The Christmas issue

Our December issue is out now, featuring Paul Carmichael's recipes for a Caribbean Christmas, silly season cocktails and more.

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Chilled recipes for summer

When the mercury is rising, step away from the oven. These recipes are either raw, chilled or frozen and will cool you down in a snap.

Shark Bay Wild Scampi Caviar

Bright blue scampi roe is popping up on menus across Australia. Here's why it's so special.

Mango recipes

Nothing says summer like mangoes. Go beyond the criss-cross cuts - bake a mango-filled meringue loaf with lime mascarpone, start off the day with a sweet coconut quinoa pudding with sticky mango, or toss it through a spicy warm weather Thai salad.

Decadent chocolate dessert recipes for Christmas

13 of our most decadent chocolate recipes to indulge guests with this Christmas.

Sydney's best dishes 2016

For our 50th anniversary issue in 2016, we scoured Australia asking two questions: What dishes are making waves right now? What flavours will take us into the next half-century? Sydney provided 16 answers.

What the GT team is cooking on Christmas Day

We don't do things by halves in the Gourmet office. These are the recipes we'll be cooking on the big day.

Summer feta recipes

Whether in a fresh salad or seasonal seafood dish, feta's creamy tang can be used to add interest to a variety of summer dishes.

Paul Carmichael's great cake

"Great cake, also known in Barbados as black cake or rum cake, is a variation of British Christmas cake that's smashed with rum and falernum syrup," says Momofuku Seiobo chef Paul Carmichael. "This festive cake varies from household to household but they all have two things in common: tons of dried fruit and rum. It's a cake that should be started at least a month out so the fruit can marinate in the booze. Start this recipe up to five weeks ahead to macerate the fruit and baste the cake."

Australia's best ham revealed

Jose Pereira of Sunshine Meats

Jose Pereira of Sunshine Meats

That office Secret Santa gift might be a hasty, vaguely regrettable decision, but your Christmas ham should be a purchase made with a bit more care and deliberation. Fortunately, Australian Ham Week (November 30 to December 6) is here to celebrate locally produced ham and educate us on the finer points of selection in time for Christmas. 

First question: bone-in or boneless? As part of Ham Week, The Australian Ham Awards have named winners of both categories from a total of 123 entries.

The overall winner of Australia's best artisan ham was New South Wales producer Sunshine Meats with a boneless ham, double-smoked and infused with maple. The company's founder, Jose Pereira, says he didn't want to enter, but his daughter pushed him into it. Pereira extols the convenience of a boneless ham, which is naturally easier to slice than a traditional bone-in leg. The Victoria-based Bertocchi Brothers' triple-smoked leg ham, meanwhile, won the nationally available category.

Paul Rae of Master Meats in Queensland took out the national gong for bone-in ham for the second year running. Rae favours the traditional bone-in method for the sweeter meat it produces, he says. The secret to his prize-winning ham is a cure involving juniper and malt - the result of much tinkering and testing.

Horst Schurger, who carries the hefty title of fleischmeister, or master butcher, judged the awards along with chefs Paul McDonald and Simon Bestley. Schurger says that when judging entries (or, in our case, shopping) it's important to look for a ham that's "nice and plump", with uniformity of colour, a saltiness that enhances the taste of the meat without overpowering it, a subtle hint of smoke on the meat closer to the rind, and an absence of fermentation holes (the result of too much sugar during curing).

The involvement of restaurants around the nation in Ham Week will showcase how quality Australian ham can be served. In Melbourne, "hamgustations" are being held at Huxtable and The Commoner; in Sydney, Carla Jones at 4Fourteen is serving a traditional baked ham with pickles, while Richard Ousby at Brisbane's Stokehouse will be serving his ham maple-glazed with fresh figs. With butchers around the country putting on tastings and demonstrations, you're set to end up with a ham that will be lucky to make it past the big day.

For more information visit pork.com.au

RELATED LINKS

How to glaze a ham

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Explainer: wild scampi caviar
30.11.2016
GT's Christmas hamper
29.11.2016
David Thompson's favourite hot sauce
28.11.2016
Our 2016 Christmas issue is out now
28.11.2016
Bruce Pascoe’s crowd-funded Indigenous agriculture project
27.11.2016
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