Bord Bia’s favourite recipes for the perfect festive feast

With the festive season in full swing, Bord Bia has selected a sample of its favourite recipes to help consumers spread some holiday cheer. Research from Kantar* has shown that in the 4 weeks leading up to Christmas, Irish consumers typically spend €104 million on bacon and ham – that’s €10 million more compared to any other month during the year. Sales of beef during the same period are valued at €38.2million while shoppers also purchase €9.4million of lamb in the run up to Christmas.


Furthermore, we’ll consume approximately 800,000 turkeys this Christmas, buy 400,000 Irish-grown Christmas trees and decorate our surroundings with 280,000 Irish-grown poinsettia plants.


Bord Bia’s Quality Mark ambassadors have been getting into the festive spirit by revealing what they love most about Christmas.  Renowned chef Neven Maguire is looking forward to shutting up shop for some much needed rest and relaxation while TV and radio presenterAoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin relishes heading home for the holidays to enjoy her mum’s traditional cooking.  For former rugby player David Wallace it’s all about waking up to the aroma of bacon being fried on Christmas morning while celebrity MasterChef contestant and mother-of-3 Yvonne Keating loves nothing more than spoiling her nearest and dearest with a festive feast and thoughtful gifts.  Home cook Donal Skehan times the turkey preparation around a bracing Christmas morning dip while ham-loving Hector Ó hEochagáin can’t resist tucking into sandwiches made from tasty leftovers in the wee hours!


Bord Bia Quality Mark Ambassadors Yvonne Keating, Hector Ó hEochagáin, Neven Maguire, David Wallace, Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin and Donal Skehan

During the year, each of the ambassadors visited the Bord Bia Quality Kitchen – an online destination for recipe information and cooking advice. Log on to or to be inspired by the range of delicious Christmas recipes, enter a competition to win an iPad and learn more about the Bord Bia Quality Mark.




Ham with Port, Orange and Redcurrant Glaze

A really delicious glaze. You could also use it on a smaller ham joint.

Serves: 20

Cooking time: 3.5 hours


Main Ingredients

  • ·         1 whole ham
  • ·         1-2 carrots, chopped
  • ·         1-2 sticks of celery, chopped
  • ·         1 onion, halved
  • ·         1 tablesp. peppercorns
  • ·         1 bay leaf
  • ·         1 tablesp. whole cloves

Ingredients for the Glaze

  • ·         Zest and juice of ½ orange
  • ·         Zest and juice of ½ lemon
  • ·         ¼ teasp. ground allspice
  • ·         4 tablesp. redcurrant jelly
  • ·         2 tablesp. light muscovado sugar
  • ·         2 tablesp. port
  • ·         1 large cinnamon stick

To Cook

Place the ham, vegetables, peppercorns and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Cover with cold water. Place a lid on the saucepan, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for approx. three hours. Reserve the cooking liquid to use later.

While the ham is cooking make the glaze. Place all the glaze ingredients into a saucepan and heat gently until sugar dissolves. Bring to the boil then simmer for a couple of minutes until the mixture becomes syrupy. Remove from the heat and set aside to let the flavours develop until the ham is ready.

When the ham is cooked the skin will peel off easily. Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F). Remove the joint from the saucepan and place on a roasting tin. Using a sharp knife remove all the skin and score the fat into diamonds. Put a clove into the centre of each diamond. Remove the cinnamon stick from the glaze then brush the glaze over the ham. Add a ladleful of the reserved stock around the ham to keep it moist and bake for about 30 minutes until golden brown.

Bord Bia Tip

Make sure the ham you buy for this recipe carries the Bord Bia Quality Mark so that you know it comes from farms and producers working to the highest Bord Bia Quality standards which include traceability and care for the environment. For more tasty recipe ideas and video tips, visit the Bord Bia website at




Roast Turkey with Thyme and Onion Stuffing

A traditional recipe that is hard to beat!


Serves: 12-14

Cooking time: 3.5 hours approximately


Main Ingredients

  • ·         7 kg turkey, oven ready
  • ·         Salt, black pepper and a little flour
  • ·         2 tablesp. softened butter
  • ·         8 slices streaky bacon


Ingredients for the Stuffing

  • ·         450g bread broken into pieces
  • ·         6 tablesp. fresh parsley chopped
  • ·         2 tablesp. fresh thyme chopped
  • ·         1 medium onion, cut into quarters
  • ·         Salt and black pepper
  • ·         100g – 150g butter, softened


To make the stuffing

Place the bread, parsley, thyme and onion in a food processor. Process until you have fine breadcrumbs and the onion is finely chopped. Remove to a bowl, season and mix in the butter.


