What should you eat on those lazy days between Christmas and new year? Food stylist, photographer, blogger and Borough Market administrator Georgie Hodgson offers some suggestions
Words & images: Georgie Hodgson
Once the merriment of Christmas Day has passed, you can be left feeling a little flat. It’s easy to overlook Boxing Day and the days leading up to the new year, and the fact you will likely still have a house full of guests to attend to, all of whom will be nursing varying degrees of hangover—deep joy! To keep morale high, the answer is surely food and lots of it (and probably more booze too…), yet the thought of returning to the scene of the crime—the kitchen—can fill you with dread.
So, my advice is to keep it simple. You can’t go amiss with fuss-free platters of flavoursome ham, smoked salmon, turkey or goose, a piping hot baked spud slathered in butter, along with some good chutney. Fortunately, Borough Market is brimming with festive indulgences to make catering over the Christmas period a doddle, meaning you will barely need to lift a finger.
One of my all-time favourite products sold at the Market is Pâté Moi’s mushroom pâté. Oh so simple, but packed full of mushroomy flavour, it can be stirred through pasta, stuffed in a bacon-wrapped chicken breast or piled onto hot toast. It’s as easy as it gets and is just the thing to have in your fridge during a busy time (it freezes well too).
A Mrs King’s pork pie is a Boxing Day must. Crumbly rich pastry encasing flavoursome meaty filling, it’s the perfect hearty fare to tuck into post-Christmas. Stick a couple of these down on the table with a pot of piccalilli, chutney or strong English mustard and job done—you will keep even the most wilting of relatives content.
Aptly named Cannon & Cannon beersticks are great to nibble on over drinks.
Oak & Smoke is new to the Market and specialises in traditionally smoked fish. Treat the family to an Arbroath smokie for breakfast, or pop a pot of the stall’s wonderful smoked fish pâté on the table (choose from salmon, Arbroath smokie, mackerel or trout). Make sure you stock up on some of the beetroot or rum gravadlax too—just arrange on a platter and serve with horseradish crème fraiche and some rye bread from Karaway Bakery.
The Parma Ham and Mozzarella stand is always a good port of call, but particularly post-Christmas I find that the refreshing coolness of mozzarella or burrata goes down very well. It makes for a colourful dish, layered with tomatoes and avocado with Parma ham draped over the top.
Paul of Sussex Fish has great taste in fish (and Christmas head gear too apparently)—he recommends a simple roasted sea bass or a dressed crab. Delicious!
With ready-made artisan desserts on offer, you certainly don’t need to be making pastry on Boxing Day!
The good news is that Borough Market re-opens its gates on Wednesday 28th December, so if you don’t manage to grab these bits before Christmas, you can pop back then for emergency supplies. With all this fabulous fare and more available at the Market, I hope you decide to stock up and give yourself a well-earned break on Boxing Day and in the run up to New Year’s Eve!
Read Georgie’s recipe for the perfect Boxing Day dish: goose-filled lettuce cups with sprout & radish slaw