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Christmas at home with Oliver Hagen

Plus some tips for your Christmas ham

There’s nothing quite like the way food can bring people together at Christmas. So in the name of festive spirit, Oliver from Hagen’s Organics shares with us some of his Christmas traditions. He’s also thrown in some tips for your Christmas hams.

Growing up in a family of foodies, Oliver’s Christmas feasts have always been quite the spectacle. From his family’s very own ‘nuts and bolts’ creation  – a mix of Nutri-grain, pretzels and peanuts all cooked up together with butter and spices to their more recent addition: a selection of cheese from Maker & Monger with a round of Pimms – there’s always something tasty to enjoy.

For lunch, it’s a Bendele Farm turkey, boned, rolled and stuffed with Oliver’s mum’s signature stuffing (hint – it’s being sold this year at Hagen’s!), a delicious scotch fillet roast served cold and if that’s not enough: a glazed double-smoked Hagen’s ham, which takes centre stage in middle of the table.

Dessert is all about plum pudding, trifle and some Risalamande from Danish relatives. And it just wouldn’t be Christmas to Oliver without his favourite mince pies, handmade by sister Ruby using his aunty’s coveted recipe. These ones are a little different than your regular mince pies and feature a slice of Stilton cheese and a thimble of rum just inside the lid. Oliver says the mix of fruit mince, rum and blue cheese is spot on. One to try this year, perhaps?

Now for the important part – the hams. Oliver personally makes every single ham by hand in Richmond. All the hams are cooked on a low heat for 12 hours to impart flavour and ensure the flavour of the meat speaks for itself, then double smoked with sustainably sauced Victorian wood chips.

Hagen’s have three hams this year:

  1. Traditional ham: created with Oliver’s traditional cure through the McIvor Farm Foods beyond-free-range Berkshire pork.
  2. Natural ham: Cured with a celery based cure without any mineral nitrate or synthetic preservatives. A great option for people who are trying to avoid synthetic nasties but still have a ham for Chrissy. Again, made with McIvor Farm Foods pork. Pork ham can be purchased in a whole leg, half a leg (bone in) or deboned.
  3. Truffle lamb ham: made from lamb legs rather than pork (it’s a great option for people who don’t or can’t eat pork). The process is the same but just made with a different animal. The lamb is infused with truffle and dipped in a molasses before smoking.

A tip from Oliver for this year is not to go overboard! If you’re unsure of how much you’ll need this year, make sure to ask the team to avoid buying more than you need.  And, what would a Christmas ham be without a great glaze? After many requests, Hagen’s are now selling Ruby’s Persian ham glaze, but you better be quick – this one is popular!

Oliver and the team at Hagen’s wish their neighbours and customers at Prahran market a very Merry Christmas that’s filled with family, fun and great food.

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