The Nexus Steam is the perfect range cooker to feed all the family at Christmas. It offers so many cooking options that you will be making your best Christmas dinner yet!
The multi-zone griddle or induction griddle is the perfect place for all those pigs in blankets, the heat from the griddle cooks through the sausages while the bacon turns beautifully brown on the outside.
The grill would be ideal to allocate as a dedicated area for any vegetarian or vegan family or friends who come over for Christmas dinner so utilise this for some veggie pigs in blankets and maybe to finish some cauliflower steaks after steaming them in the dedicated steam cavity.
The main cavity is the perfect place for the centrepiece: the turkey. The left hand cavity can take up to a 12kg bird! This is enough to feed 20 to 24 people so an extra-large turkey, most people will usually have a much smaller turkey but it helps to know the maximum size as it does show the size of the large left hand oven. Remember to factor in leaving the turkey to rest – the bigger the turkey the longer it will need. A minimum guide would be 30 minutes but I usually cover over with foil and happily leave it for an hour or an hour and a half. This means you can then ramp up the heat for the roast potatoes, roasted parsnips and stuffing.
The hob – large multi ring burner on the dual fuel model or central zone on induction would be perfect for slow cooked red cabbage, the smaller burners or zones can easily be put to task for gravy, veggie gravy, cranberry sauce, bread sauce, custard, brandy sauce to name a few examples.
The steam cavity makes Christmas dinner taste even better. Homemade Christmas pudding is just the best and the steam cavity is your best friend for this. It will tell you when you need to top up the water so no more burning the pan dry. A large pudding that serves 8-10 people cooked in a ceramic or glass 1.2 -1.5 litre bowl will take around 5 to 6 hours to cook from scratch but then it will keep for a couple of weeks well covered in an airtight container. On the big day you will need to allow 1.5 hours for it to reheat fully. Instead of one big pudding individual puddings could be made in ramekins for example and these would need around 1.5 hours to cook from scratch and 30 mins to reheat. You still need to cover the pudding/s as moisture droplets from the roof of the steam cavity may drop onto the pudding and it may become soggy on top if not covered during all cooking and reheating stages. Other puddings could also be cooked in the steam cavity such as a vegan date and ginger pudding or even a cheese cake, the possibilities are endless. Sprouts and carrots are perfect for cooking in the steam cavity and you can cook a large quantity all at the same time.
Proving drawer – the proving drawer would be perfect for making some sticky buns for an indulgent breakfast treat on Christmas morning. I love the recipe by Paul Hollywood, which is on the BBC Good Food website. Use the proving drawer to place jugs and gravy boats in ready to serve. The drawer only gets up to 40 degrees so it will warm the jugs without making them too hot to handle so pop them in there before you start cooking and they will warm through very nicely.
Helpful tips and advice:
• Always plan and make a note of exactly what you are going to cook where. I like to draw a picture of the oven cavities as simple square boxes and then write inside the boxes where I am cooking everything so that I have a visual reminder.
• Check that all the trays and dishes you want to use actually fit into the oven cavities you want to cook in before you get started. Make sure you have a tray that fits your turkey!
• Have you checked the requirements of all the guests? I have lost count of how many times I have forgotten that a family member is gluten free or allergic to mushrooms or not eating meat etc. Once in the throes of menu planning it is so easy to forget to accommodate as you visualise a wonderful display of food!
• I always pop to the British turkey website to check how long it takes to defrost the turkey, if I do buy frozen, and the website has a great calculator to work out how long it will take to cook. This is also a great place to find some recipes to use up any leftovers.
• Preparation is key, the more you can do the day before the better. I have sat in the lounge before now, watching a tv programme while prepping a bag of sprouts!
• Always remember to factor in time for the steam cavity to get up to temperature, just like a normal oven it has to heat up. As a rule of thumb I always add 5 minutes onto the cooking time so for example if carrots (depending on thickness) take 8 minutes then allow 13 minutes altogether from when you press start.
• Homemade cranberry sauce is the making of a great Christmas dinner and it is so easy to do, you can simply throw in some cranberries a bit of water and a couple of tablespoons of sugar and wait until you hear the cranberries popping. It is so delicious served warm.
• The best advice I have is to enjoy your cooker and enjoy making a wonderful meal to share with family and friends.