Typically, when you hear the words ‘wood fired oven’ you usually associate them with the perfectly cooked, authentic-tasting pizza we are all so fond of when dining in the Mediterranean. However, wood fired ovens are much more versatile than we believe them to be and cooking a delicious Christmas dinner the Valoriani Wood-Fired Oven Way (and we mean trimmings as well as turkey) is huge fun, as well as offering some great benefits.
Firstly, cooking times are much quicker than would be the case in a standard oven, due to a higher temperature being achieved in a wood-fired oven, if you have a high-quality wood oven such as a Valoriani. It is essential that the correct temperature is maintained over a good few hours, so make sure your oven retains the heat as well as a Valoriani, or the recipes may disappoint.
A wood-fired oven provides added cooking capacity, if you use it for some dishes and still prepare others in your standard oven. The extra cooking capacity can prevent kitchen mayhem as you try to juggle pots and pans between a limited number of cooking rings, whilst simultaneously checking you don’t burn the roast!
Last but not least, the unique flavour of food cooked in a wood-fired oven can infuse your dishes in a mouth-watering way and there’s no greater place to be than around a wood-fired oven on a crisp winter’s day, with a glass of mulled wine in hand.
So, if you’re thinking of getting the most out of the wood-fired oven that you originally bought to cook pizza alone, or are considering buying one and wish to be inspired, here are a few Christmas recipes we’re sure you and your guests will love.
Despite the influx of foreign dishes into English cuisine, the turkey roast still reigns supreme. Fortunately, wood-fired ovens are the perfect cooking ally when it comes to ensuring your meat comes out delicious-tasting, cooked in a way that retains the juices of the meat and delivers tenderness.
Your wood-fired oven can not only help you turn out a wonderfully crisp turkey but can also caramelise some of your accompaniments and flavourings, such as your onions. You only have to use these recipes to discover this for yourself.
1 large turkey
¾ of a garlic clove
1 large bunch of fresh thyme
2 Whole Lemons
3tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
A slice of butter
Pre-heat your wood fired oven, get it up to full temperature and then let it cool slightly to 200 degrees Celsius. Your oven should be lit with your kindling to one side, allowing you to feed the fire as you cook and ensuring you are not trying to lift wood over the top of the cooking food.
Rinse and clean the turkey, removing the giblets just as you normally would when cooking it in a normal oven. Pat the turkey dry with a clean cloth.
Quarter your lemon and chop your onion, mixing these in which chopped herbs and garlic cloves and seasoning (salt and pepper). Stuff the mixture into the turkey cavity.
Melt the butter with the olive oil and then brush this across the turkey skin. Halve your second lemon and squeeze the juice all over the turkey skin. Finally, season the turkey with a little salt and pepper and lay it down in a large pan.
Pop the pan in the wood fired oven, and once the skin is nice and brown and crispy, remove, turn the turkey over on its other side and put it back in the oven.
Once the whole turkey is a gorgeous golden-brown, cover the meat with foil and get a temperature probe at the ready. Test the temperature and continue to cook the turkey until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 70 degrees. Alternatively, use a skewer to pierce the skin and wait for the juices to run clear.
Remove the turkey from the wood-fired oven and let the meat rest for 15 minutes before carving. Alternatively, put to one side and then carve and warm through to coincide with when other elements of the meal will be ready.
Wood-fired Roast Potatoes – Traditional or with a Twist
Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved or quartered, to create the right-sized spuddy treats (use the quantity you need in order to serve to your guests)
3tbsp of Duck fat
Drizzle of olive oil
Chopped and fresh Rosemary or chilli flakes (use the latter for a spicier potato)
Two cloves of garlic
Get your oven up to temperature and keep adding to the fire, to keep the temperature at around 200 degrees (as for the turkey)
Peel and cut your potatoes and place them in a pan of boiling, salted water.
Soften the potatoes slightly, by boiling for a few minutes.
