A holiday meal

Everyone has their own traditions and family recipes when it comes to Christmas and the holidays. But if you're looking to try something new or you're trying your hand at cooking Christmas lunch for the first time, here are some of Club's favourites.

Roast pork and crackling


3kg pork shoulder
Olive oil
Sea salt
3 white onions, halved
4 carrots

Allow the meat to come to room temperature before you cook it.
2. For good crackling: make sure the skin is very dry before you cook it. Put the joint in the fridge, uncovered, to help it dry out. Score the skin before roasting – this allows the fat from underneath to bubble up and crisp up the skin. Use a very sharp kitchen knife and, taking care not to go through to the flesh, make incisions one centimetre apart. Sprinkle the skin liberally with salt just before you put it into the hot oven.
3. Drizzle the pork skin with a little olive oil and then massage one tablespoon of salt into the skin forcing it into the score marks. Put the onions and carrots into a large roasting tin, drizzle with olive oil and shake around to coat. Sit the pork on top of the vegetables and place into the preheated oven.
Cooking time: start roasting pork at a high temperature, 240°C or as high as your oven will go, to get the heat through to the centre of the joint, and to get the crackling off to a good start. After 20 minutes, reduce the temperature to 180°C and continue to roast for 25 minutes per 450g. Clear juices indicate the pork is cooked, but that the meat will still be beautifully moist.

Mince pie cake
Serves 8

1 green apple, peeled and grated
½ cup currants
¾ cup sultanas
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup brown sugar
60ml water
80g butter, chopped
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
White sugar, for sprinkling
Icing sugar, for dusting

Spiced brown sugar pastry:
2⅔ cups flour
300g cold butter, chopped
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract

1. To make the pastry, cream the butter, sugar and ginger in a bowl. Add the flour and mix until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add the eggs and vanilla and process until pastry comes together. Turn out onto a work surface and bring the dough together quickly with your hands.
2. Divide into two portions and flatten slightly into discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge for one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 180ºC.
4. Place the apple, water, currants, sultanas, almonds, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and cook for eight to ten minutes, stirring occasionally, or until fruit is tender and liquid is absorbed. Set aside to cool completely.
5. Roll out one portion of pastry to three milimetres thick. Line a lightly greased 22cm round baking dish with the pastry, trim the excess pastry and prick the base with a fork. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
6. Line the pastry with baking paper, fill with rice or beans and blind bake for 10 minutes. Remove the paper and bake for a further five minutes or until golden. Fill with the fruit mixture.
7. Roll out remaining pastry in the same way and use a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut out shapes from the pastry. Top the tart with the stars. Brush with egg yolk, sprinkle with sugar and bake for 25–30 minutes or until light golden.
8. Allow to cool and remove from dish. Dust with icing sugar.

Plus:Roast turkey.
A festive menu.
Add a creative touch to your holiday meal.
Time to celebrate: planning your day.


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