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Traders' Christmas Meat Ideas

Christmas is just around the corner, and whether you’re planning for a big family celebration or a low-key lunch for a few, one thing is for sure – a delicious festive meal is a must.

Most of us want a centrepiece meat for the Christmas table, but we know deciding can be a difficult task, so we asked our Bracher Arcade Traders for their Christmas meat ideas to give you a little guidance.

Traditional Christmas Ham

Many households choose to enjoy a traditional Christmas lunch/dinner on the big day, and our meat Traders have different types of ham to fit the occasion.

“We specialise in free-range Berkshire Pork,” said Ash from Gary’s Meats. “There is lovely marbling throughout the meat, so it has lots of flavour but isn’t fatty.

“The hams are smoked in applewood and red gum and can be bought as is, or the team is happy to score and clove so they’re ready to glaze and cook.”

But what is Ash’s recommendation? “The ham is so delicious I love to just keep the ham as it is, as it’s ready cooked and smoked. We enjoy cold ham on Christmas afternoon.”

Simon at Ian’s Meats also loves a Christmas ham. “We have been suppliers of Otway Pork for nearly 5 years. All the hams are female pigs from local producer Otway.

“Every year they are really popular, and people always recommend a glaze. I like my ham with a really simple glaze as it has such great flavour already.”

J&L Quality Meats is selling a special 65th anniversary ham this year. “This is our 3rd generation, secret recipe traditional Christmas ham,” said Dean. “Customers can buy them bone-in or boneless, whichever they prefer. We also have full, half and quarter hams available to suit the number of people catered for.”

The Christmas Turkey Roll

Another popular tradition for Christmas lunch or dinner is the Christmas turkey. Though many still enjoy a whole turkey as a centrepiece, all our poultry Traders recommend opting for a turkey roll this year.

A turkey roll provides all the flavour and ease of cooking that you want at Christmastime, because while it’s definitely a day for all the food, you don’t want to spend all your time in the kitchen.

“I recommend our turkey breast fillet roll,” says Arthur of Arthur’s Poultry. “It is really popular for Christmas as there’s no need to prep, you simply pop it in the oven. We can custom make to size with a choice of five stuffing fillings. The Christmas favourite is always the cranberry & chestnut stuffing.”

Mark at Kevin’s Fresh Poultry said “Our customers always ask about our fresh boned and rolled turkey roll. We use an apricot & macadamia stuffing but, as they are custom made to order, customers can bring their own stuffing for us to use, or we sell Philippa’s cranberry stuffing in-store.

“We can make the turkey roll up pretty quickly so the order can be placed and then made while the customer enjoys a coffee. They really are foolproof and we provide instructions.”

Stella at D&J Poultry agrees. “Our turkey roll is always really popular. We make them to order so customers can choose the size based on how many people they want to cater for and whether it is plain or filled.

“We have four fillings available, with the cranberry & macadamia being gluten-free. Our turkey rolls come with instructions and our turkey stock is available to purchase as a baste.”

John Cester’s will also be serving deliciously filled turkey rolls to their customers. “All of our turkey rolls are custom made in-store,” said Martin.

“We have a range of fillings available – cranberry & chestnut, apricot & macadamia, spinach & pine nut and sage & onion. I recommend basting the turkey with turkey stock prior to cooking, and we have home-made turkey stock, gravy and cranberry sauce available.”

A Different Christmas Dinner

But what if you want something a little different? Paul at Neil’s Meats and Ruby from Hagen’s say you don’t have to stick with traditional ham or turkey at Christmas.

“Our boned and rolled loin of pork is already getting many enquiries for Christmas. It is simple to cook and completely delicious,” said Paul.

“To get the perfect pork, you simply put the rolled loin in a hot oven for 30 minutes to get the crackling. Then cook at 180 degrees for about an hour, that is based on an average size that will serve eight. We have custom seasoning options available too.”

Ruby is looking forward to sharing a chicken with her family this year. “We have a couple of options for Christmas at Hagen’s that offer an alternative to a ham or turkey. I am going to be enjoying our Milking Yard heritage breed chicken, which is a European breed. They are a large bird, ranging from 2.5kg to 3.5kg.

“This chicken does come with the head and feet on so they can be cooked with those or we can remove them for customers. As they are a large chicken, they need to be cooked longer than usual, approximately 2 hours at 160 degrees. They are so delicious and, as they have a slightly higher fat content than a standard chicken, they do retain their moisture. We recommend putting lemons and thyme and any other herbs you like in the cavity. Then put butter over the outside and a little water in the baking tray before cooking.”

So, whatever you’re serving up this Christmas, our meat Traders are looking forward to providing you with the highest quality, fresh produce for your festive celebrations.

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