The Perfect Lunch For Stephen's Day

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Michael Tweedie, head Ched at Ballyfin, shares his tips for the perfect Stephen's day feast, which can be planned and prepared in advance and conveniently can use the Christmas leftovers.

A roast glazed ham on Stephen's Day is a firm family favourite.

It will have been cooked on Christmas Eve, so that the 26th can be an easy-going day. We'll set off for a morning walk with the dogs and return for a lunch of cold ham with bubble and squeak and burnt apple pure?e, which, with its various Christmassy-spices, brings an added festive feel. The ham will be boiled, then glazed with honey and English mustard and studded with cloves before finishing it off in the oven. Individual bubble and squeak cakes will use up any leftover roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts from the day before.

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I recommend using Cox's or Bramley apples for the pure?e. Remove the cores and place whole in a foil roasting tray, sprinkle with caster sugar, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves and vanilla pods. Cook in the oven at 180?C/gas mark 4 until apples are starting to caramelise. Remove from oven and blend apples (with skin remaining on them).
The pure?e can be served either warm or cold with the ham. The beauty of this Boxing Day accompaniment is that you can make it well ahead of time.

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