Delicious and local

PUBLISHED: 10:51 01 December 2009 | UPDATED: 16:22 20 February 2013

Julie Monkman, Produced in Kent

Julie Monkman, Produced in Kent

Kent Life has teamed up with Produced in Kent and celebrity chef John Burton-Race to create a Christmas lunch based on locally grown and sourced produce

Welcome to our Kentish Christmas Food and Drink special feature which our wonderful supporters, Kent Life have put together with us, along with celebrity chef John Burton-Race, writes Julie Monkman, Produced in Kens manager.

Our ongoing mission to get everyone to Support Kent and Buy Local comes in to its own at Christmas, and Im sure youll be delighted to learn that its perfectly possible, and definitely desirable to have a Christmas lunch based entirely on locally sourced Kentish produce.

Theres so much fantastic local, healthy and wonderful tasting local food and drink to choose from and weve asked John to tempt you with a tasty Kentish Christmas menu. Of course all the ingredients were supplied by and are available from our Produced in Kent members.

Rural businesses in Kent need your support more than ever so why not make this Christmas a Kentish Christmas? Shopping locally will also provide a stress-free shopping experience which is something we all strive for every December. More than 30 Farmers Markets will be brimming with local produce and crafts and are all wonderful places to buy presents with a difference.

Wishing you a very happy, healthy and tasty festive season from us all at Produced in Kent.

The importance of Christmas is to enjoy yourself. All the recipes given here can be part or fully prepared in advance, which takes that pressure off when trying to do everything at once, writes chef John Burton-Race.

You should be able to enjoy your lunch, as a good cook is always organised and well prepared, so aim to be ready for noon with only the pheasant to cook and all your vegetables to reheat, ready to serve at 2pm.

Ensure that you have pre-ordered your pheasant from a local and reputable butcher at least two weeks in advance. Prior to Christmas you should choose a local Farm Shop where you know the produce is local and fresh. It is worth seeing if they provide a delivery service so you can have your goods delivered at the beginning of Christmas week.

Try to use the best chocolate you can afford as this will really make a difference with the pudding recipes. It may be an idea to have a dry run of some of the recipes prior to Christmas, just to make sure you are comfortable cooking them and that you like them.

Make sure you have enough serving dishes for all your vegetables. Once the vegetables are cooked in the morning, place them straight into the serving dish ready to reheat. Once reheated, they can be kept in a warm oven to keep hot while you are getting everything else ready.


Salmon mousse

The key thing to remember when making your mousse is to chill your bowl and have your salmon very cold. Although this is a time consuming recipe, it is well worth the effort!

Parsnip soup

This recipe can be made in advance as it freezes very well. When required remove from the freezer to defrost (this can be done the night before and kept in the fridge to defrost) and reheat on the cooker. Make sure the soup is heated thoroughly throughout. It is very versatile, so if you like your food spicy then you can add more curry powder. You can also control the thickness of the soup by adding more or less stock depending on your taste.

Parsnip crisps

These crisps keep for one or two days. They keep better if they are left uncovered and should be kept in a cool place but not cold. Preferably cook on the day they are required but do make extra, as they are a lovely snack.

Chicken stock

This stock freezes well and it is sensible to make extra than required as it can be used in so many recipes. It is prudent to use trimmings from your roast vegetables to make this.


It is important not to overcook pheasant as this makes the meat very chewy. If it is slightly undercooked when removed from the oven, dont panic just pour the gravy over and place in the oven for a few minutes. It should be slightly pink to be moist.

Bread sauce

This sauce is best made the day of eating. It can be kept warm but will dry out a bit. If this occurs, just add a little warm milk. Remember not to over mix as the gluten makes it go gluey. It can be reheated in a microwave if necessary, add milk and be careful not to burn. The microwave is preferable to the oven for this dish as in the oven it is liable to burn and dry out.


Keep any left over for bubble and squeak on Boxing Day. It may not be necessary to add vinegar, this is a need to taste to see if required moment; its there to cut the richness. The sprouts can be prepared and cooked in the morning and heated up in the microwave, again they can be reheated in the oven but this will tend to dry them out.


The leeks can be prepared in the morning and reheated in the oven in a dish covered with foil approx. 15 minutes in the oven or three to four minutes in the microwave. If you want to make them a little different when serving, you can grate a little cheddar on the top. I suggest plenty of black pepper.

