If you’re tasked with cooking the Christmas dinner this year, you may be on the look-out for tips from the best. The message from one of the UK’s top chefs would be to ‘keep it simple’.
Edinburgh-based Chef Mark Greenaway is widely regarded as one of the UK’s leading chefs, owing in no small part to his innovative modern recipes and outstanding Scottish cuisine.
Owner of Restaurant Mark Greenaway, his skills have catapulted him in to the top tier of Scottish chefs and he’s appeared on many television shows, including Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch. He’s also twice represented Scotland on BBC 2’s Great British Menu.
His restaurant is ranked in 13th of the top 100 Restaurants in the UK by Square Meal and is known for utilising the freshest of local Scottish ingredients in creating stunning dishes.
So, what about at Christmas time?
Well, when it comes to preparing Christmas dinner for his own family, Mark adopts a much more traditional approach thank you may expect.
“Turkey, turkey, turkey” he tells us.
“When it comes to Christmas time, although I have cooked hundreds of turkeys throughout December, I still look forward to sitting down on Christmas day and having a traditional turkey with all the trimmings.
“Christmas for me is very simple and very traditional. I think with Christmas the less complicated you can make it the more time you can spend with friends and family.”
Sound advice, although anyone familiar with cooking even the simplest of roast dinners will be aware of how much time can be taken up in the kitchen.
So we asked Mark if there was one tip he would offer up to those cooking Christmas dinner for themselves this year.
“The best tip that I could give is to cook the turkey legs separate to the breast so perhaps confit the legs for several hours so that the meat pulls apart and just melts off the bone and then simply roast the crown of the bird.”
This time of the year presents cooks – amateur or professional – with a great range of fresh ingredients to use in the kitchen. Christmas adds the extra special feel too, with so many once-a-year tasty treats to cook up. Even the most inexperienced of cooks often like to have a go at baking their own mince pies, or perhaps attempting Christmas dinner for their whole family.
For the pros, they can begin to get creative with some of those seasonal goodies.
Mark says: “The winter months are when all of the root vegetables come into the kitchen. Because we cook very seasonally and work closely with a farm, these are in abundance so it is a time when we can really stretch our imaginations and turn pumpkins, turnips and Brussels sprouts into something magical.
“This time of year being based in Scotland we get a lot of amazing game so this has to be something I look forward to every year.
“Specifically around Christmas time I really look forward to the mince pies, it is the only time of year that I can make them and eat them warm out of the oven – they are just delicious.”
Mark Greenaway’s Christmas recipe
We’re asking each of the top chefs we speak to this Christmas for one of their favourite Christmas recipes. Follw the link below for Mark Greenaway’s Iced Christmas Pudding Parfait, with Burnt Orange Jelly.