Higginson's CHRISTMAS Cooking Guide.

We have put together an in-depth Guide to Cooking the perfect Christmas Turkey or Joint (at least according to the well practiced Higginsons family) to try and make your day as stress-free as possible.

Higginsons are here to help at Christmas - from supplying your fresh Christmas Meat to providing pop up timers and cooking tips, you'll have everything you need to make this years Christmas Dinner the tastiest ever!

Download Brochure

Christmas Preparations: Choosing and ordering your Christmas Meat

Since opening our high street butchers shop 36 years ago, we have dedicated ourselves to bringing the very finest festive foods to our customers at Christmas time. From traditional free-range geese to slowly grown bronze turkeys and mouth-watering joints of extra matured local beef, our spectacular dinner table centrepieces are designed to cater for every taste and appetite.

We also supply a selection of easy-cook, easy-carve, hand tied festive joints and plenty of pre-prepared trimmings to save you some precious time.  Our delicious festive nibbles and treats are perfect for those festive buffets, snacks and lighter meals. New for 2019, we have launched our exclusive Higginsons hamper range, including a fabulous Cumbrian Christmas wicker hamper filled with seasonal delights.

If you’d like some advice on what to order or what quantities you require, don’t be afraid to call in and discuss your requirements.  This year, it’s easier than ever to place your order… simply fill in the Order Form within the Christmas Brochure then pop it in to us at the shop or call us with your order.

We have a number of lovely Christmas Gifts that are perfect for foodie family or friends, including the wonderful Lakes & Cumbria Cook Book (£10), Higginsons Gift Cards (£5 or £10 denominations) or how about one of our Luxury Festive Cheeseboards with a super selection of cheeses, crackers and chutneys that come beautifully wrapped on a frosted cheeseboard (£30).

This year, our Christmas Specialities/ Joints include:

  • Free Range Bronze Copas Turkeys
  • Higginsons Farm Reared Turkeys
  • Free Range Cockerels
  • Pintarde Farcie (stuffed Guinea Fowl)
  • Chuckling (chicken inside a Duckling)
  • Luxury Three Bird Roast
  • Connoisseurs Five Bird Roast
  • Ultimate Seven Bird Roast
  • Goose Five Bird Roast
  • Our own chef-made Forcemeat
  • Home-made Beef Wellingtons
  • Higginsons Christmas Boxes - we sell three sizes which each contain all your Christmas meats and trimmings, prices start at £50 for the Junior Box (feeds 5-7)
  • Higginsons Deluxe Christmas Wicker Hamper 

We are sorry to say that this year, we are unable to offer mail order delivery for Christmas due to the days upon which Christmas has fallen this year. Therefore, we will not be offering any Christmas produce online via our website. The last order date for regular produce will be Tuesday 10th December and the last delivery date will be Wednesday 18th December. The website will close from 5pm on 10th December and will re-open on Tuesday 7th January. 

When buying your Christmas supplies, dont forget your:

  • Pigs in Blankets
  • Goose fat for those Roasties
  • A tub of our delicious home-made gravy
  • Dry Cured Bacon to wrap your turkey (and some to cook with the sprouts)
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Chestnuts
  • Your reward card!

(Once youve got your Christmas Turkey, Goose or Roasting Joint home, remember to keep it somewhere cool (and out of the way of any pets) until you're ready for it!)

How to Cook the perfect Christmas Turkey

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Place your turkey, breast side down in a large roasting tin (cooking breast side down until the last 30-45 mins keeps the breast meat lovely and succulent whilst the brown meat cooks evenly). If you do this there is no need to use butter or bacon to cover your turkey.

Quarter a peeled onion, apple and any other root vegetables of your choice and place them in the body cavity of the turkey. If you wish to stuff your turkey, fill the neck cavity only with your forcemeat and then recalculate the total cooking time to include the weight of your forcemeat.

To ensure a perfectly cooked Turkey, use the pop-up timer included. Insert the timer in the middle of one of the breasts (without it touching any bone).

Sprinkle your turkey with salt & pepper and cover it with foil.

