Christmas countdown no 2……

So the goose stock is made – after simmering for a couple of hours it looked a little weak so I increased the heat and boiled it for about 30 minutes reducing it considerably to a much lusher dark stock – it tastes pretty good so we should have a nice gravy at least.

I then got a bit distracted by onion pickling.  I had a huge bag of pickling onions which I have only half used so far, mainly because peeling the little blighters is sooooo boring.  But there was a huge jug of onions taking up space in my kitchen and I decided they had to go.  Stage one of that process is now complete and I shall finish them off in the morning.  I shall do a full post on how to pickle onions once they are ready but for anyone who is interested, you start by putting them all in a big bowl and covering in boiling water.  Once the water cools enough to be able to touch the onions, top and tail them and the skins should come away fairly easily.  Put the peeled onions into a large pan and cover with salt, toss them so that they are all well covered and then leave them over night or up to 24 hours.  This draws a lot of moisture out of the onions so that you get a nice crunchy pickle.

onions

 

salted onions

I’ve also started on my ham.

Firstly, I put the whole thing in a deep pot and cover with cold water.  Bring that to the boil then remove the ham and discard the water.  Then clean out the pot, there’ll be salty scum round the edges!  Put the ham/gammon back into the pot cover with dry ginger ale and top up with a pint of water.  Add 3 bay leaves, a bouquet garni, 2 tablespoons of pickling spices, 10 allspice berries, 2 star anise and 3 tablespoons of dark brown sugar and bring the whole lot to the boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook for a couple of hours.  Let the whole lot cool down in the cooking liquor overnight.  Stage 2 happens tomorrow!

 

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