FOODLOVER magazine


Christmas Cooking Wrapped Up  

Take the stress out of cooking for a crowd with Jon Thorner’s Christmas cooking tips…

Thorner's rib of beefYou’ve consciously searched for the best quality meat to serve up at Christmas, so now you just need to make sure you cook it to perfection. Here are some helpful tips for cooking your festive fare this Christmas. 

“Our guide is dependent upon appetite, age and leftovers you require. It is best to follow the cooking times of your joint provided by where it was purchased, as certain breeds and types can differ to standard cooking times. Also make sure your joint is at room temperature before roasting starts, as this can affect cooking times considerably.” 


Turkey serving sizes:
Whole turkey = 500g per person
Turkey crown = 300g per person
Turkey breast = 250g per person 

Cooking tips: 

  • With whole birds, start the cooking process with the joint breast side down under some tin foil – this will prevent the breast meat drying out. About half an hour before the cooking time is up, remove the foil and turn breast-side up to crisp up the skin or add some streaky bacon.
  • Once cooked the juices must run clear and if using a digital thermometer, the internal temperature should be above 75C. 
  • Rest the meat – this is so important. It gives the joint a chance to ‘relax’ and releases all the juices back into the meat. About 30 – 60 minutes resting time is good; which also frees your oven up to get the accompaniments cooked. 

Duck & Goose 

Duck & Goose serving sizes:
4 – 5kg whole goose = serves 4 – 6 people
2 – 2.5kg whole duck serves = 4 people 

NOTE: A goose or duck does have less meat on it than a traditional turkey, but the flavour is much richer so servings are smaller.  

Cooking tips:

  • Pat the bird dry, prick the skin lightly to help release the fat, then place on a rack (trivet) in the roasting tray. Cook under foil, until the last half an hour then remove and baste the bird for the final cooking time. Allow to rest for 30 minutes before serving. 
  • Don’t waste the fat – this is the joy of having goose or duck. The fat makes incredible roast potatoes. Also use the brown cooking juices in your gravy.  


Beef serving sizes:
Bone-in joint = 340g per person
Boneless joint = 225g per person 

Cooking tips:

  • Cook the joint at a higher temperature for the first 15 minutes, then turn the oven down. This gets the outside of the beef nice and crispy. Baste the joint regularly during cooking to keep it moist. Rest your beef joint for a minimum of 15 minutes before serving – the joint will also cook a little more whilst resting, so take this into account.  
  • Note that the outside of the joint will be more cooked than the centre, so this is perfect for guests who have different cooking preferences. 


Order your Christmas meats by visiting Jon Thorner’s today…

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Foodlover Magazine

West Country FOODLOVER is a print magazine and news based website offering a foodie’s guide of what’s hot across the South West. We inspire foodies with great seasonal recipes, competitions, news and events. The magazine, website and newsletter reach more than 128,000 foodies each issue.