Ensure your Xmas roast isn’t a turkey!

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WHEN it comes to the Christmas turkey, the carving is the domain of the male - or at least that is the popular perception, according to research carried out in Derbyshire.

In a survey carried out by the Treble Bob pub, Barlborough, 78% of those questioned said the carving was done by the ‘man of the house’ as compared to just 22% saying that the woman carved instead.

But owners of the popular eaterie are on a mission to stamp out sexism when it comes to Christmas carving.

“I don’t think the man should always be the carver” said kitchen manager, Crispin Mardles. “I think whoever has put the effort into the cooking should be able to carve the meat and get the glory.”

Crispin - who has carved thousands of turkeys in his time - is on a mission to prove that anyone can be a carving king (or queen) this festive season, with a masterclass showcasing his top tips.

“One of the most important things people need to know is to use a sharp knife” he said. “If you go at it with a blunt blade, you aren’t going to get anywhere.”

But there is no need to rush out for a new block of knives - as Crispin recommends using a diamond steel to sharpen your existing set.

And when it comes to the actual carving, steady the bird with a carving fork in one hand, and using your knife, carve horizontally into the breast meat. When the knife hits the bone, pull it up gently along the line of the bone.

“This method is called block carving, and it means you get a lot more portions out of the meat” Crispin added.

One of the most common calamities during the Christmas feast is sitting down to tuck into your meat, to find it is overcooked.

By resting the bird for 20 minutes after cooking, and placing butter under the skin before, the dry and crumbly turkey of nightmare Christmases past can be avoided.

Crispin also suggests using a probe thermometer, to ensure the turkey - which should reach 75 degrees - is in the oven no longer than it needs.

If you tend to avoid turkey altogether when it comes to your festive meal, glazed gammon or a joint of beef are crowd-pleasing alternatives.

Carving these cuts is more straightforward, but you should always look down on the meat, not to the side, when cutting to ensure your slices aren’t at an angle.

So if you are usually at a loss for what to do with your roast meat, just follow Crispin’s advice above and you’ll enjoy stress-free slicing.