Put some olive oil into a bowl and mix in the garlic and rosemary, or the garlic and chilli flakes, if you are going for potatoes with a kick
Put the duck fat into the tray you will bake the potatoes in and add to the oven
Remove the softened potatoes and coat them in the dressing you prefer – garlic and rosemary, or garlic and chilli flakes
Remove the pan from the oven, if the duck fat has melted, and add the potatoes
Sprinkle with sea salt.
Cook for 20-30 minutes until golden and crisp
Carrots and Parsnips
Carrots (quantity to suit)
Parsnips (quantity to suit)
Heat up your wood-fired oven to its highest temperature, then allow it to cool to 200 degrees Celsius (as for the turkey and potatoes)
Slice the carrots and parsnips in two or four (the latter if you have a particularly large parsnip) and place the vegetables on an oven baking tray
Melt the butter with the olive oil and add some crushed sea salt
Drizzle the mixture over the carrots and parsnips, turning them so that the entire vegetable is coated
Pop the tray into the oven for 18-25 minutes until nicely roasted and finish with pinch of salt
Sprouts with Bacon
Sprouts (quantity to suit)
Bacon Lardons (quantity to suit, but around 5oz of chopped, streaky bacon is a good quantity)
Heat up your wood-fired oven to its highest temperature, then allow it to cool to 200 degrees Celsius (as for the other dishes above)
Boil up a pan of salted water and add the sprouts, cooking these until they begin to soften
Meanwhile, pop the bacon lardons into the oven with a little olive oil and butter and stir regularly, so that the bacon becomes golden
Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and add the sprouts, coating these in the bacon fat/oil mixture
Check the sprouts regularly and, when nearly soft, add the bacon back into the pan and mix into the sprouts
Cook the sprouts and bacon for a few minutes, until the desired softness of the sprouts is achieved
One bottle of red wine
100ml of brandy
100ml of marsala wine
3 grams of cloves
One cinnamon stick
Two x star anise
Two teaspoons of ground nutmeg
Four tablespoons of honey
Handful of grapes
Ensure you have a pan large enough to comfortably hold all of the ingredients. An old metal-handled saucepan is ideal, as this makes pouring and straining easier.
Zest the oranges and lemons and put the zest into the pan, along with the grapes
Juice the oranges and lemons and add the juice to the pan.
Pour in one glass of wine and all of the spices.
Place the pan in the mouth of the oven and allow to warm and infuse for 20 minutes.
Add the honey and place in the oven to simmer for a couple of minutes.
Remove and add the rest of the wine, brandy and marsala.
Place in the oven for five minutes, or until warmed through. Remove before it boils, or you will start to lose alcoholic content.
If you like a rough mulled wine, ladle straight from the pan. If you prefer your mulled wine smooth, sieve it into a jug or bowl before serving.
These recipes present just a few of the possibilities a wood-fired oven can offer over Christmas, with plenty more available for you to tackle. The possibilities are really endless, if you open your mind to what a wood oven can offer, whether your dishes revolve around roasted vegetables, tasty puddings, delicious baked bread, or turkey alternatives, such as salmon https://valorianiuk.com/recipes/salmon-a-la-marsala/ or pork (https://valorianiuk.com/recipes/roast-stuffed-pork-loin/)
If cooking Christmas dinner with a wood-fired oven sounds delicious, or you fancy cooking anything else in it for that matter, the team at Valoriani can provide you with hints gleaned from years of cooking in a wood oven. They can also explain how your culinary prowess is directly affected by the quality of the oven you buy and why the V in Valoriani really does stand for victory when it comes to performance, heat-retention and longevity.
Whether you are using a baby wood-fired oven like the Valoriani Fornino 60, a larger one such as the Valoriani Fornino 75, or an oven housed in a purpose-built design within your garden, https://valorianiuk.com/products/residential-range/
you should be assured of a great festive feast, cooked to perfection.