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Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve 2012

For as long as I can remember, my family has made a celebratory deal out of both Christmas and Christmas Eve.

I guess it's because I'm half German?  I dunno...

But, in any case, we would have a large meal feast on both nights.  I will say, however, that they were always different.  The tradition was to do a ham and various orange vegetables (sweet potatoes, carrots, etc.) for Christmas Eve, and then the typical turkey dinner (mashed potatoes, gravy, etc.) for Christmas.

When I am not spending the holidays with my family, I rarely do both... however, this year I did.  My wife's family celebrates Christmas day with a bit more emphasis than mine, and with my mother-in-law spending the holidays with us, I figured I'd just do both.

So, here is my 2012 take on Christmas Eve dinner.

First of all, this year I did not buy a ham.  I like ham as much as the next Gentile, but they can be a little over salted in my opinion.  So much so that you often need to work hard to infuse the meat with any flavour other than salt.  Maybe some cloves are strong enough to cut through... but that's about it.

So... this year I tried a porchetta.  

Oh man was it good.

It was like taking a super lean, tasty pork loin, and wrapping it in a huge sheet of bacon.  Yum!

So, I rubbed the whole thing down, inside and out, and then pinched it shut with some bamboo skewers.

I then seared it at high heat in the oven for a few minutes.

Which made it all cracklin' good!

Then I slow-roasted it on low heat for a little over an hour.

As for the other dishes, we had green beans, roasted heirloom carrots and sweet potatoes.

After washing and trimming the beans and carrots, I threw them into the roaster for about 40 minutes.  The sweet potatoes were boiled in salted water.  Not really a fan of sweet potatoes, so the wife took care of those.

After all was roasted, we had a delicious looking porchetta:

And it was so juicy, the veggies were cooked perfectly!

There was so much good juice leftover, I incorporated it into the mustard sauce I made.  Which is a must-have remnant from my mom's traditional Christmas Eve supper.

Anyway... this was it, for three people it was still quite a large feast!