Marian Finucane

    Saturday, Sunday, 11 - 1pm

    Marian Finucane Saturday 21 December 2013


    Marian Finucane

    Live stimulating mix of news, interviews, reports and discussion.

    Neven Maguire

    Neven Maguire has had a very eventful year and it looks like next year will be action packed too with the opening of his cookery school.

    He has just written his eleventh cookery book, has filmed his sixth tv series of Home Chef, the series of which went out last month on US tv screens. He has launched a campaign to get parents to cook with their children and another called 1,000 days to ensure children have a good nutritional start.

    ‘The Nation’s Favourite Food’ by Neven Maguire – 100 Best loved recipes; Tried, Tested and Perfected, is published by Gill & Macmillan, priced at €22.99

    See Christmas recipes below from ‘The Nations Favourite Food’

    •            Turkey Satay Noodles
    •            Roast Turkey with Herb Stuffing
    •            Brussels Sprout Crumble
    •            Crispy Roast Potatoes
    •            Maple Glazed Ham with Pineapple Salsa
    •            Auntie Maureen’s Plum Pudding
    •            MacNean Old Fashioned Mince Meat Pies


    Turkey Satay Vegetable Noodles

    This recipe is great to use up any leftover turkey from Christmas Day. It packs a powerful flavour

    punch and is just the ticket after the excesses of the festive season. Stir-frying is a traditional

    Chinese cooking technique that’s very easy to master. To check if the vegetables are cooked,

    pierce them with the tip of a knife – they should feel as soft as butter.

    Serves 4–6

    275g (10oz) fine egg noodles

    1 tbsp sunflower oil

    1 large red pepper, halved, seeded and thinly sliced

    225g (8oz) fine green beans, trimmed and halved

    175g (6oz) baby corn, halved lengthways

    2 garlic cloves, crushed

    400g (14oz) can coconut milk

    350g (12oz) leftover cooked turkey meat, cut into bite-sized pieces

    100g (4oz) crunchy peanut butter

    2 tbsp dark soy sauce

    2 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

    1 tsp light muscovado sugar

    juice of ½ lime

    50g (2oz) cashew nuts, toasted and finely chopped

    handful fresh coriander leaves, to garnish


    Place the fine egg noodles in a pan of boiling water and cook for 3–4 minutes, until tender, or according to the packet instructions.

    Heat a wok until very hot. Add the oil and swirl it around the edges, then tip in the red pepper, green beans, baby corn and garlic and stir-fry for 3–4 minutes, until the vegetables are tender, sprinkling over 1 tablespoon of water if the mixture is getting too dry.

    Drain the noodles and add to the wok with the coconut milk, turkey, peanut butter, soy sauce, chilli sauce, sugar and lime juice. Stir-fry for another 2–3 minutes, until all the ingredients are piping hot. 

    To serve, divide among warmed serving bowls and scatter over the cashew nuts and coriander.

    Roast Turkey with Herb Stuffing

    If you want to be sure that your turkey is cooked, invest in a meat thermometer and push it into the thickest part of one of the thighs. This will then clearly show you when the turkey is cooked, leaving no doubt in your mind. Ask your butcher for the giblets with your turkey, as they make excellent stock. I always soak mine in cold water overnight to remove any impurities. Place them in a pan with a chopped carrot and onion, 6 whole peppercorns, 2 bay leaves and a sprig of thyme. Pour in 1.2 litres (2 pints) of water and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Strain and use as required.

    Serves 10–12

    6kg (13lb) oven-ready turkey, at room temperature

    (preferably free range)

    100g (4oz) butter, at room temperature

    1 tbsp plain flour

    3 tbsp ruby red port or red wine

    600ml (1 pint) turkey or chicken stock (page 226; see note above)

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    small bunch of fresh herbs, to garnish (to include rosemary, sage and thyme)

    crispy roast potatoes (page 152), to serve

    roasted root vegetables with sesame seeds (page 156), to serve

    Brussels sprout crumble (page 159), to serve

    Herb stuffing:

    75g (3oz) butter

    1 large onion, diced

    175g (6oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

    1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    1 tsp chopped fresh sage

    1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves 


    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5). 

