When you serve the following Irish Christmas recipes you will be serving the most traditional of Irish food and customs. This meal with some slight variations is served in a good part of Ireland on Christmas day.
The holiday meal traditions begin on Christmas Eve. Until recently this was a day of abstinence, people weren't suppose to eat meat. The meal for this day consisted of sweet cakes, bottles of stout or mineral water and salt fish. The fish was steeped in the morning to remove the salt and then it was pouched and served with a white cream sauce for the evening meal. This was a simple meal but the most enjoyed, because this was the time distant family members first came together to celebrate Christmas.
People on the Aran Islands have their own traditional Irish Christmas recipe of fish stew on Christmas Eve. It is made with salt fish, seasoned with pepper, leeks, carrots, onions and grated cheese. It is boiled for just a few minutes and served with mashed potatoes. I don't have the exact recipe for this stew, but if you want to try it just be bold and give it try. That's the fun of cooking up a stew; you don't have to be exact with the ingredients.
Now on to the Irish Christmas recipes.
The main course is Roast Goose with potato stuffing. A very traditional main course for Irish Christmas recipes. This is served with warm applesauce and if you like some Irish soda bread (I like this warm, too). Dessert is Plum pudding and to be true to tradition it arrives at the table flaming. Talk about a Cool tradition. Just don't singe your eyebrows on the way to the table, as this would take away from the festive mood and all.
OK, let's get down to business.
Roast Goose with Potato Stuffing
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Clean the goose and remove any large pieces of interior fat. Pierce the goose in several places in the skin with a fork. This will help release the goose fat as it cooks. Rub with salt and pepper. Lightly fill the goose with the Potato stuffing (see recipe below). Place on a rack in an uncovered roasting pan. Roast for 15 minutes or until the skin starts to brown. Reduce heat to 325°F and roast 25 minutes to the pound. Pour off any excess fat as it roasts. There will be quite a bit of fat. The goose is done when the skin is nicely browned and crisp and the drumstick moves easily. Serve with the hot applesauce.
Serves 6 to 8. (I think it serves 5 to 6 more than likely. You be the judge)
(Note: Now days about 90% of Irish families serve turkey on Christmas day.)
Pass the potatoes through a ricer or food mill, then place them in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a frying pan and pour over the potatoes (leave a little butter in the pan for the onions). Blend well. With the butter that is left in the frying pan sauté the onions over low heat until they are translucent. When done add the onions to the potato mixture. Add the sage, salt pepper and parsley. Blend well.
Makes enough for a 10 to 12 pound goose.
This stuffing would work very well with turkey also.
This is an excellent side dish to serve with the above Irish Christmas recipes.
Wash, core and peel the apples. Cut into quarters. Put apples in a large sauce pan add the water. Bring to a boil then immediately turn down to simmer. Simmer until the apples are soft. Add the sugar, lemon juice and raisins. Season with nutmeg and cinnamon to taste. Cook for another 5 minutes, then remove from heat. Let stand 30 minutes.
Reheat and serve warm with the above goose recipe.
Makes about 2 cups of applesauce.
Irish Christmas Pudding (Plum Pudding)
This Irish Christmas recipe needs a little explanation.
First thing is this is called "plum" pudding, but it doesn't contain plums. I think this just refers to the raisins in it.
The second thing is this pudding takes a long time before it is ready to eat. It is usually made 2 to 3 weeks or more ahead of time. It keeps very well. It is said it needs to age at least this long for the best flavor.
This recipe makes 2 puddings
In a large non-metal bowl mix the first 4 ingredients of fruit with one cup of the whiskey. Cover and let stand for at least 12 hours.
Later in another large bowl combine the flour, breadcrumbs, sugar, suet, salt and spices. Mix well. Add the almonds, grated apples, the whiskey soaked fruit, lemon juice and lemon zest. Again mixing well.
In another bowl beat the eggs to a froth and add the Guinness. Slowly add this mixture to the flour mixture blending well.
Grease two 6" bowls with butter and pour in equal amounts of the pudding. Cover the bowls with aluminum foil and over that tie on a piece of muslin with butcher's string. Put the bowls in a large pot and add water to the pot until it is three quarters of the way up the bowls. Bring to a boil then turn down to a slow simmer. Simmer for about 5-1/2 to 6 hours adding water as needed.
Remove the puddings from the pot and remove the cloth and foil. Let cool. Put the puddings on a plate and pour on the other cup of Irish whiskey. Allow the puddings to completely soak up the whiskey. Wrap in cheesecloth and place them in a sealed container. Let them age in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
To serve, place the puddings back in their bowls and put them in a pot of simmering water. Reheat for 2 to 3 hours.
As a final traditional touch just before serving flame the puddings with Irish whiskey or brandy. In some parts of Ireland they get a better flame for this Irish Christmas recipe with poteen (bootleg whiskey) but that's another story, told with a wink and a nod. If you know what I mean (Wink, Nod).
If you follow the Irish Christmas recipes above you are sure to have a traditional Irish Christmas.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot, Nollaig Shona (Merry Christmas).
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