It’s Christmas! We’re looking forward to a season of festive food and drink, and it simply wouldn’t be the same without turkey. Many people opt for a traditional turkey roast dinner with all the trimmings, although there are many exciting recipes available for those who wish to add a new twist to the old favourite, and we’ve come up with some great recipes to help you to get the most from your bird.
Turkey has been associated with Christmas dinner for many years, since Henry VIII first tucked into the large bird when it was imported into Britain in 1926. Turkeys were less expensive than many other animals sold for meat at this time, and could feed a large family with ease. However, most families continued to eat goose, which was cheaper still, until the mid 1800s, when the import of turkeys from the USA made it the most popular choice for the general population, as well as the wealthy.
Order Your Top Quality Christmas Turkey From Ó Crualaoí
Here at Ó Crualaoí, we appreciate good quality meat, and our turkeys are a class above the rest. We are a family business, and we always guarantee our customers the very best of delicious local meat, fully traceable from farm to fork. Our fresh, free range turkey comes from a local producer in East Ferry in Cork, and we know that you will be able to taste the difference.
It’s vital to us that the highest welfare standards are observed by the producers who supply meat to us at Ó Crualaoí, and our turkeys are allowed to roam outside and move freely from the field to their mobile houses. Fresh air and exercise is the key to the firm texture and full flavour that makes our turkeys special, and it’s great to know that they have been cared for so well. We have selected two slow growing breeds for our customers this year, and these yield a higher percentage of breast meat, giving rise to even better texture and flavour.
We pride ourselves on supplying top quality meat all year round, and we know that at Christmas it’s even more important to get it right. We always strive to exceed your expectations, and our philosophy remains the same – we’re your trusted, local family butchers and delicatessen, where integrity, quality and service truly count.
How to Prepare and Cook Your Christmas Turkey
There are many different ways to prepare and cook your turkey, and you may even have a traditional family recipe of your own. Here at Ó Crualaoi, we like to rub Irish butter under the skin of the turkey breast and season with salt and pepper. We place streaky bacon over the turkey breasts before cooking, and we believe that the taste and texture of this simple recipe is second to none.
It can feel overwhelming when you’re in charge of cooking the turkey on Christmas day, but this is usually because working out the cooking times is something of a science. Cooking times are variable, but a simple formula can help you to get it right. You should set your oven to 180 degrees Celsius / 350 degrees F / gas mark 4, and allow 20 minutes per lb for turkey on the bone, and 30 minutes per lb for turkey breast boned and rolled. Take the time to work this out before the big day, and you’ll take the pressure off your cooking and avoid last minute disas-ters!
You will know that your turkey is fully cooked when the juices run clear, and then it is important to allow your turkey to relax for 30 minutes before carving. This is a good time to put the finishing touches to your vegetable dishes and your sauces, and congratulate yourself on a delicious meal, well cooked.
It’s all about choosing the right turkey, though, and you will only get the succulent, flavour-some taste you want when you take the time to choose a top quality bird. You can find out more about prepping a turkey breast when you check out our Instagram stories – you can pick up some great tips from Paul in Fermoy here.
Creating a Christmas Feast
Christmas dinner is probably the most stressful meal you will cook during the year, but this is due to the pressure we place on the occasion with our advertising and magazines filled with flawless festive tables, overflowing with beautiful food. It’s important to be realistic about your Christmas celebrations – after all, everyone just wants to enjoy the occasion.
Essentially, Christmas dinner is just an elaborate roast dinner, and it is all the side dishes and accompaniments that make it seem like an impossible feat. Here at Ó Crualaoi, we’ve got your back with a delicious range of accompaniments for your festive table, including cranberry sauce, bread stuffing, festive red cabbage and homemade gravy. You don’t even have to mention that you didn’t make them yourself – we won’t tell if you don’t!
Here are our top tips for creating a Christmas dinner to remember for all the right reasons:
• Delegate. Don’t try to do the entire Christmas dinner on your own, and accept all offers of help graciously. If a guest offers to bring a dish, prepare the vegetables or lay the table, allow him or her to take part in the preparations and appreciate the contribution. If it helps you to focus on cooking the turkey to perfection, everyone will be delighted.
• Work from a list. Christmas dinner usually involves coordinating a number of dishes, and a list with a time plan can really help here. Write down everything you want to include on your festive table and work backwards from the time you want to sit down and eat to ensure you have allowed ample preparation and cooking time for every element of the meal. Don’t get caught out with a turkey that hasn’t defrosted properly or that needs much longer to cook than you were expecting!
• Prepare in advance. Many of the dishes that are included in your Christmas dinner can be prepared in advance, and you will feel that you have done really well if you can organise yourself to make the most of this. Sauces, stuffing and desserts can often be made in ad-vance and simply defrosted on the day, and you can fill your freezer weeks or even months ahead of schedule. When you order your festive meats online, you can also take the opportunity to stock up on your family favourites to see you through the festive season, and this will take the pressure off your other meals, too.
Taste the Difference this Christmas with Ó Crualaoí Turkey
If you think that turkey is bland, dry or tasteless, we bet you’ve never tried our delicious meats! We work hard to ensure that our customers receive the freshest, most succulent meats, and we know that you will be able to taste the Ó Crualaoí difference. We’ve been supplying top quality meat in Ireland for more than sixty years, and we only select the very best produce for you.
We have options for everyone, particularly those who are keen to choose healthier meat prod-ucts, and we specialise in making your life easier with our family friendly selection of pre-prepared meals and meat selections.
Order Your Christmas Free Range Turkey In Ireland
There’s no need to delay, you can order your Christmas Turkey and everything else you need for your Christmas dinner from us now. We have a delicious range of succulent Hams and award winning Spiced Beef, as well as all of the accompaniments you will need to create a fes-tive feast to remember. Whether you are looking for cranberry sauce, homemade gravy or tradi-tional bread stuffing, we have created the perfect solution for you to wow your guests on Christmas Day.
You can order online, or call us if you prefer to speak to one of our team. Our friendly staff are here to help and can advise you on the choices that will suit your family best and the quantities you will need. Don’t forget that you can pop in to your local Ó Crualaoí store in Ballincollig, Fermoy or Wilton Shopping Centre to talk to our experienced butchers, and we will always be happy to answer any questions you may have.