Red cabbage

This dish is brilliant as you can make it up to three to four days in advance, taking the pressure off of doing everything at once. It microwaves very well to heat up. If you find that duck fat is very expensive it is not essential, you can use butter. This recipe can have the apple replaced with pear for a slight variance.


This is another dish that can be pre-made in the morning and reheated in the oven or microwave. Always make sure that when reheating that your ingredients are heated right through. If the mash goes a little sticky then add a touch of milk.

Roast potatoes

Of course roast potatoes are most peoples favourites. Goose fat helps to give the coats a crispy texture. Roast potatoes reheat very well. Dont panic if the coats are slightly dark, nearly everyone loves crispy roasties.


You can parboil your parsnips and then roast them half an hour before eating. They can be kept hot with your potatoes.


This recipe can also be use replacing the celeriac with butternut squash. It can be made in the morning and reheated for use. Also goes well with beef.

Pumpkin risotto

Fold some pumpkin seeds in for an extra bite. Can be made in the morning and reheated with a little stock, but be careful not to burn. If making in advance, cool the rice on a tray to spread the heat and prevent further cooking.

Gratin of pears

The ganache can be made up to two weeks in advance. The sabayon needs to be prepared quickly and used immediately. If you have all your ingredients ready and your chocolate and pears on the plate this will help. A tea towel and a helper are useful to have on hand! The pears can be poached three to four days in advance. This dish is lovely with vanilla ice-cream


Fondant can be made up to two weeks in advance and kept in the fridge in moulds.

They can be served in the ramekins. Vanilla sauce can be made up to two days in advance and kept cold.



Smoked salmon mousse with tempura prawn and pickled cucumber


Parsnip soup with parsnip crisps (V)


Roast pheasant


Braised red cabbage

Bread sauce

Roast potatoes

Mashed potatoes

Parsnips with honey and chilli

Celeriac puree

Creamed leeks


Pumpkin risotto (V)


Gratin of pear with chocolate and cob nuts


Chocolate fondant with cherry banyuls


Smoked salmon mousse with chive cream, tempura prawn and pickled cucumber

Serves 6


450g smoked salmon

30ml olive oil


150g smoked salmon trimmings

60ml Noilly Pratt

60ml fish stock

l leaves gelatine soaked in cold water to soften

Juice of 1 lemon

Cayenne pepper

300 ml whipping cream


1 With a long thin filleting knife, cut off all the hard, dry outer skin of the smoked salmon side. Put in a bowl to be used later to make the mousse. Using a small pair of fish pliers, remove the bones which run down the middle of the salmon, and discard.

2 Using a small pastry brush, line the insides of the ramekins with the olive oil. This will help when turning out the finished mousses.

3 Slice carefully and as thin and as long as possible, six even slices of smoked salmon, and lay these out flat on a tray.

4 Using another ramekin dish as a stencil, turn it upside down and cut six smoked salmon discs from the pre-sliced salmon. Carefully lay them in the bottom of the moulds. These will form the top of the mousses. With the remaining smoked salmon, cut this into deep enough strips to line the outside of the ramekins. Press them right against the sides of the moulds and with a small, sharp knife, cut off any overlapping edges. Add the trimmings to the bowl. Cover the lined moulds with greaseproof paper and refrigerate.

5 Weigh the salmon trimmings: you need 150 grams, to make the mousse.

6 In a robot coup (or similar machine) cut the smoked salmon trimmings to a fine paste or pure. Take out of the bowl and refrigerate to cool.

7 Put the gelatine leaves in a small bowl of cold water to soften.

8 In a shallow pan, add the Noilly Pratt and boil and reduce over a fierce flame until the liquid becomes syrupy but not burnt. Add the fish stock and reduce the stock by half of its volume. Add the gelatine and remove from the stove. Pour into a small bowl to cool. Squeeze and strain the lemon juice and reserve

9 Divide the cream in two and pour each half into bowls. With the aid of a whisk, beat half to form a peak. Do not over beat the cream or the texture of the mousse will become granular and split. Refrigerate.

10 Take out the smoked salmon trimmings from the fridge. Re-beat (or cut) the mixture for about 30 seconds to ensure that as fine a paste as possible has been achieved. Add the now cool fish stock and gelatine. Beat for a further minute and add the lemon juice.

11 Take out the smoked salmon base and pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve into another bowl, as quickly as possible. Add the liquid cream and whisk vigorously to a smooth consistency; season with a pinch of cayenne. Gently fold in the whipped cream.

