Ham and turkey are the centrepieces of a traditional Christmas dinner, but here in New Zealand we often cook something on the barbecue as part of our festive feast. It takes the pressure off the oven, which is usually already overloaded with the turkey and roast vegetables, and gets everyone outside to enjoy a convivial pre-dinner drink around the barbecue.
Sometimes it's a fresh seafood starter, such as my Scallops in the Half Shell with Lemon Caper Butter, or sometimes it's even the whole turkey, but this year my Christmas Day menu includes Spicy Barbecued Beef. What sets this apart from everyday steak is that you roll the beef sirloin in spices before grilling it on the barbecue, then slicing and serving.
Of course, if you're in a cooler climate, you can brown the meat off in a frypan instead and then roast it in the oven.
In my new television series I cooked beef in this way and then served it on a platter of grilled harvest vegetables, so that's another option if you want a simple but spectacular one-platter meal for a smaller Christmas Day gathering.
Countdown to Christmas dinner
Each day for the next eight days I'll be posting a new recipe from my Christmas Day menu, so check back here each day. To be notified by email when I've posted a new blog, click on the RSS Feed tab on the right of this page. Or if you'd prefer you can like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter to be the first to hear when each new recipe goes live. On the last day I'll post a Menu Planner to help you prep ahead as much as possible and make your Christmas Day a stress-free zone.
Here's my Christmas Day menu so far:
Bella's Pink Fizz
To nibble while your guests arrive:
Oysters with Kilpatrick Topping
Sesame Prawn Toasts
Salmon and Avocado Towers
The main event:
Spicy Barbecued Beef
The main event:
Roast Turkey with Cider Gravy
For more free recipes, menu plans and tips, see annabel-langbein.com