    To make the stuffing, melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for a few minutes, until softened but not coloured. Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl and tip in the cooked onion and the parsley, sage and thyme. Mix well to combine and season.

    To stuff the turkey, start at the neck end, where you’ll find a flap of loose skin. Gently loosen this away from the breast and you’ll be able to make a triangular pocket. Pack the stuffing inside as far as you can go and make a neat round shape on the outside, then tuck the neck flap under the turkey and secure it with a small skewer.

    Smear the skin of the turkey all over with most of the butter and season generously. Turn the turkey breast side up and tie the tops of the drumsticks with string. Weigh the turkey to calculate the required cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes extra – a 6kg

    (13lb) turkey should take about 4 hours 40 minutes to cook.

    Lay a large sheet of foil lengthways over a large roasting tin, leaving enough at each end to wrap over the turkey, then lightly butter the foil. Repeat this with another sheet of foil, this time across the tin. Lightly butter the foil once again. Place the stuffed turkey breast side up in the centre of the foil, then wrap loosely to enclose, allowing air to circulate around the turkey.

    Place in the oven and cook according to your calculated cooking time, carefully unwrapping and basting every 40 minutes. For the final hour, fold back the foil and use it to cover the ends of the drumsticks to prevent them from burning. Baste well and return to the oven. The turkey should be a rich, dark brown colour. To be sure it’s cooked, insert a fine skewer into the thickest part of the thigh: the juices should run clear, but if they are still pink, return the turkey to the oven and check again every 15 minutes until you are happy that the turkey is cooked right the way through. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warmed serving platter. Cover with foil and leave to rest in a warm place for at least 10 minutes, or up to 30 minutes is fine.

    Remove the foil from the roasting tin and pour any juices that collected in it into the tin. Place the tin directly on the hob over a gentle heat and skim off any excess fat from the cooking juices.

    Stir the flour into the tin’s residue. Cook on the hob for 1–2 minutes, stirring until golden. Pour in the port or red wine, stirring to combine, then gradually add the stock, stirring until smooth after each addition. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for about 10 minutes, until reduced and thickened to a gravy consistency, stirring occasionally. Season to taste.

    To serve, garnish the turkey with the bunch of herbs in the cavity and bring to the table. Carve into slices and arrange on warmed serving plates with some of the gravy, the roast potatoes, roasted root vegetables and Brussels sprout crumble.

    Brussels Sprout Crumble

    If you aren’t a fan of Brussels sprouts, try using thickly sliced leeks with broccoli or cauliflower instead. This will also make a good vegetarian option as part of a Christmas lunch if you leave out the bacon.

    Serves 4–6

    675g (1 ½lb) Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half

    25g (1 oz) butter, extra to grease

    2 rindless smoked bacon rashers, diced

    1 large red onion, thinly sliced

    200ml (7fl oz) cream

    50ml (2fl oz) milk

    good pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

    40g (1 ½oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

    25g (1oz) walnut halves or pieces, chopped

    15g (½oz) freshly grated Parmesan

    1 tsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper


    Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/gas mark 5).

    Half fill a pan with water, season with salt and bring to the boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and simmer for 4–5 minutes, until just tender but not soggy. Drain and refresh under running cold water.

    Heat the butter in a pan and sauté the bacon and red onion over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened and the bacon has begun to crisp up.

    Butter a baking dish and tip in the blanched Brussels sprouts. Scatter over the sautéed bacon and red onion. Mix the cream with the milk and nutmeg in a jug and season to taste, then pour over the sprouts. Mix the breadcrumbs with the walnuts, Parmesan and parsley, then season to taste and sprinkle on top of the sprouts. Place in the oven for 20–25 minutes, until bubbling and golden brown.

    To serve, place the Brussels sprout crumble straight on the table or use as required.