12 Remove the pre-lined moulds and with a ladle fill the moulds to the top. Level off the mousses with a palette knife and refrigerate for at least four hours.





Spiced Vinegar (See Quick Spiced Vinegar Recipe)


Wash the cucumbers and wipe clean. Peel. Cut into slices, layer with salt in a basin, finishing with a layer of salt. Leave for 10 minutes. Rinse thoroughly in cold water and drain well. Pack into clean, sterilised jars and cover with cold spiced vinegar.

Cover and label with contents and date.


Preparation time: 5 mins

Cooking time: 5 mins

Ingredients:1 litre vinegar

1x 15ml spoon cloves

1x 15ml spoon mace blades

1x 15ml spoon all spiceberries

1x 15ml spoon peppercorns

2 bay leaves


To spice vinegar quickly, Place the vinegar and the spices in a saucepan, Cover and bring up to the boiling point. Remove from the heat and leave to steep for two to three hours. Then strain




3 parts flour

2 parts cornflower

1 part baking powder and ice cold sparkling water

Pinch of salt

Large prawns


Heat some oil for deep frying to 200ËšC. In a bowl mix the flours and baking powder together with salt. Then add cold water and mix with your fingers (a bit lumpy is fine). Dip prawns into batter and then deep fry until golden brown.



3 kg parsnips diced

3 onions diced

1 glove garlic crushed

1 1/3 litre chicken stock

1 dessert spoon mild curry powder

1 pinch turmeric

300ml cream

apple, diced

200g butter

Juice of half a lemon


1 Lightly sweat the onion, garlic, curry powder and turmeric in the butter, being careful not to burn.

2 Add the parsnip and apple, cook for a further three minutes.

3 Add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer.

4 When the parsnip is tender blitz in a liquidiser and pass through a fine sieve, finish with cream, lemon juice and salt.



1 large parsnip, peeled and cut length ways into fine strips


Fry the parsnip strips in sunflower oil until crisp and golden.


Serves 4


1 large or two small pheasants trimmed

4 slices streaky bacon

1 clove garlic crushed

Bunch of thyme


1 Seal the bird quickly in hot pan with a little oil and black pepper

2 Crush the garlic and stuff into the bird with the thyme

3 Wrap in streaky bacon, roast for a further 35 minutes at 200C

4 Remove the bird from the oven and rest for 10 minutes then carve and serve


Serves 4


200ml milk

100g roughly cut fresh breadcrumbs (4 slices bread crust off)

onion studded with cloves

Pinch nutmeg


1 Toss the bread crumbs in a warm pan with a little oil and garlic

2 Bring the milk to the boil with the onion and nutmeg

3 Add the bread, remove the onion and cook slowly until all the liquid been absorbed, then serve


Serves 4

1.5kg potatoes (King Edwards or Maris Piper)

150g goose fat

Preheat oven to 200ËšC /Gas mark 6

Peel the potatoes and cut them in half allowing three halves per person, unless you are cooking for hungry men. Put the potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Add a teaspoon of salt and put on the stove to boil.As soon as the potatoes are boiling, strain them into a colander and allow them to drain thoroughly.

Heat a large roasting tray on the stove and add the goose fat. You will need the fat to be at least 5mm deep. As the fat begins to smoke, add the potatoes. Using a fork, turn the potatoes over and over in the oil to seal. Put the potatoes in the oven. They will take about an hour to cook and go brown and crisp.

After 30 minutes, turn the potatoes in the oil. When cooked, remove from the oven and place in a serving dish. Season with salt.


Serves: 4

Preparations time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


500g/1lb 2oz potatoes, such as Maris Piper

50g/1oz butter

25ml/1fl oz double cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Peel the potatoes and chop them in half. Place the potatoes in a large pan of cold water over a high heat. Add a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Boil the potatoes gently until tender. Test them with a knife or fork. They should break gently when you insert the fork. Leave the potatoes in the colander to cool just to remove the steam(about 3-4 minutes). Make sure the potatoes are not too wet when you start to mash.

Place the potatoes in a large bowl and mash them with a potato masher. Work them to make them light and fluffy. Can be pushed through a fine sieve for extra smooth consistency. Ensure there are no lumps in the potatoes, add the butter. Mash the butter into the potato. Once the butter has melted into the mash, add a splash of cream.

Mash again and check the consistency, add a little more cream if required. Season to taste.


