Boxing Day kicks off Australia's official Season of the Leftover, with family members quibbling over the best pieces of turkey and ham in between swimming and sleeping. But while the chef of the house might have retired soon after the dishes were set on the table for Christmas lunch, it's a shame not to jazz up what remains to really enjoy its beautiful flavours.
Here, Mike McEnearney of the hugely popular Kitchen By Mike in Sydney, and formerly of Rockpool and London's Pied à Terre, lets us in on his favourite Christmas leftover recipes.
Leg Ham & Mashed Potato
"There is always leftover leg ham from Christmas day so I serve slices of it with mashed potato and Cumberland sauce," explains Mike. "It is the perfect Boxing Day lunch, very simple with a light green salad."
1500 grams peeled potatoes
250ml full cream milk
500 grams butter, cut into 2cm squares.
10 grams salt
2 pinches ground white pepper
2 pinches grates nutmeg
*Peel potatoes and simmer in plenty of salted water at a steady roll over medium heat. When they are cooked through (a skewer should easily penetrate), drain from water and allow the steam to evaporate for 1 minute.
*Bring the milk to the boil.
*Push the potatoes through a ricer or food mill and into a large warm pot. Place on low heat and add half of the milk, stirring rapidly to incorporate, then start adding the diced butter.
*When the butter is emulsified add the rest of the milk until the desired texture is achieved.
*Season with grates of nutmeg, grinds of pepper and crushed sea salt.
Note: Do not allow the potato to cool during making, as this will cause the starch to turn the mash gluey in texture.
Glazed Ham with Cumberland Sauce
Whole leg ham
30 whole cloves
Mustard paste or powder
150 grams sugar
150ml Cumberland sauce (recipe below)
*Pre-heat oven to 220c.
*Remove the skin by placing your hand under the skin and sliding it between the fat and skin, then trim off with a knife.
*Cut a lattice in the fat, taking caution not to cut into the meat.
*Place a clove at each intersection.
*Dust with mustard powder or paste, rub in and dust with sugar.
*Bake on a cake rack sitting in a baking dish with a puddle of water.
*Bake until the sugar has melted and lightly caramelised with slightly burnt edges.
*Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes before carving.
Ingredients (Cumberland sauce)
25 grams baby shallots
15 grams ginger
125 cooking wine or port
225 red currant jelly
*Finely chop the shallots and blanch.
*Using a zester, zest the orange and lemon into fine strips and blanch.
*Cut the ginger into fine julienne strips and combine with the juice of both fruits.
*Add all ingredients and simmer until smooth.
*Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Bubble & Squeak With A Fried Egg
"Another great Boxing Day recipe is for breakfast," says Mike—and bubble and squeak is certainly one to quell any sore heads the morning after the night before. "I always over-cater the roast vegetables so that any leftovers I can turn into bubble and squeak, and serve with a fried egg and some bacon, ham or even sauté spinach."
*Squeeze the vegetables together in a chunky homogenous mass, then shape into patties, dust with flour and pan fry with butter in the shape of a big burger.
*Remove from fry pan and add a little more butter for frying the eggs.
*You can fry 4 eggs in a 25cm frying pan by gently cracking 4 eggs into a bowl and pouring them into the pan in one go. They will space themselves out and when they are ready just cut between them with an egg flip and lift them out.
*Place on top of vegetables and scatter with chopped chives.
Note: Variations include serving with sauté spinach, crispy bacon, mushrooms, sausages or sauté duck liver.
Image credit: Kitchen By Mike