My favourite part of Christmas? Sitting down for dinner with my lovely family… a great big turkey, stuffing, pigs in blankets, cranberry sauce, red cabbage, and of course lashings of gravy. Make sure you bring out the best of your turkey with all of the amazing trimmings, and with Helen Browning’s organic, you can make your Christmas feast even more spectacular. Festive food really is one of a kind!
By choosing organic festive food this Christmas, you are helping to create a more sustainable future of farming. Soil Association organic standards significantly encourage the protection of soil, as organic farms use around 65% more manure and compost which helps to nourish the soil and keep it alive. This is highly beneficial as soils store more carbon than the atmosphere and all of the worlds plants and forests combined! As Lady Eve Balfour (the founder of the Soil Association) believed ‘the health of soil, plant, animal and man is one and indivisible’.
For more sustainable guides to Christmas, take a look at Riverford’s wonderful guide to recyclable gift wrap and ethical Christmas presents. It is really helpful to know how you can make a change and reduce waste around the festive period as one small swap really can make one huge difference!
Jamie Oliver’s red cabbage braised with apple, bacon, and balsamic vinegar
I love tasty red cabbage and this recipe from Jamie Oliver is extra special as it has lots of delicious streaky bacon added in the mix!
- 1 onion
- 1 red cabbage
- 2 eating apples
- 2 rashers of Helen Browning’s streaky bacon
- ½ a bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
- olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 150 ml balsamic vinegar
- 1 small knob of unsalted butter
- Peel and slice the onion. Click off and discard any tatty outer leaves from the cabbage, then remove the core and chop into irregular chunks.
- Peel the apples, then chop into 2.5cm pieces, and pick and finely chop the parsley leaves. Finely slice the bacon.
- Drizzle a good lug of oil into a pan over a medium heat, add the bacon, then bash and add the fennel seeds and cook until golden.
- Add the onion, cover, and continue to cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until lightly golden and sticky.
- Scatter in the apple and cabbage, season with sea salt, black pepper and the vinegar, then stir well.
- Pop the lid back on, reduce the heat to low and cook gently for 1 hour, or until gorgeously sticky and sweet, stirring occasionally.
- Scoop into a serving dish, pop the butter on top and sprinkle over the parsley, then serve.
Sausage and Bramley stuffing by Sara Buenfield
This recipe will give you enough to stuff the Christmas turkey and make a tasty stuffing loaf; how mouth-wateringly delicious!
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 celery stick (finely chopped)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 800g organic sausage meat from Helen Browning’s
- 1 Bramley apple, peeled and chopped (about 325g)
- 85g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh sage
- 5 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra to serve (optional)
- 1 large egg
- 10 organic streaky bacon rashers from Helen Browning’s
- Heat the oil in a large pan, add the celery and onion, and cook for about 5 mins until starting to soften. Tip into a bowl to cool while you remove the sausage meat from the skins. Add the apple, sausage meat, breadcrumbs, herbs, egg and seasoning. Mix well – the easiest way is to knead it together in the bowl with your hands. Use 1/4 to stuff the neck cavity of the turkey (see ‘Goes well with’).
- For the remainder, line a 900g loaf tin with 8 rashers of streaky bacon, spoon in the stuffing, lift the bacon over and cover with the last 2 rashers. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and bake the stuffing for 40-50 mins. Can be made ahead up to this point and chilled for 2-3 days. Turn out onto a baking-parchment-lined baking tray and return to the oven (once the turkey has come out) at 220C/200C fan/gas 7 for 15-20 mins more to brown the bacon. If chilled, reheat at the lower temperature for 45 mins, covered in foil, then turn out for the extra 15 mins at the higher temperature. Allow to stand, then scatter with parsley (if you like), slice and serve
Gordan Ramsay’s Brussel sprouts with pancetta
When it comes to Brussel sprouts, it seems that you either love them or you hate them. With this amazing recipe from Gordan Ramsey, I hope that you will all love them! Brussel sprouts are a high fibre but low-calorie vegetable that are packed with vitamin A; so, there’s even more reason to eat your greens this Christmas! They are a very healthy festive food after all!
- 1kg Brussels sprouts (outer leaves removed)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1–2 tsp olive oil
- 200g organic bacon lardons from Helen Browning’s
- 200g vacuum-packed chestnuts
- 2 lemons
- Trim the base of the Brussels sprouts and cut them in half lengthways. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the sprouts and blanch for 2–3 minutes, then drain well.
- Heat the olive oil in a wide frying pan and fry the pancetta for a few minutes until golden and crisp. Toss in the sprouts and cook for 2–3 minutes, tossing occasionally.
- Roughly chop the chestnuts and add them to the pan. Grate the lemon zest over the sprouts and chestnuts and squeeze over a little juice. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
- Transfer to a warmed serving dish.
The ultimate roast turkey with stuffing and bacon by Sainsbury’s magazine
Of course, the roast turkey is always the star of the show, and it is my favourite part of the whole meal! This recipe from Sainsbury’s magazine adds lots of streaky bacon rashers for an exceptional flavour.
- 125 g unsalted English butter (softened)
- 1 tbsp heaped chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 20 g fresh sage (finely chopped with extra whole leaves to garnish)
- 2 cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
- 5 kg organic bronze turkey from Helen Browning’s
- 220 g organic streaky bacon rashers from Helen Browning’s
For the stuffing balls:
- 500 g organic sausage meat from Helen Browning’s
- 45 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 140 g ready-cooked peeled chestnuts (chopped)
- 20 g fresh flat-leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- 1 onion (finely chopped)
- ½ unwaxed lemon (zested)
- ¼ tsp ground clove
- 1 medium British free-range egg (beaten)
- Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. In a bowl, mix together the butter, thyme, sage and garlic, and season with freshly ground black pepper.
- Use your fingertips to separate the turkey skin from the breast meat, being careful not to tear it. Push in the herb butter and spread evenly over the breast. Lay the bacon over the turkey, overlapping as you do so.
- Tie the turkey legs together with string and place the bird on a rack inside a large roasting tin. Roast for 30 minutes, uncovered, then remove from the oven and loosely cover with buttered foil. Reduce the temperature to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Continue roasting for 3-3½ hours, basting every 45 minutes with the juices, until cooked through. Remove the foil a few minutes before the end of cooking if the skin still needs to crisp up.
- Mix all the stuffing ingredients together and season. Shape into 20 balls and place in the oven in a roasting tin, 25 minutes before the turkey has finished cooking.
- To test whether the turkey is cooked, insert a skewer into the thickest part of the leg – the juices should run clear. Transfer to a warmed serving plate, cover loosely with foil and leave to rest for 30 minutes before carving. Garnish with the sage leaves and serve with the stuffing balls.
- Cook’s tip: to baste a turkey: use a bulb turkey baster, a basting brush or a large spoon to scoop up the juices and drizzle over the turkey.