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Jamie Oliver's Cracking Christmas: cooking tips for the festive period

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Jamie Oliver treated the nation to a glimpse at some of his Christmas specialities on Monday evening, when Jamie's Cracking Christmas aired on Channel 4. The Essex-born chef cooked beef wellington, spiced roast goose, a bread-and-butter panettone pudding tart, and revealed his top tips for cooking up leftovers into culinary surprises such as steamy Korean buns and Thai massaman curry. Jamie's centrepiece was spiced roast goose, which he served with braised red cabbage, clementine-glazed carrots and golden roast potatoes. The popular celebrity chef's final instruction to give the festive dish his authentic stamp was: "Sprinkle over some fresh pomegranate seeds as a crunchy alternative to cranberry sauce".

Jamie Oliver pictured on Jamie's Cracking Christmas

As for the roast potatoes, Jamie has the secret to making sure they’re lovely and crunchy on the outside and deliciously fluffy on the inside: squish them down a little with a fish slice. The 39-year-old also set his maestro kitchen skills to the old English favourite, beef wellington. For him rosemary is a must in terms of adding herbs to the classic dish. "Herb-wise it has to be rosemary," he told viewers while demonstrating his beef wellington, which was perfectly cooked leaving the beef still pink in the middle of the pastry parcel. "Rosemary and beef are the best friends in the whole wide world," he said.

jamie oliver © Photo: Rex
The chef also appeared on ITV's This Morning this week

For those hesitant to cook pastry from scratch in case of getting a "soggy bottom", Jamie suggests grilling it for two minutes on the hob. "Guarantees a crispy bum", he chortled, making witty reference to The Great British Bake Off's famous catchphrase. For dessert, Jamie made a bread-and-butter panettone pudding tart, made from a pannetone, that he said, had "all the elegance of a tart, but none of the hassle of pastry". To make the sweet treat he sliced off the crusts, laid them in the base of a cake tin and crumbled the soft inner sponge into a creamy custard, which he poured into the tray, larding it with marmalade. After 25 minutes in Jamie's huge state-of-the-art oven, it looked mouthwateringly good. What about when the festivites are over? Jamie suggests using the goose leftovers for Thai massaman curry, or for making little steamy Korean buns to be served with cucumber, Hoisin sauce, heated sesame seeds and goose meat.And we mustn't forget a Christmas tipple. Jamie's choice for this year: an old fashioned cocktail made with sugar, rum, bitters and ice.

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