Jamie's Christmas Cookbook is full of delicious wintery recipes, from warming roasts to party nibbles, which will be loved throughout the year. Here's a favourite Boxing Day special.
Sweet leek & smoky bacon biscuit dumplings
Total time: 1 hour, plus cooling
2 rashers of higher-welfare smoked streaky bacon
2 small leeks
125g plain flour
25g maize flour or polenta
1½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
30g unsalted butter (cold)
1 large free-range egg
3 sticks of celery
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
3 fresh bay leaves
2 teaspoons English mustard
2 tablespoons plain flour
1.5 litres organic veg stock
150g leftover stuffing
500g leftover cooked higher-welfare turkey or chicken meat
To start the dumplings, roughly chop the bacon and place in a large frying pan on a medium-low heat to crisp up while you wash, trim and finely slice the leeks. Stir them into the pan with 1 tablespoon of oil, then cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and sweet, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, for the stew, peel the onions, trim the celery, then roughly chop both and place in a large, wide casserole pan on a medium heat with 2 tablespoons of oil (or even better, use turkey dripping to intensify the flavours). Add the herb sprigs and bay, and cook for 15 minutes, or until soft but not coloured, stirring regularly. Stir in the mustard and flour for 2 minutes, then gradually stir in the stock to make a nice thick sauce. Crumble in the leftover stuffing and turn the heat off. Scoop out and discard the herb sprigs and bay leaves, then shred the turkey or chicken meat, stir it into your stew, taste, and season to perfection.
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Place the flours, baking powder and bicarb in a large bowl. Dice and add the butter, then use your thumbs and forefingers to rub the butter into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Make a well in the middle, pour in the buttermilk, then gradually mix into the crumbs, bringing them in from the outside. Stir in the cooled leeks and bacon until just combined, but don’t overwork it – we want the dough as light as possible. Gently roll it out on a clean flour-dusted surface until 2cm thick, then use a 5cm fluted cutter to stamp out as many round dumplings as you can, re-rolling and using up any offcuts – you should get at least 12 from this amount.
Brush the dumplings with beaten egg, then sit them on top of the stew. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the dumplings are risen and golden and the stew is blipping and bubbling away nicely. Delicious with simple steamed greens.
Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook by Jamie Oliver is published by Penguin Random House ⓒ Jamie Oliver Enterprises Limited (2016 Jamie Oliver’s Christmas Cookbook). Photographer: David Loftus.
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