    Crispy Roast Potatoes

    For really crunchy roast potatoes with fluffy middles, choose a floury variety of potato, such as Roosters, and try to make sure that they are all similar in size. Save some fat that’s left over from a roast to use for this dish. It really does make a world of difference, and as all fats freeze very well, there’s no excuse not to have some, especially for special occasions like Christmas Day. To ensure really crispy roast potatoes, drain off any excess fat about 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time. This will help them to go really crispy and golden brown around the edges.

    Serves 4–6

    1.5kg (3lb) floury potatoes (such as Roosters), halved

    about 100ml (3 ½fl oz) sunflower oil, or dripping,

    goose or duck fat (see note above)

    6 garlic cloves, slightly smashed (not peeled)

    3 fresh rosemary sprigs

    sea salt


    Preheat the oven to 220°C (425°F/gas mark 7).

    Place the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8–10 minutes, until the outsides have just softened. Drain and return to the pan for a minute to dry out, shaking vigorously to knock off all the hard edges.

    Meanwhile, preheat a roasting tin with a 1cm (½in) depth of oil, dripping, duck or goose fat for a few minutes, until just smoking. Roughly prod the outside of the potatoes with a fork and toss them with the garlic and rosemary. Carefully tip them into the hot oil, basting the tops. Roast for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden.

    To serve, transfer the crispy roast potatoes with a slotted spoon into a warmed serving bowl. Season with the salt and place them straight on the table or use as required.

    Maple Glazed Ham with Pineapple Salsa

    A traditional ham is the perfect choice if you’ve got hordes of visitors to feed, so it’s especially good to have over the festive period. A certain crowd pleaser, it tastes equally good served hot or cold. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between ham, bacon and gammon? Bacon is cured pork; gammon is a hind leg cut of bacon; and once gammon is cooked, it’s called ham. Any leftovers from this ham or a turkey can be used in countless other dishes, such as in a creamy filling for vol-au-vents, in risottos or just the ham is excellent for a spaghetti carbonara, so there’s no waste – even the bone will make a wonderful stock. Serves 10–12

    5.25kg (11lb) leg of gammon (on the bone and skin on)

    4 celery sticks, roughly chopped

    2 onions, sliced

    1 bunch of fresh thyme

    1 tbsp black peppercorns

    200ml (7fl oz) Irish whiskey

    200ml (7fl oz) maple syrup

    2 tbsp redcurrant jelly

    2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

    1 tbsp ground allspice

    1 tbsp whole cloves

    Pineapple salsa:

    1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1cm (½in) dice

    1 tbsp caster sugar

    1 small red onion, finely chopped

    finely grated rind and juice of 1 lime

    ½ large red chilli, seeded and finely chopped

    1 tbsp chopped fresh mint

    1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

    2 tsp freshly grated root ginger

    sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

    Although gammon is less salty nowadays, soaking is still a good idea. Place the gammon in a large pan and cover with cold water. Leave to soak for at least 6 hours or overnight is best, then drain. 

    Weigh the gammon joint and calculate the cooking time, allowing 20 minutes per 450g (1lb) plus 20 minutes – a 5.25kg (11lb) joint should take about 4 hours. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum. Add the celery, onions, thyme and peppercorns and return to the boil, then cover, reduce the heat and simmer until completely tender, occasionally skimming off any scum that rises to the top. If you aren’t sure the gammon is properly cooked, check the bone end – it should come away freely from the gammon joint. Drain and leave until it’s cool enough to handle.

    Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F/gas mark 4).

    Carefully peel away the skin, leaving the layer of white fat intact. Using a sharp knife, score the fat diagonally to make a diamond pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. Place the whiskey in a pan with the maple syrup, redcurrant jelly, balsamic vinegar and ground allspice. Bring to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, until slightly thickened. Stud the ham with the cloves and place in a large roasting tin with a little water to prevent the bottom from catching and burning. Brush a layer of the syrup all over the ham, reserving the remainder. Cook for 1 hour, brushing over another layer of the glaze every 15 minutes, until it’s all gone. Remove the cooked ham from the oven, transfer to a serving platter and leave to rest for 15 minutes.

