I have gone back and forward between dividing this into several posts with one recipe in each or just making one post with all the recipes. I chose the latter. In my family we make all of these things for Christmas Eve. I know it seems like a lot, but all of it is so tasty and is what I would call Danish Christmas food.
In most of these recipes I won’t add how much you will need simply because I don’t have the exact measurements. If I see comments on the lack of measurements I will try to find recipes with measurements.
The duck roast isn’t eaten at Christmas in every Danish family, but it has always been in mine. I think that the majority of people in Denmark eat pork roast (which we also eat in my family), but I’ll start with the duck anyway.
You will need:
- A Duck
- Dried prunes
- A baking pan
We stuff the duck with diced apples and dried prunes and rub it with salt. The giblets are put in the baking pan with apples, prunes and water and the duck is placed on a grill over the baking pan. We usually cook it one hour for every kilo the duck weighs at 200 degrees Celsius. We baste the duck every once in a while to make sure that it doesn’t dry up.
As mentioned earlier, pork roast is probably the most common meat to eat on Christmas Eve in Denmark. The meat we use for the pork roast is from the loin of the pig (the part used for pork chops) and we cook it with the skin on the get delicious crunchy pork rinds on the roast.
What you will need:
- Pork – preferably from the loin of the pig
- Dried laurel leaves
When we buy the pork roast in Denmark the skin have already been cut in thin stripes, but you can easily do it your self with a sharp knife. Rub salt one the roast and place the laurel leaves in the cuts in the skin. The same rule applies with the cooking time as I mentioned with the duck and we also cook it at 200 degrees Celsius.
When we are cooking Christmas dinner we put the pork roast next to the duck in the oven and baste it when we baste the duck.
I won’t tell you how to boil potatoes because I figure that most people know how to peel potatoes and boil them which makes it completely needless for me to tell you.
The candied potatoes are one of my favorites and it is not really Christmas if these aren’t on the table when it is time for dinner.
What you will need:
- Small boiled potatoes
- A frying pan or a wok
These candied potatoes are super easy to make, but you will have to keep an eye on the sugar mass because it burns easily.
In Denmark, we buy the small potatoes already boiled in glass jars, ready to use. I you can buy them ready to use, you will have to peel and boil some small potatoes first.
I personally use a wok to make the candied potatoes in, but you can use a frying pan if you don’t have a wok.
Put equal parts butter and sugar in the wok/frying pan and turn the burner up high. As soon as the sugar starts to turn brown, turn the burner down to low heat. Make sure all the sugar has melted and is brown and then add the potatoes.
Be careful when adding the potatoes. The sugar mass is insanely hot and will burn you if it splashes on you.
Now take the wok/frying pan of the heat and let the potatoes rest in the sugar for at least 5 minutes.
There are many ways to make the gravy and I can’t possibly list them all here, so I will just tell you how we make it in my family.
We make a butterball gravy which is really simple to make.
What you will need:
- A pot
- Broth from roast
- Brown sauce coloring
- Salt and pepper
- Redcurrant jelly (optional)
First we melt the butter in the pot, add flour and mix well. Then we whisk in the broth from the roast. If the broth doesn’t make the gravy thin enough we add milk. Now we add the brown sauce coloring. I’m not sure if this is something that you can buy everywhere, but if it isn’t, I would try using brown food coloring. Lastly you add the salt, pepper and redcurrant jelly and make sure to add a little at the time and taste every time you have added some to make sure it doesn’t get too salty, too spicy or too sweet.
End of main course
The above is all the components for the main course. We usually serve salted chips and pickled red cabbage on the side. The pickled red cabbage can be heated to make it extra delicious.
The danish Risalamande is the best dessert I know. In Denmark, we have a tradition where we hide a whole almond in there and the one who finds it gets a small present.
What you need:
- Cold rice porridge
- Whipped cream
- Chopped almonds
- Cherry sauce/cherry syrup
I our family we eat hot rice porridge with cinnamon sugar and butter the day before Christmas eve and make sure that we have enough leftovers to make the risalamande. The rice porridge is made from rice grits and milk that cook at low heat for about an hour until it is a thick porridge.
If you only want to make enough for the risalamande you will need 125 grams of rice grits, 1 dl water, 1 liter whole milk and 1 vanilla pod. Bring the water to a boil and add the rice grits. Let it boil for a couple of minutes, then add the milk and the vanilla grains and the vanilla pod. Let it boil at low heat for about an hour while stirring.
If you want to eat the rice porridge hot like we do, make the portion double and leave out the vanilla pod and grains.
When it is cold it is mixed with 2.5 dl whipped whipping cream, 75 grams sugar, 75 grams chopped almonds, and 1 vanilla pod.
Serve it with hot cherry sauce/syrup.
Remember to put one whole almond in the risalamande and have a small present ready for whoever finds the almond.