Gastronomic Nightmare before Christmas: The pre-holiday gluttony begins

It’s Christmas time once again and there’s a certain magic in the air. I’m not sure if it’s the cool monsoon weather (that’s Christmas in the tropics for you) or the overall feeling of pleasure brought on by numerous glasses of vodka and wine at the numerous social gatherings that come with the season. Lately though, as my metabolic rate starts to slow, and my waistline expands from that tiny bit of extra feasting (and my jawline disappears with alarmingly inverse proportion), I’ve begun to view the season with a slight sense of dread and self-loating.

With 4 pre-Christmas dinners already under my considerably tightened belt, I think it’s going to have to be a careful-eating from here on. Not sure how successful that’ll be though…considering I’ve been cooking up things like Maple-cider pork ribs…

It’s a Nigella Lawson recipe I read in the New York Times. It combines the deep, sweetness of maple syrup with the sharp, fruity tang of apple cider. As it roasts in the oven or over a barbeque, tantalizing whiffs of maple and apples will delight both you and your Christmas guests.


1 cup apple cider, as sharp as possible

1/4 cup of maple syrup (the real stuff please, not maple flavoured syrup)

2 tbsp vegetable oil

2 tbsp soy sauce

2 star anise

1 cinamon stick

6 unpeeled garlic cloves

1/2 tsp chilli flakes (optional)

2 kg pork ribs or 10 chicken thighs or 8 ribs + 6 thighs (if you like a combi both)

In a bowl, whisk together cider, syrup, oil and soy. Add star anise, cinamon, garlic and chilli flakes

Place meat in a large ziplock bag or low dish and add the apple maple mixture. Seal bag or cover dish and marinate in the fridge up to 2 days.

Remove marinated meats and

i) Roast: Heat oven to 180 degrees C. Pour meat and marinade into a large pan. Place chicken skin side up. Roast for about 45 mins, basting once in between.

If ribs are fatty, you might want to leave them in for another 15-30mins, while removing the chicken and setting aside in a warm place.

ii) Barbeque: Separate meat and marinade. Reserve marinade for basting (you can add a little beer into the mix).  Brown the meat on the hot part of the grill. Remove to cooler part of grill to continue cooking. Cooking time depends on how hot you grill is.

Serves 4-6 people

Serve with a side of buttered French beans and baked potato dolloped with sour cream or oven roasted rosemary fries.

So Merry Christmas my fellow greedies! I’ll be updating on the Christmas gluttony from Germany – where it’s Christmas markets and Gluwein galore now! Auf Wiedersehen!

About Mizdee

Food, food, food. Apart from love, it's the other thing that makes the world go round. When I'm sad it's a comfort, when I'm happy it's a celebration and when I'm not hungry, it's just greediness. But hey! Why not? Life is short too pass up a good meal.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: