Boxing Day Meat Ideas
By Sam Wass, Medium Well
It is worthwhile considering what meat is best for Boxing Day as early as possible. Although people put a lot of time and effort into planning Christmas Day’s menu, Boxing Day is often an after thought, and if you don’t have a plan you’ll find yourself serving the inevitable turkey sandwiches. With a bit of creative planning and the right easy cook joint, it can be a stand-out day in it’s own right. To be fair, as the family Christmas cook I actually enjoy it more than the big day itself, as there is less pressure to perform, and most of the hard work has been done already the day before.
Boxing Day is a time to relax and unwind with family and friends. It might involve a big walk in a country park, or being in your comfy clothes all day watching TV and building toys. Regardless of what you do, everyone will need feeding, but nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen all day.
One of the best tips I was given from a chef we work with, was to think about Boxing Day as a ‘one-joint day’. “Get yourself a big joint, pop it in the oven for a few hours, and then people can eat it for the rest of the day” It’s so simple and instantly turns christmas leftovers into a buffet table.
The key to this is to go for simple, hearty crowd-pleasing joints. I used to opt for a Gammon Joint, as that is perfect finger food, and can be prepared in advance, but that is now the Christmas Eve showpiece in our house. Last year I went for arguably the ideal joint to cook on a day when relaxing and taking it easy (as the Love Pork advertising campaign goes) with Pulled Pork Shoulder. It still amazes me when guests think there is something complex or mystical to good pulled pork, when really the key is just taking it easy. If you are hosting Boxing Day for the first time, you really can’t go wrong with a Pork Shoulder cooked low and slow. It is so versatile and unfussy, and if we are being honest is great ‘booze-food’. Unless you are entertaining Hycthe Bucket’ it is absolutely acceptable to serve with any leftover veg from Christmas dinner, but you might want to throw in some more roast potatoes as they’re an essential table companion. Working off approx 200-250g per person, a 2kg Pork Shoulder will easily serve approx 10 people which makes it really cost effective.
This year we’ve got guests over again and although I was tempted to go for pork shoulder again, it will be a slightly more formal affair so I’ll be serving a Boneless Pork Loin. Our kids are just starting to realise the delight that is crispy pork crackling, and in my opinion there is no joint to beat the loin for a crackling cracker of a table centrepiece. It’s quick to cook, easy to carve, and all of the usual boxing day elements of going well with leftover veg and spuds apply.
Happy eating, and have a very meaty Christmas.