To stuff the turkey

Loosen the skin at the neck end with your hands. Pack the stuffing in, pushing it up between the flesh and the skin, but not too tightly because it will expand during cooking. Tuck the neck flap under the birds back and secure with a cocktail stick. Any remaining stuffing can be cooked in a covered baking dish with the turkey. Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time. Allow 30-40 minutes per kg. (Allow 20-30 minutes per kg for turkeys weighing over 8kg). Place the turkey breast side up in an oiled roasting tin.


To cook the turkey

Set the oven at Gas Mark 7, 220°C (450°F).

Season the turkey with salt and pepper and dust with a little flour. Rub all over with the butter, then lay the bacon slices on the breast, overlapping each other. Cover the bacon with a piece of buttered grease proof paper. This will keep the bacon in place. Wrap the turkey in foil and roast in the preset oven. After the first 30 minutes, reduce the heat to Gas Mark 3 (170°C or 325°F). Baste a couple of times during roasting. For the last half hour, remove the foil. To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the leg, the juices should run clear. When the turkey is cooked remove from the oven and transfer to a large plate. Reserve the cooking juices in the tin to make the gravy. Cover the turkey loosely with foil and allow to rest for half an hour in a warm place until you are ready to serve it.


Guide to good gravy

A well flavoured stock is important, so a day ahead, place the giblets, some onion slices and a bay leaf in a saucepan. Cover with water, then simmer gently for 1½ – 2 hours. Then strain and season.


After removing the turkey from the roasting tin, pour off the fat and leave behind the juices. Over a medium heat, stir in a tablespoon of flour. Blend well. Add a dash of wine. Continue to cook. Stir in the stock and simmer for 2-3 minutes. A tablespoon of redcurrent jelly, cream or balsamic vinegar will also add to the flavour. Season to taste.



Roast Rack of Lamb with Mustard and Herb Topping


Really delicious.  You can vary the type of herbs and use your favourites!


Serves: 3-4

Cooking time: 45 mins



  • ·         1 rack of lamb, well trimmed
  • ·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ·         1 tablesp. olive oil
  • ·         4 tablesp. parsley, chopped
  • ·         1 teasp. thyme, chopped
  • ·         75g breadcrumbs
  • ·         Knob butter
  • ·         1 tablesp. good quality mustard


To Cook


Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 6, 200°C (400°F).


Season the lamb with salt and pepper.  Heat the oil in a pan and brown the lamb for a couple of minutes until golden.  Leave to cool.  Meanwhile make up the topping – combine the herbs, breadcrumbs, seasoning and butter and mix well.


When the lamb has cooled, spread the mustard over the top and spoon on the herb and breadcrumb mixture.  Press well onto the lamb.  Place in the preheated oven and roast for 25 minutes.  At this stage the lamb will be medium rare.  Allow to sit in a warm place for 5-10 minutes before serving.


Delicious with roast potatoes and roast vegetables.


Bord Bia Tip

Make sure the lamb you buy for this recipe carries the Bord Bia Quality Mark so that you know it comes from farms and producers working to the highest Bord Bia Quality standards which include traceability and care for the environment. For more tasty recipe ideas and video tips, visit the Bord Bia website at



Ice Cream Pudding

A delicious alternative to Christmas pudding.

Serves: 10

Cooking time: Half an hour plus freezing


  • ·         100g granulated sugar
  • ·         125ml water
  • ·         4 egg yolks
  • ·         500ml cream
  • ·         1teasp.vanilla essence
  • ·         500g dried mixed fruit e.g. raisins, currants, sultanas, figs, apricots (soaked overnight in port)
  • ·         100g toasted almond, chopped

To Cook

Put the sugar and the water into a pan. Dissolve the sugar over a gentle heat. Then boil steadily until it forms a syrup.  Beat the egg yolks well, then carefully pour the syrup on to them. Continue to whisk to a thick, mousse-like mixture.

Whip the cream. Fold the cream and vanilla essence into the mousse with the fruit and nuts. Pour into a pudding bowl and freeze.

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