    Meanwhile, make the pineapple salsa. Mix the diced pineapple with the sugar. Heat a non-stick frying pan over a high heat, add the pineapple and cook quickly for about 2 minutes to lightly caramelise it. Tip into a bowl and add the onion, lime rind and juice, chilli, herbs and ginger. Season to taste and set aside to allow the flavours to develop.

    To serve, carve slices from one side of the ham, cutting diagonally to achieve an even thickness. When you reach the bone, insert the knife at a flatter angle and slice across the top of the bone. Turn over the leg to carve slices from the other sides. Arrange on serving plates with spoonfuls of the pineapple salsa.

    Auntie Maureen’s Plum Pudding

    Nothing beats the flavour of homemade Christmas pudding. I love it hot or cold, with lashings of cream, but the brandy and rum crème analgaise is even more special. I always look forward to it. A big thank you to Auntie Maureen for sharing her recipe. Makes 2 x 1.2 litre

    (2 pint) puddings

    50g (2oz) plain flour

    ½ tsp ground mixed spice

    ½ tsp ground cloves

    ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

    225g (8oz) sultanas

    175g (6oz) fresh white breadcrumbs

    175g (6oz) butter, melted, extra for greasing

    175g (6oz) light muscovado sugar

    175g (6oz) raisins

    50g (2oz) currants

    50g (2oz) candied mixed peel

    50g (2oz) blanched almonds, chopped

    ½ apple, peeled, cored and diced

    ½ small carrot, grated

    finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

    2 eggs, lightly beaten

    300ml (½ pint) stout

    fresh redcurrant sprigs, to decorate


    icing sugar, for dusting (optional)

    brandy and rum crème anglaise

    (page 231), to serve 


    Sift together the flour, mixed spice, cloves and nutmeg. Add the sultanas, breadcrumbs, melted butter, sugar, raisins, currants, mixed peel, almonds, apple, carrot and the lemon rind and juice and mix until well combined. Gradually add the beaten eggs, stirring constantly, followed by the stout. Mix everything thoroughly and cover with a clean tea towel, then leave in a cool place overnight.

    Grease 2 x 1.2 litre (2 pint) pudding bowls and fill with the fruit mixture. Cover with a double thickness of greaseproof paper and tin foil, then tie tightly under the rim with string. Store in a cool, dry place for up to 4 months.

    To cook, preheat the oven to 150°C (300°F/gas mark 2) and stand each pudding basin in a large cake tin three-quarters full of boiling water. Cook for 6–8 hours (or you can steam them for 6 hours in the usual way). Allow the puddings to cool, then re-cover with clean greaseproof paper. Again, store in a cool, dry place.

    On Christmas Day, re-cover with new greaseproof paper and foil. Steam for 2–3 hours, until completely cooked through and tender. Decorate with redcurrant sprigs and a light dusting of icing sugar, if liked.

    To serve, cut the plum pudding into slices and arrange on serving plates. Have a separate jug of the brandy and rum crème anglaise so that everyone can help themselves.


    Not surprisingly, my Auntie Maureen is also the champion of this Maguire classic. Before she retired, she was a Domestic Science teacher in Cavan, and I don’t believe she ever had a pupil who didn’t learn how to make her marvellous mince meat pies. Once you’ve made it yourself, you’ll never buy another jar of the stuff again. Why not make twice the amount of mincemeat and put in some sterilised fancy jars, wrap with a red ribbon and give a jar to your friends for a Christmas gift.

    Makes about 40


    100g (4oz) butter or margarine

    175g (6oz) plain flour

    pinch of salt

    50g (2oz) caster sugar

    1 egg yolk, plus beaten egg to glaze

    1/2 tbsp cream

    1/2 tsp lemon juice


    350g (12oz) eating apples

    225g (8oz) butter

    225g (8oz) raisins

    225g (8oz) sultanas

    225g (8oz) currants

    100g (4oz) candied citrus peel

    175g (6oz) blanched almonds, chopped

    175g (6oz) dark muscovado sugar

    finely grated rind 1 orange

    finely grated rind 1 lemon

    1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

    1 tsp ground cinnamon

    1/2 tsp ground cloves

    1/2 tsp salt

    300ml (1/2 pint) whiskey

    icing sugar, to dust

    To make the mincemeat, peel, core and finely chop apples. Melt the butter in a small pan or in the microwave. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl and cover with clean a tea cloth. Leave for 2 days for the flavours to develop, then pack into clean, dry jars. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for 3 weeks before use. 