Cooking Instructions for Whole Turkey/ Turkey Crown in a Conventional or Fan Oven:

Pre-heat the oven to the starting temperature of 230°C /Gas Mark 8, and cook for the first 30 minutes (or for the first hour if the bird is over 5kg), and then lower the oven to the roasting temperature of 190°C /Gas Mark 5 for the rest of the cooking time. Total cooking time is normally approximately 30-35minutes per kg. Approximately half an hour before the full cooking time is reached, remove the foil and turn the bird over so the breast bronzes. 

Weight Full Cooking Time
4kg 2hrs 35 mins
5kg 2hrs 55 mins
6kg 3hrs 15 mins
7kg 3hrs 40 mins
8kg 4hrs
9kg 4hrs 25 mins
10kg 4hrs 45 mins
11kg 5hrs

Cooking Instructions for a Turkey Breast Roast in a Conventional or Fan Oven:

Pre-heat the oven to the starting temperature of 230°C /Gas Mark 8, and cook for the first 20 minutes, and then lower the oven to the roasting temperature of 190°C /Gas Mark 5 for the rest of the cooking time. Total cooking time is normally approximately 50 minutes per kg. Approximately half an hour before the full cooking time is reached, remove the foil and turn the bird over so the turkey bronzes. 

How to check that your tukey is cooked:

Your turkey will be ready when the juices run clear when tested with a fork (plunge into the deepest part of the thigh on whole turkeys), or when your pop-up cooking timer has popped.

 

 

How to Cook to the Perfect Christmas Goose

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When buying your Christmas Goose, allow approximately 1kg per person. To order a farm fresh delicious Goose for Christmas click here.

To prepare the Goose, always dry the bird well and stand on a rack (trivet) in the roasting tin. To extract surplus fat, prick lightly every 30 minutes. This will ensure that the skin stays crisp.

Cooking Instructions for a Goose in a Conventional or Fan Oven:

Pre-heat the oven to the starting temperature of 220°C /Gas Mark 7, and cook for the first hour, and then lower the oven to the roasting temperature of 190°C /Gas Mark 5 for the rest of the cooking time. Total cooking time is normally approximately 40 minutes per kg. For an extra crisp skin, brush with a little thin honey 20 minutes before the end of cooking time. To check whether your Goose is cooked, insert a fork where the leg joins the body - the juice must be colourless, not pink.  

 

How to Cook to the Perfect Roast Beef

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When buying your Beef Joint, ensure you get the right amount of meat. A boneless Beef Joint of 1.5 - 2kg gives 6 good portions.

Cooking Guidelines for Roast Beef.

With the Oven at 190°C (Gas Mark 5), allow 25 minutes per lb, plus 20 minutes extra for Medium-Rare Beef.  For Medium Beef, allow 30 minutes per lb, plus 20 minutes extra. For Welldone Beef, allow 30 minutes per lb, plus 30 minutes extra.

Tip: Cook joints with a natural fat with fat side uppermost, add a little fat to lean joints. Baste during cooking or use covered roasting tin.

 

How to Cook to the Perfect Roast Ham (Gammon)

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When buying your uncooked gammon joint, check if it is dry cured or uncured according to your preference. (Only if it has been dry cured would you need to soak the joint in a pan of water overnight to remove saltiness). To ensure you get the right amount of meat, allow a 3lb/ 1.5kg joint to feed 6 people. 

Cooking Guidelines for Roast Ham:

Put your joint in a large pan of cold water, or a mixture of cold water and either cider, ginger ale or cherry cola. Add any flavourings that you like such as cinammon, bay leaves or brown sugar. Heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes per lb (450g), plus 20 minutes extra. Drain and leave to cool. Remove the top layer of skin but leaving the fat. Proceed to glaze if you wish.

Once cooked, the joint can be glazed, or glazed later. To glaze your Ham, make shallow cuts in a neat design in the fat. Brush the fat with a glaze (a mix of maple syrup and course grain mustard is good) and then wrap foil loosely around the lean part. Heat for 20 minutes at 180°C.  

Good luck and happy eating!

 

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