Christmas Cooking – Sean O’Rourke Show December 13th 2013

Cranberry Sauce

Makes about 350ml

This will keep in the fridge for 2 weeks.  Add a few tablespoons of port and heat gently before serving over a cinnamon ice cream for a quick dessert.

200g fresh cranberries, washed

4 plums, stones removed and cut into wedges  

100g golden caster sugar

120ml red wine

1 orange, zest and juice

2cm fresh ginger, grated,

1 star anise

1 stick of cinnamon

 ½ tsp five spice powder


Place the cranberries and plums into a medium saucepan and add the sugar, wine, orange zest and juice, stir well and then add the ginger, star anise, cinnamon stick and five spice powder.  Bring to the boil and gently simmer for about 12 to 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Remove from the heat and leave to cool completely. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick when cool. If you feel that the sauce is slightly too thick, add 2 tbsp water before cooling.   

Tip:  Add 3 tbsp finely chopped ready to eat dried apricots to the mix for a little more sharpness.


Maple, Lime and Orange Glazed Ham

Serves 6 to 8

 The slices of limes and oranges make this ham very pretty served on a meat platter or even a wooden board. It can be prepared 2 days ahead of time if you are going to serve it cold after Christmas day.    

 1.5kg boned and rolled ham

1 onion, peeled

2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped

2 bay leaves

3 to 4 cloves

8 to 10 black peppercorns

1 cinnamon stick

500ml cider


For the glaze

60g dark brown sugar

100g maple syrup

1 tsp whole grain mustard

1 lime, juice and zest

1 orange, juice only

2 tbsp soy sauce


To decorate

1 orange, sliced thinly

2 limes, sliced thinly

Cloves, to insert


The cooking time for ham is 20 minutes for every 500g.


Soak the ham overnight in cold water.  Rinse well. Place the ham into a large saucepan of cold water, bring to the boil and pour off the water.  Place the onion, carrots, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick and add the cider and more cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer according to the calculated cooking time. The simmering time for this recipes will be 1 hour. Top up the water level and scoop the foam off the top.

In the meantime, combine all the ingredients for the glaze and set aside.

Carefully remove the ham from the liquid (you can keep the liquid for making soup).

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan 170°C/gas 5.  Lift the ham onto a large roasting pan. Cut away the skin leaving an even layer of fat. Score the layer of fat in a diamond pattern and spread some of the glaze over the top. Insert the cloves and roast in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes until golden. Keep an eye on the ham and spread more glaze over after 20 minutes of roasting.

Place the orange and lime slices over the top about 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time until the edges of the fruit are slightly golden. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.


Tip: to save the washing up – place the ham onto a piece of foil and lift the edges to catch the juices.






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