As I said a few weeks ago, we’re hosting Christmas in 2021 – my parents are free to travel at last (after my Gran died in April, previous years they always stayed at home so that she could visit them for the day) and my brother and his wife have booked a room in a pub just a mile away. I’m a bit daunted by the whole thing.
Particularly because sister in law is an amazing, ambitious and very successful cook. She makes bread regularly, hot water hand raised pies, fancy desserts and awesome curries. I’ve stayed with them a few times when I’ve travelled to work at the office and it’s like a posh restaurant quality. My mum isn’t a fancy cook, but everything is (pretty much) made from scratch.
We love a bit of steak in our house (unless it’s steak pancakes). Even the boys have been known to eat it. However, trying to cook 6-8 perfect steaks on Christmas day seemed a tall order. So we decided to do roast beef.
The additional advantage of this is that we have the opportunity to work around one of the many failings of the kitchen – insufficient oven space. The oven is unpredictable in its temperature (gas marks make no sense to me) and the grill doesn’t have an oven function.
However, late last year himself spent his (and my) Christmas money from his mum on a Ninja Foodi. He’s a sucker for adverts. To his credit though, it does the best chips with so little grease and it replaced my ailing slow cooker too. We’ve done roast chickens in there that are just so succulent and amazing. We’ve also learned to ignore the American cook book – 2 tablespoons of salt in macaroni cheese is simply ridiculous and inedible.
Buy a lump of beef from your local supermarket. I got a topside cut I think and the fat had been trimmed and packaged with it – we threw that away as himself is being healthy.
Take beef out of the fridge a good hour before you want to use it. Then rub it with “stuff”. Himself resisted temptation to use his Irn Bru BBQ rub, it doesn’t really seem very Christmassy.
The “stuff” was:
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion granules
- 2 tsp salt
- Lots of black pepper
Rub the “stuff” all over the joint and leave if for an hour.
Warm up the Ninja (or other air fryer) on the air fry setting to 200°C for 10mins.
Place the beef in the air fryer and close the lid, air fry for 10mins. Then turn the temperature down to 180°C.
Now comes the tricky bit. The size and shape of your joint determines how long it needs at the lower temperature. We did 30mins, turning half way and then checked the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. It said it wasn’t hot enough so we gave it another 5mins and another and then another. Then the meat thermometer said it was medium rare temperature. So we took it out and rested the beef for 10mins – I’d hoped for juices for the gravy but they were all sealed inside apparently.
After 10mins, himself carved and discovered we were on the well done side of medium. So the meat thermometer is as untrustworthy as the oven. Nevermind, it was juicy and hot and we were hungry.
On the side I made smashed new potatoe roasties, purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, roast parsnips and mushroom gravy. I think the roasties and gravy (with a dash of brandy maybe) will feature on the big day too.
How about you?
What are you thinking of eating on Christmas day? Or what’s your favourite festive meal?