Serves 4

Preparation time 25 minutes


2 leeks

100ml double cream

100ml chicken stock

1/2 clove of garlic

1 bunch of chopped parsley

pinch cumin powder

Salt and pepper


Cut each leek into four, blanch the leeks in boiling water for about three minutes and then refresh in cold water. In a pan boil 100ml of fresh chicken stock, add clove of chopped garlic and reduce by half. Add the double cream and a pinch of cumin owder and heat until it coats the back of a spoon. Add a little salt and pepper, add the leeks and return to boil. Remove from the heat, add chopped parsley and serve immediately


Serves 4


1 small red cabbage, thinly sliced

1 clove garlic

cinnamon stick

375ml port

5 tbsp red wine vinegar

75g duck fat

1 small onion, thinly sliced

1 Braeburn apple, peeled and sliced

Start preparing the red cabbage the day before. Put it in a non-corrosive container and add the clove and cinnamon, cover with the port and red wine vinegar and leave to marinate in a fridge overnight

Next day, heat the duck fat in a large saucepan or casserole with the sliced onion and cook until lightly coloured. Drain the cabbage, reserving the marinade. Add the cabbage to the onion and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.Add the apple to the cabbage mixture, then pour in the reserved port marinade. Bring to the boil and simmer over a medium heat for 45 minutes or until the cabbage offers very little resistance to the bite.

Meanwhile preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Place a frying pan on the stove and when it is hot, add the vegetable oil. Once the oil is hot, add the butter and allow it to foam.

Serve immediately.


Serves 4


400g celeriac

100g unsalted butter

60ml cream

salt and pepper


Peel and wash the celeriac, cut into rough cubes. Melt the butter and add the celeriac.

Cover with a butter paper and lid and cook gently without colour until tender then liquidise to a smooth pure. Pour into a pan, re-heat and add the cream. Season with salt and pepper.


Serves 4


4 large parsnips

Salt and pepper

Iced water

2 tbsp veg oil

30g honey

Chilli flakes to taste


Peel the parsnips and cut them in half lengthways. Slice each half into batons and remove the core. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the parsnips. Cook them in rapidly boiling water for three minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, chop the thyme finely. Drain the parsnips, then refresh them in a bowl of iced water. Drain again and dry thoroughly in clean kitchen cloth.

Heat the oil in a heavy based frying pan. Season the parsnips with salt and pepper and when the oil is hot, brown the parsnips on all sides. Add the honey to the pan and allow to gently caramelise. Sprinkle with the chilli flakes, season to taste and serve immediately.


Servings: 4 to 6

Tip: Quartering the Brussels sprouts after they're cooked ensures that their centres stay slightly crisp.


1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts

4 strips bacon, chopped

1 shallot, minced

1 cup peeled and coarsely chopped chestnuts (about 1/2 pound nuts in their shell)

1 cup chicken stock

1 1/2 teaspoons sherry vinegar

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Cut an X in the stem end of each Brussels sprout and remove any outer leaves that are discoloured or loose. In a covered pot, steam the sprouts over rapidly boiling water until they are tender, about eight to 10 minutes. Cut each sprout into lengthwise quarters and set aside (the sprouts can be prepared up to this point eight hours in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered.)

Fry the bacon in a dry frying pan over medium heat until it softens and releases its fat, about five minutes. Add the minced shallot and cook just until fragrant, about one minute. Add the chestnuts and chicken stock to the pan, cover and simmer until the chestnuts are quite tender and sweet, about 10 minutes.

Add the vinegar and Brussels sprouts and cook for about five minutes. Season to taste and add a little more vinegar, if necessary.



2kg chicken bones

4litres cold water to cover bones

1 washed and peeled onion

washed and peeled carrot

1 washed and peeled leek

1 washed and peeled celery stick

20 crushed black peppercorns

1 sprig of thyme

1 bay leaf

1 bunch of washed parsley stalks

8 cloves of peeled garlic


Wash the bones and place in a tall saucepan. Cover with water. bring to the boil and carefully skim off all fat and scum. Cut up the vegetables roughly and add to the bones. Add the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf, parsley and garlic. bring back to the boil, skim and set to simmer for three to four hours, still skimming off the fat as it surfaces, which will ensure a good clear stock. When cooked, strain through a fine sieve and allow to cool before refrigerating. It can be kept like this for two to three days.

