Cooking Christmas Lunch is a cinch when you have a good plan, some quality ingredients and great equipment to cook with. This is made abundantly clear when we spent an afternoon cooking a full 3 course Christmas lunch at The Cookery in Hoddesdon using their wall of different AEG ovens.
On the menu was a Vegetarian Wellington which is filo parcel of roasted vegetables, roast beef, roast turkey and all the trimmings. To finish, we made some delightfully buttery mince pies.
How to make the perfect roast beef
What you need is a high quality joint of beef like this Grass Fed Scotch Beef joint, a meat thermometer and a very good oven.
Using the meat thermometer, set the core temperature your desired doneness. Alternatively, if you have the AEG SenseCook Oven, using the inbuilt thermometer, you just select which you want and the oven will cook it to what you want. Their SurroundCook function distributes the heat evenly throughout the oven so that your food cooks evenly.
To roast this joint of beef, use the Top heat and fan functions. The top heat renders the fat and gives it colour and the fan will raise the temperature gradually to cook the meat.
How to make the perfect roast turkey
The Turkey is cooked with the Steam and Roast function. This is a bit like putting foil over the top. It roasts the turkey and steams it at the same time, creating a moist meat and a golden colour.
- Put some stock or wine or both with some bay leaves and spices to create an aroma.
- Cover it with smoky streaky bacon.
- Set the temperature and use the assisted cooking element or the Food Sensor.
- You will end up with a moist and golden roasted turkey.
Baking Mince Pies
We made these mince pies with some sweet pastry dough and shop bought mince meat filling. Using these festive cutters, we topped our mince pies with Christmas trees and stars. Dusted with some icing sugar and baked them. The result was some very crumbly, short pastry and a very good mince pie. I’m going to have to make a big batch after this. We didn’t want to waste the leftover pastry dough. These were cut into little stars and dusted with icing sugar, then baked along with the mince pies. We ended up with some very buttery little biscuits.
More about the AEG ovens
Not everyone can have a wall of these AEG ovens at home. At The Cookery, they have every type installed in their wall. They are the domestic equivalent of a professional oven and work with a lot of steam. There is a water tank next to the control panel.
There is also a keep warm function. so if you have made some roast potatoes and other vegetables for your meal, you can leave them in the oven using this function. It doesn’t cook it further. It just keeps it warm.
Other things that you can use your AEG oven for:
- full sous vide package with the sous vide drawers, using sealed plastic bags like a normal fillet machine.
- making yoghurt (yoghurt setting at a temperature that allows the cultures to grow)
- pizza (using the two separate settings, very hot at the bottom to get crispy crust and a grill at the top)
- gratin (using a lower base temperature and a fierce heat at the top to melt the cheese )
- bread (see below)
AEG ovens for baking bread. There is an in built water tank to add water when you are baking bread. It creates steam as the bread bakes which gives the bread a good crust. It’s also very good for proofing bread before baking.
Now that you have done all that cooking and baking in your oven, the inside of the oven must be quite dirty with splattered meat juice and crumbs. No fear, the AEG ovens are self-cleaning.
Intense steaming function or a simple steaming function using the water tanks. You turn on the cleaning mode and the temperature goes up to the max. You leave it for the required time and hey presto, everything in the oven has been carbonised. You wait for it to cool and just wipe it away with a damp cloth. That is easily my favourite thing about these ovens.
Click here for some tips for cooking the perfect Christmas dinner
EatCookExplore was a guest of Curry’s PC World at this event