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Christmas Recipes from Chef Laura Sharrad

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A festive feast

We’re excited to have celebrity chef, author of My Italian Kitchen, TV personality and restaurant owner, Laura Sharrad, share some of her Christmas recipes. From the Perfect Roast Pork to Fruit Mince Tart with Mascarpone, get ready for a scrumptious Christmas day lunch!

The Perfect Roast Pork

Serves 8

Christmas Recipes from Chef Laura Sharrad the perfect pork roast

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 x 8-point rack pork loin (bone in)
  • Sea salt flakes
  • Extra virgin olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat your oven to 150°C.
  2. Use a sharp knife to deeply score the rind (do not cut all the way to the meat) and season generously with sea salt.
  3. Place the pork on a wire rack over a tray and slide into the oven, then cook for about 60–75 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 50°C.
  4. Take the pork out of the oven and pour off any accumulated fat.
  5. Turn the oven to grill on the highest setting and place the pork back in the oven to grill until the crackle is crispy. This will take about 5 minutes, but watch closely so it doesn’t burn.
  6. Remove the pork from the oven and place it on a carving board, then allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
  7. Carve into approximately 2cm-thick slices, then serve with gravy, jus or apple sauce.

Golden Fried Potatoes

Served 6

Christmas Recipes from Chef Laura Sharrad fried potatoes

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large potatoes (royal blue, kestrel or désirée)
  • Salt, for boiling water
  • ½ cup canola oil, for frying
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 bunch rosemary
  • Sea salt flakes

METHOD

  1. Chop potatoes into roughly 3 x 3cm chunks. Place them in a pot covered with cold, salted water and unpeeled garlic cloves from the entire head.
  2. Bring potatoes to a boil, watching closely until they are just tender, then drain, cool and separate garlic cloves.
  3. Meanwhile, heat your oil in a large, shallow frypan until about 180°C.
  4. Carefully place the potatoes in the hot oil and fry for about 15 minutes or until golden and crunchy.
  5. Add in the rosemary and garlic and fry for a final 5 minutes.
  6. Drain well and season with sea salt flakes.

Fruit Mince Tart with Mascarpone

Serves 8–10

Christmas Recipes from Chef Laura Sharrad fruit mince tart

INGREDIENTS

Pastry:

  • 2 x rolls shortcrust pastry

Fruit mince:

  • 2 small (about 150 g each) Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
  • 130 g (¾ cup) sultanas
  • 115 g (¾ cup) currants
  • 130 g (¾ cup) seedless raisins
  • 75 g (½ cup) mixed peel or chopped glace apricots
  • 50 g (⅓ cup) chopped blanched almonds
  • 125 ml (½ cup) brandy or apple cider
  • 1 orange, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 1 lemon, zest finely grated and juiced
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 100 g (½ cup, loosely packed) dark brown sugar

Egg wash:

  • Egg, for egg wash
  • Icing sugar

To serve:

  • Tub Mascarpone cheese

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a 30 cm rectangle tart tin with pastry, ensuring all the corners and edges are well pressed in.
  3. Combine all the fruit mince ingredients into a bowl and mix well (this can be made fresh or up to a year in advance and kept in the fridge in a sealed jar to develop the flavours).
  4. Pour fruit mince over pastry in tart tin.
  5. Using two star cookie cutters, cut out as many stars as possible and arrange then over the tart.
  6. To make the egg wash, combine the egg and icing sugar then brush the top of your tart.
  7. Bake in oven for 25–30 minutes or until golden.
  8. Allow to cool and serve with a dollop of Mascarpone cheese per serve.

Christmas Pavlova Wreath

Serves 8–10

Christmas Recipes from Chef Laura Sharrad pavlova wreath

INGREDIENTS

Base:

  • 225 g (about 6) eggwhites
  • Salt, pinch
  • 370 g caster sugar
  • 3 tsp rosewater, or to taste
  • 1½ tsp white vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tsp cornflour

Topping:

  • 800 ml thickened cream
  • 2 tbs icing sugar
  • 2 punnets strawberries
  • 2 punnets blueberries
  • 2 punnets raspberries
  • 2 punnets blackberries
  • 8 passionfruits

Garnish:

  • 2 tbs rose petals
  • Honey, to drizzle

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Trace 2 x 23cm-diameter circles on a large piece of baking paper and place pencil-side down on lightly oiled baking trays.
  3. Whisk eggwhites and a pinch of salt in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (4–5 minutes), then, with motor running, gradually add 330 g sugar and whisk until firm and glossy (2–3 minutes).
  4. Whisk in rosewater, vinegar and vanilla, then fold in the cornflour.
  5. Use a dessert spoon to dish out half the meringue mix onto the baking paper into a circle to form a ring. Then repeat so you have two rings.
  6. Gently place in oven, reduce to 120°C and bake until crisp but not coloured (75–90 minutes).
  7. Turn heat off and cool completely in oven with door closed (at least 6 hours or overnight).
  8. Put cream and icing sugar in a fresh bowl and beat until thickened.
  9. Use half the cream to ice one meringue, then top with half the berries.
  10. Very carefully stack the second meringue ring on top, ice it with cream and add the remaining berries.
  11. Drizzle a good amount of honey all over and garnish with rose petals.

Endless summer

Visit us online or at your local Early Settler store to check out this season’s furniture and homewares range. And check out more of Laura Sharrad’s recipes here.

Laura Sharrad
Originally from Melbourne before relocating to McLaren Vale in South Australia, Laura Sharrad grew up with a wooden spoon in her hand cooking beside her nonnas. Her rich Italian heritage has played a heavy hand in her epicurean journey, which was further strengthened after living in Tuscany. A former MasterChef contestant and an extensively trained chef, the impressive career of this now-24-year-old has leapt from strength to strength. Laura recently opened her own restaurant, Nida Bar and Pasta, with her husband and fellow chef, Max Sharrad. With another restaurant and cookbook in the works, Laura says the long‑term dream is to buy a property on the Fleurieu Peninsula in South Australia, teach students to cook and grow produce for a small sustainable restaurant.
Instagram: @laurasharrad
Twitter: @lauracassai

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