Tip:You can put a bacon bone in your stock to give it more flavour and it does add a little saltiness.



800-900ml chicken or vegetable stock

2 tbsp olive oil

1 shallot chopped

250g carnaroli or arboria rice

75ml white wine

75g parmesan cheese, grated

75-100g cold butter diced

For the pumpkin pure

50g butter

400g pumpkin, diced

Salt and pepper

1 First make the pumpkin pure. Peel and deseed the pumpkin. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the pumpkin and cook over a medium heat until it starts to break down, making sure it doesnt colour.

2 Add some seasoning and continue cooking over a low heat, until the pumpkin is completely soft. Blitz the mixture with a hand blender until completely smooth, and set aside.

3 While the pumpkin is cooking, heat the stock for the risotto in a small saucepan until it is piping hot.

4 In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and fry the shallot over a medium heat until it is cooked but not coloured. Add the rice and cook, stirring until it starts to become translucent.

5 Deglaze the pan of rice with the wine and set a timer for 20 minutes. As soon as the wine has evaporated, start ladling in the hot stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring constantly. The pan should contain just enough liquid to be bubbling, without the rice swimming in stock.

6 When there is five minutes remaining on the timer, let the rice dry off a bit.

Add 100g pumpkin pure (keep the rest to reheat as a side dish) add some seasoning, and continue cooking and stirring. Add more stock only if necessary consistency of the rice should be creamy and on the dry side at this stage.

7 When there is only two minutes left on the timer, add the parmesan and diced butter. Remove the pan from the heat and keep stirring the rice with a wooden spoon to develop the creamy consistency. Add some extra stock if needed the rice should be the consistency that it runs a bit when poured on to a plate. Serve immediately.




105g plain chocolate

105g unsalted butter, chopped

3 whole eggs

2 egg yolks

30g castor sugar

45g plain flour

Vanilla sauce

500ml milk

1 vanilla pod

6 eggs yolks

100g castor sugar

1 jar Wooden Spoon preserved cherries


For the fondant

1 Place the chocolate and butter in a bowl and melt them together over a pan of simmering water. Then cool to room temperature.

2 Whisk the eggs, the yolks and sugar, until they have doubled in size, then fold the melted butter into the egg mix. Sift and fold in the flour.

3 Spoon the mix into the ramekins, about full and refrigerate until they are needed.

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6 and bake for 12 minutes.

For the vanilla sauce

1 Pour the milk into a saucepan. Split the vanilla bean lengthways and add to the milk.

2 In a bowl add the egg yolks and caster sugar. Whisk them together until pale in colour.

3 Place the milk onto the stove to boil.

4 When boiling, pour the milk over the egg yolks and sugar. Mix them together and pour the mixture back into the saucepan.

5 Place the saucepan back onto the stove and cook slowly over a low heat stirring all the time. Do not boil. When the sauce coats the back of the spoon pour it through a fine sieve into a clean bowl.

Serve the fondant with the cherries and vanilla sauce.


Preparation Time 1 hour 10 minutes


250ml of water

125g of castor sugar

Juice of 1 lemon

3 large ripe pears

100g of dark chocolate

10g of unsalted butter

75ml of whipping cream

30g of walnut halves

30g of flaked almonds

30g whole hazelnuts

30g cobnuts


6 egg yolks

150ml of the pear syrup

60g of castor sugar

15ml pear liquor (Poire William Eau-de-Vie)

Icing sugar to dust


1 Bring to the boil, in a saucepan, the water, sugar and lemon juice. Remove from the heat and reserve aside.

2 Peel and halve the pears and place them into the prepared syrup. Cover with greaseproof paper. Allow to poach in the hot syrup until tender while the syrup cools.

3 Chop the chocolate and place into a bowl. Dice the butter and reserve aside.

4 In a saucepan, bring the cream to the boil, pour it over the chocolate and stir well until the chocolate has completely melted. Piece by piece, stir in the butter.

5 In a small saucepan of boiling water, cook the walnuts for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and, while still warm, peel the skins off with the point of a small knife.

Tip: If you leave the walnuts to go cold they will be impossible to peel.

6 On a tray, place the almonds and walnuts and roast in the oven until golden brown. On a separate tray roast the hazelnuts and cobnuts. When brown remove them from the oven and place them onto a clean kitchen cloth. Rub the cloth together to remove the dry skins.

7 Stir all the prepared nuts into the chocolate base.

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