Alternative Festive Feasts

Dreaming of Alternative Festive Feasts? Illustration by Kaylene Alder
Dreaming of a tropical Christmas? We may have the answer… illustration by Kaylene Alder

Our KP gift to you this Christmas is a couple of ideas for Alternative Festive Feasts. Many of us will soon be sitting around a dinner table sharing a festive meal together, so we thought we’d end the year by offering you some recipes to give your dinner a twist. First up:

Roast Pork By Fish, Wings & Tings (as featured in Recipes from Brixton Village by Miss South)

How about this year we cook Trinidadian Roast Pork instead to spice things up a wee bit? For those who can’t bear the sight of turkey and don’t give a damn about goose, here is a more tropical take on the festive main dish.Very simple but packed with flavour! Light up Xmas Day, Boxing Day or whenever you wish with a heavy dose of hot sauce. In this glorious dish pork belly is marinated in a powerful blend of ginger, garlic, thyme, scotch bonnet, dark rum and other lovely stuff. It’s 100% guaranteed to transform your festivities for sure. Just serve up with rum punch and dancing!

  • 1kg fresh boneless pork belly, skin left on and scored
  • 8cm piece of ginger
  • 25 cloves of garlic, peeled and grated
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 scotch bonnet peppers, finely chopped
  • 375ml dark rum
  • 10-15 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 2 tablespoons annatto oil
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Ask your butcher to score the skin on the pork or use a super sharp knife to do this yourself. Place the pork in a dish and season well with salt and pepper.

Finely grate the ginger and then squeeze the pulp over a small bowl to extract the juice. Discard the pulp. Add all the remaining ingredients to the ginger juice and mix, then pour the marinade over the meat. Massage it into the pork (it’s best to wear gloves for this if you’re sensitive to chilli) and leave it to marinate overnight in the fridge.

Preheat the oven to 250C and take the pork out of the fridge to come up to room temperature. Line a roasting tin with foil and place the pork in it, scraping off any excess marinade.

Roast the pork for an hour, then remove from the oven and allow to cool. Cut the pork into cubes and serve with hot pepper sauce on the side. The skin will be crisp and the meat very tender.

Buy Recipes from Brixton Village by Miss South here

And for those diners who are tired of meat, could we suggest:

Aubergine Parmigiana from The Parlour Cafe Cookbook

Alternative festive feasts are also for veggies! Layers of piping-hot aubergine, tomato, mozzarella and basil will make for a golden and bubbling treat. Serve it all up in one dish and save on washing up time allowing you to focus on more important things like vino and zoom calls with friends.

  • 4 large aubergines
  • 100ml olive oil
  • 20 vine tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons icing sugar
  • 375g mozzarella
  • 30g basil leaves, stalks removed
  • 70g Parmesan
  • 500ml homemade tomato sauce
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 220C.

Heat a couple of large baking trays in the oven. Cut the aubergines into 2cm slices widthways. toss the slices in 5 tablespoons of the olive oil until they are all glistening. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and space them out on the hot oven trays, making sure they have enough room. Put them in the oven and bake until browned (20 minutes should do it).

Cut the tomatoes in half and scoop out the seeds with a teaspoon. Toss them in the remaining olive oil, season and put onto hot oven trays, then douse in sieved icing sugar for the sweet sensation and bake for 20 minutes.

Reduce the oven to 180C.

Cut the mozzarella into thinnish slices. Spread some of the tomato sauce over the base of a large, deep oven-proof dish 9at home I use an oval one about 30 x 20cm and 6cm deep).

Once the aubergines and tomatoes are out of the oven and have cooled, start building your parmiagana. Start with a layer of aubergine, then tomato, then mozzarella and basil and repeat, finishing with a layer of mozzarella.

Now place some more dollops of tomato sauce loosely over the top and sprinkle generously with shavings of Parmesan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutest until golden and bubbling.

Buy The Parlour Cafe Cookbook by Gillian Veal here