Sunday, 13 December 2015

Christmas Lunch/Dinner

I don’t know about you, but I’m bored to death with turkey. It is not the ideal match for Sherry and it seems to last forever, but luckily there are lots of other more interesting foods, and Sherry is so versatile it will match any of them to perfection. Here are my suggested Christmas pairings:

To start:

Torta del Casar with piquitos: with good Manzanilla en rama or pasada or:
Cured lomo ibérico:  good Fino or Manzanilla or:
Asparagus wrapped in serrano ham and fried:  light Amontillado

*Torta del Casar is a soft cheese from Extremadura. You can briefly microwave it, cut off the lid and then dip the piquitos (mini breadsticks) into it's tangy semi-liquid depths.  The lomo (cured pork loin) should be thinly sliced and drizzled with new season extra virgin olive oil. The asparagus should be green and cooked carefully, it's all about texture.

Torta del Casar (
Main course:

Roast wood pigeon: Good mid-weight Amontillado or Palo Cortado or:
Ibérico pork fillet: The wines above would be ideal but a lighter Oloroso would also be good

*Pigeon, grouse and pheasant are sublime with quality Amontillado or Palo Cortado and the pork fillet, ideally cooked on a barbecue and in medallions, matches them too, as does Oloroso.

Iberico fillet in pepper sauce(

Manchego curado or Payoyo curado con Romero: Palo Cortado and Oloroso VOS or VORS.

*For stronger cheeses, go for concentrated old Sherries like Palo Cortado and Oloroso VOS or VORS. It’s Christmas –forget the expense! Manchego is ewes’ milk from La Mancha and Payoyo is made from Payoyo goats’ milk in Cádiz – and quite delicious with rosemary. Surprisingly blue cheeses are interesting with PX. At this stage of the meal (Sp: sobremesa) you can now philosophise, deliberate and pontificate to your heart’s content, lingering on various combinations of cheese and Sherry till:

Payoyo (

Real vanilla ice cream: Pedro Ximénez or:
Flán or Crema Catalana: Cream Sherry

*Really good vanilla ice cream served with chopped dried figs slowly sweated in PX and topped with chopped toasted almonds or hazelnuts is quite delicious. Flán (crème caramel) and Crema Catalana (baked egg custard with sugar glazed on top) work really well with Cream Sherry which has the sweetness and still a little bite.

PX & ice cream (

Huevos a la Flamenca: The Sherry really depends on what is in the dish, but not a sweet one

*This is a super useful andaluz dish. Simply put any leftovers in individual oven dishes with a little olive oil and a little pimentón (paprika), crack an egg on top and bake till the egg is as you like it. Yum! Bueno pues, os deseo buen apetito - well, enjoy your meal!

Huevos Flamenca (

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