the stuffing in buttered tin foil and mould into a large sausage shape, then chill until needed.

3. Next, prepare the turkey crown. Cream the butter until very soft, then add the crushed garlic, orange rind, parsley and thyme. Beat well until thoroughly blended. Gently loosen the neck flap away from the turkey breast and pack the flavoured butter right under the skin- this is best done using gloves on your hands. Rub well into the flesh of the turkey, then re-cover the skin and secure with a small skewer or sew with fine twine. Finally, cover the top of the crown with the rashers.

4. Place the turkey crown in the oven and calculate your time -it needs 20 minutes per 450g(1lb)plus 20 minutes, so a 5kg(11lb) crown will take 4 hours and you'll need to put the stuffing in for the last half an hour. The turkey crown will cook much quicker than a whole turkey, so make sure to keep it basting it.You can cover it with foil if it's browning too quickly. When cooked, cover with foil to rest for 20 minutes and keep warm.

5. To make the gravy, skim all fat from the cooking juices, then pour off all but 3 tablespoons of the juices from the roasting tin. Stir the flour into the pan residue and cook on the hob, stirring over a low heat until golden. Gradually pour in the stock, stirring all the time. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes, until thickened. Season to taste and keep warm.

6.To serve, carve the turkey crown into slices and arrange on warmed plates with the slices of cooked stuffing, glazed ham, Brussels sprout, red onion and bacon crumple, warm wild rice salad with sour cranberry sauce and the roasted carrots with garlic an parsley. Pour the gravy into a warmed gravy jug and hand around separately, mixture.


Salmon in Lemon Salt with Roasted Fennel Wedges


Serves 6


For the salmon
1 x 3kg(6½lb)salmon, cleaned and scales removed
3 lemons, rind from 3 and 2 sliced
handful of fresh rosemary springs
2 tsp soft fresh thyme
leaves, plus 2 springs
2kg(4½lb) coarse sea salt, plus extra if needed
8 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes

For the fennel wedges
12 large fennel bulbs
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 220°C(425°F/gas mark 7)

2. To prepare the roasted fennel wedges, trim the hard round stalks at the top of the fennel bulbs and discard the outer layers. Cut the remainder into thin wedges and place in a large shallow roasting tin. Drizzle over the rapeseed oil and toss to coat, then season to taste. Place the fennel in the bottom shelf of the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes, until the wedges have softened and lightly browned, stirring once or twice to ensure even cooking.

3. Meanwhile, prepare the salmon. Fill the belly cavity of the salmon with the sliced lemons. Remove the leaves from half of the rosemary sprigs and set aside. Stuff the remaining whole rosemary sprigs into the belly cavity with the thyme sprigs and season with pepper.

4. Mix the thyme leaves in a bowl with the reserved chopped rosemary and lemon rind, then stir in the salt, beaten egg whites and chilli flakes. Put a handful of the salt mixture on a large baking tray lined with non-stick baking paper and sit the salmon on top, then cover with the remainder. The mixture should encase the fish.

5.Place the crusted salmon on the top shelf of the oven and bake for 35-40 minutes- the salt casing will turn lightly golden and set hard. Remove from the oven and carefully break away the salt and discard. Transfer the salmon to a large dish and serve with a separate dish of the roasted fennel wedges.


MacNean Frangipane Mince Pies

mince pies Christmas recipesMakes 18


For the pastry:
175g(6oz) plain flour
100g(4oz) butter, diced and chilled
50g(2oz) caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg yolk, plus beaten egg to glaze
½ tbsp cream
½ tsp lemon juice

For the frangipane:
100g(4oz) butter,softened
100g(4oz) caster sugar
2 large eggs
100(4oz) ground almonds
1 tbsp plain flour
½ tsp almond extract, or to taste

For the filling and topping:
100g(4oz) mincemeat (336 or shopbought)
25g(1oz) flaked almonds
apricot jam, to glaze
a little lemon juice or water
icing sugar, to dust


1. To make the pastry, place the flour, butter, sugar and salt into a food processor and blend for 20 seconds. Add the egg yolk, cream and lemon juice and blend again just until the pastry comes together- do not overwork the dough or the pastry will be tough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hour.

2. To make the frangipane, put the butter and sugar into the unwashed food processor and blend until soft and creamy. Scrape down the sides, then add the eggs and continue to process. Don't worry if the mixture looks curled at this stage. Add the ground almonds, flour and almond extract and mix briefly.

3. Preheat the oven to 200°C(400°F/gas mark 6).

4. Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured work surface and cut into 18 x 6.5cm(2½in) circles and use these to line the bun tins. Spoon a teaspoon of mincemeat into each tartlet and top with the frangipane. There is no need to spread the mixture flat, as it will level out in the oven (but don't overfill the tins). Sprinkle a few flaked almonds on top of each one. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until cooked through and lightly golden, watching them carefully to make sure they don't catch around the edges and burn. Remove from the tins and allow to cool a little on a wire rack.

5. Dilute the apricot jam with a little lemon juice or water and bring to the boil, then brush each warm tartlet with this glaze. Like traditional mince pies, these are best served warm with a light dusting of icing sugar, and hot sauce.

MacNean Mince Meat

Makes about 4 x 400g(14oz)Jars


225g(8oz) butter
350g(12oz) eating apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
225g(8oz) raisons
225g(8oz) sultanas
225g(8oz) blanched almonds, chopped
175g(6oz) dark brown sugar
100g(4oz)candied citrus peel
finely grated rind of 1 orange
finely grated rind of 1 lemon
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp fine salt
300ml(½ pint) whiskey


1.Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave. Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and cover with a clean tea towel. Leave for 2 days for the flavours to develop, then pack into 4 x 400g(14oz) sterilised, dry jars. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks before use.



Neven Maguire has been experimenting in the kitchen since he was 10 years old and has since gone on to train in some of the highest profile restaurants in the world. In 2001, he took over MacNean Restaurant, turning a local establishment into a national phenomenon. Neven Maguire's Complete Family Cookbook is his new family-focussed cookbook to give you inspiration to get more of the good stuff into your family's diet, from sneaking more veg in to everything you'll need to get through Christmas. In all good bookstores now, for €29.99. Published by Gill Books.

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