Christmas traditions: Preparing a special feast
Robert Goodrick sighs heavily when he takes a break from his knives and cutting boards to consider the dwindling days to Christmas.
It’s one of the busiest times of year for the British butcher as he fields orders from customers old and new looking to pile their holiday dinner table with the meats and treats they grew up with.
That means churning out endless links of blood sausage and black pudding, both of which will likely be served up as part of a big traditional British breakfast, along with bacon, baked beans, tomatoes and fried bread.
It’s enough, he laughs, to make a cardiologist wince.
“The way we looked at it it was the main meal to get you going on Christmas,” says Goodrick, who now plies his trade in New Westminster. “It’s the time of year you go for it.”
In the weeks leading up to Christmas, Goodrick estimates he’ll grind 20-30 sides of pork into sausage and pork pies. He’ll also prepare dozens of Gammon hams, a brine-cured cut renowned for its delicate flavor. Some of his Scottish customers order a turkey stuffed with a haggis.
His piece-de-resistance though, is a turkey royal, a kind of extreme version of the infamous turducken.
It consists of a turkey stuffed with a goose stuffed with a duck stuffed with a chicken stuffed with a pheasant stuffed with a squab. All the birds have to be deboned from the inside out so it will fit. Each takes more than an hour to construct.
Fortunately, he says, he only has an order for one so far this year.