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The ultimate christmas lunch hack

The ultimate christmas lunch hack

Paul, our retired chef, wine connoisseur & go-to recipe bible, has the ultimate sauce tip for your Christmas lunch!



“Sparkling Burgundy, Christmas beer and a sumptuous sauce to accompany Christmas Lunch…”

Everybody has a tradition. Many family gatherings on Christmas day include a roast turkey, duck or chicken with all the trimmings no matter what the temperature. In the iconic song from Paul Kelly in 1997 “Whose Gonna Make the Gravy” (on Christmas day), much was made of the importance of the gravy.

“Whether its turkey, duck or chicken, a gravy or a sauce compliments the meat and helps keep it moist.”

Gravies are made from the pan juices from the roast and while they can be fun to make as you are trying to dish up lunch, they can also be challenging for large numbers.  You could go for a sauce pre-prepared, that just needs heating up so all you need to focus on is the meat and trimmings but here is my tip for an easy & fast hack to make your own Delicious sauce from scratch.

Sauce Bigarade also know and French sweet and sour  

Its also sometimes known as a variant of Duck à l’orange.  It cuts the fat flavours and enriches the sweet flavours of the meat while complimenting roasted potatoes, pumpkin, parsnips and carrots. While there are a number of variants, this is the one I have found most consistent for Turkey and Duck.

Ingredients (for a table of 6-12 people) you will need:

  • 75ml white wine vinegar
  • 75g sugar
  • Zest & juice of lemon & 2 large oranges (up to 500ml)
  • 1.5l stock
  • couple of knobs of butter

For a typical table of 6-12 place 75ml of white wine vinegar and 75g of sugar into a pan and let it caramelise until its deep in colour.  Zest and juice a lemon and two large oranges (up to 500 ml). Add the juice while its still on the heat – it will bubble and steam fiercely but will settle down quickly.

Reduce by about a half (approximately 1.5 cups), then add 1.5 litres of stock and reduce by a half or until the sauce starts to thicken. Add the zest of the oranges and lemons and simmer on low for another 30 minutes.

Finish with a couple of nobs of butter to add richness depth just before service.

Importantly you can do all of these steps except adding the butter a day or two before and set aside in the fridge until needed.  Its also very versatile. For example, you could also add the pan juices (why waste all that goodness). Just ensure you deglaze with a little wine or stock before adding to the sauce. You could also add a commercial jus or veal glaze found in delicatessens or providores. This would add richness and additional body but its not really necessary.  It’s a fairly rich sauce so you won’t need much on the plate.

My drink recommendations:

The advantage of this sauce is that it also works well with our Aussie favourite, sparkling reds such as Bests, Fox Creek, D’Arenburg or Cofields.

But fear not beer drinkers, it will work equally well with rich Belgian and Dutch style brown Dubbel and Quadruple beers breweries like La Trappe and Achel.  Closer to home Wicked Elf and Bridge Road have also made beers that will work well with this sauce.

A doux style cider would also work with this dish.

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