Ahhhhhh, the sauces. They are absolutely what makes the meal. A plate of T-giving food without that savoury gravy and sharp-sweet cranberry? Unthinkable. The sauces are what provides bridges and links between the different flavours on your plate. They liven up each mouthful, and graciously disguise an under-seasoned mouthful of mashed potato, or a slightly dry slice of turkey. They are like the non-family members that you invite just to balance out the table, keep everyone on their best behaviour, and provide a polite talking point for lulls in conversation.
In short, it really wouldn’t be Christmas without them. Now, you know I’m a big fan of Basic Bitch Cranberry Sauce, and really this recipe for Blood Orange Cranberry Sauce is just a classy re-brand. Instead of plain orange, we’re using beautiful, red garnet coloured bloor orange. It’s a simple switch, but it adds a whole other level to the look of the sauce. In all honesty – the flavour is basically the same as if you used a regular orange (they’re not that different), so if that’s what you’ve got, by all means use it. But the blood orange makes for a darker, deeper colour, and it’s these little fancy touches that make the holidays special.
The gravy, oh the gravy! This Roast Garlic Gravy is my dream, my absolute standby, and by the wishbone of a turkey, it is so flipping easy to make. That’s what I want to hear on any large scale catering event. Here’s how easy it is – about an hour before your turkey’s done cooking, throw a handful of unpeeled garlic cloves into the pan. Then, when the turkey’s done and resting on it’s platter, you squish the garlic out of it’s skin – it will be soft and sweet and luscious – scrape up all the dripping and pour it into a pan. Cook with some flour over a high heat, then whisk in some stock, simmer it for a hot minute and you’re done.
You will be SHOCKED, I tell you at how much of a flavour injection that roast garlic gives your gravy. All the other boiling up of this with that, weird ritualistic gravy obsessions will become immediately obsolete, because this gravy is it. It’s all you could ever want. It’s the kind you’d love to flaunt, and take to dinner. And pour all over your turkey! Ok, let me know how the countdown to Turkey day is going in your house!
- 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- Juice and zest of 1 blood orange
- 3 tbsp water
- Throw all of the ingredients into a deep saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Cook until the cranberries have burst, and the mixture thickens, about 5-8 minutes.
- The mixture will seem quite liquid, but it sets to a soft, jammy consistency as it cools.
- Chill in the fridge and serve!
- 6-8 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- 500ml (1pint) good quality chicken stock
- When your turkey (or any other roast meat) is an hour away from being cooked, throw the garlic into the pan.
- When the meat is done, remove from the pan and set aside to rest. To make the gravy, squish the garlic cloves, removing the soft, caramelised garlic from the skins. Discard the papery skins
- Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan, to get all the drippings up, and then pour this mixture into a medium saucepan. Pour off some of the fat, if there is a huge amount of it (with a turkey breast, there won't be much).
- Place the saucepan over a low heat, and whisk in the flour. Cook for a minute or so, stirring, and then add in the chicken stock little by little, whisking constantly so there are no lumps.
- Once all the stock is in, bring the mixture to the boil, and let simmer for a minute or so. Taste, and add salt or pepper if desired. Pour into a gravy boat and serve!