As good as the main event is (and it definitely was; goose is king of the birds), it's often the bits around the main event that excite me the most. The Gravadlax is something I get particularly excited about as Pops makes it so well - who can resist dill cured salmon? Boxing Day breakfast MUST consist of bubble and squeak, one of the only times I have the chance to eat it. Branston pickle, pickled onions and ketchup are the perfect accompaniments.
There must also be a ham and lentil soup along the way, made from the ham bone. Much to our distress, there was a mix-up at the butchers and we got a boneless gammon. But, no matter, a gammon shank was found at the trusty supermarket. All is not lost.
Of course, a family of four doesn't easily eat a 5.6kg goose and a 2kg ham in two days (though we gave it a good go) without a fair share of leftovers. The beetroot and tomato salad is pretty and festive, and provides a nice healthy side for the cold cut meats and pickles. A salad? At Christmas? Well, there's only so many sprouts one can eat...
Beetroot & Tomato Salad
Serves 4 as a side
250gr cherry tomatoes, halved
250gr cooked (not pickled) beetroot, quartered
1 large shallot, sliced finely
A handful of curly leaf parsley
A large pinch of salt
A small pinch of sugar
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Plenty of black pepper
In a large bowl, combine the pepper, salt, sugar, balsamic vinegar and the oil. Whisk into a dressing, then add the parsley chopped finely with the shallots. Leave for 10 minutes to let the flavours steep, then add the tomatoes and the beetroot. This goes very well with cold ham and hot boiled new potatoes.