    Preheat the oven to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4. To make the pastry, place the butter or margarine, flour, salt and sugar into a food processor and blend for 20 seconds. Add the egg yolk and cream and blend again until the pastry comes together. Do not over-work or the pastry will be tough. Wrap in clingfilm and chill for an hour. Roll out half of the pastry thinly on a lightly floured board. Cut out 40 x 6cm (21/2in) rounds with a cutter and use to line tartlet tins. Fill with the mincemeat.

    Roll out the remainder of pastry and cut 40 x 7cm (3in) rounds with a cutter to fit the tops. Brush the edges with water and place smaller rounds on top, seal with tips of fingers. Make a small slit in each mince pie. Brush with beaten egg. Bake for 15-16 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Cool in the tins before lifting out the mince pies. Dust with icing sugar and arrange on a large serving platter to serve.


    Click here for Buttermilk Brined Roast Crown of Turkey


    Santa at Dublin Zoo

    Jarlath Holland went to meet children at Santa's Grotto in Dublin Zoo.

    Santa’s Grotto

    No pre-booking necessary. Tickets available to purchase on entry to Dublin Zoo at the ticket offices and at the retail shop.

    Every Saturday and Sunday from the 30th of November including Monday 23rd and Tuesday 24th December.

    Time: 10am – 4pm (last entry 3pm)

    Price per child: €9 for non-annual pass holders (€8 for annual pass holders) Normal admission rates apply. 

    Holiday Opening Times

    The Zoo will be open all over Christmas with the exception of Christmas day and St. Stephen’s Day. Dublin Zoo’s opening hours are 9.30am – 4pm, with last entry at 3pm.


    Christmas Film and TV

    Dave Fanning and Mark O'Regan join Marian to talk about what's on the television and radio over Christmas.


    Christmas Traditions - Lucinda O'Sullivan

    Lucinda O'Sullivan joins Marian to discuss Christmas traditions in other cultures.


    Tom Doorley - Wine

    Marian is joined by writer and food critic Tom Doorley.

    Aperitifs – sparkling wine
    Best value aperitif – €19.99 champagne from Aldi – which beat veuve clicquot in blind wine tasting
    Or else there are Proseccos that are around 12.99
    Dry Sherry – Tio Pepe – Tesco (sherry 9.99 and M&S)

    Smoked salmon is a tradition in many homes, you need a very crisp dry white wine for the acidity to cut oiliness of the fish. A tradition Chablis is perfect but most of it is not very good and expensive – Tom recommends €14.99 Tesco finest Chablis  - exactly what a Chablis should do – real mineral quality.

    Wines for your Turkey – red or white?
    Red or white? Tom says he’s not a big fan of Turkey. He says you should stick with white wine. “you’re better with a white wine than a red wine” – specifically a good New World Chardonnay – real ripe buttery oaky Chardonnay – New Zealand or Chile. Couldn’t throw a brick in the supermarket without getting the right wine for Turkey course – Tropical fruits or vanilla.
    Red: need a nice juicey upfront red wine – Beaujolais would work there possibly a Nero D’Avola (mainly from Sicily) – juice, easy drinking...

    Alternatives to wine
    Craft beers, go for Irish craft beers, a drink we do really well here.
    Look at beers from Dungarvan brewing company... 8 Degrees Brewing in Cork and Metal Man brewery and Galway Hooker. All go so well with a Christmas meal.  Or Guinness – and all have less alcohol than wine.

    Sparkling water...
    Hate makey up non-alcohol drinks
    Sparkling apple juice
    Cranberry juice with sparkling water
    Virgin Mary – tomato juice horse radish, and tobasco
    “Drivers cider”    Kilkenny – Highbank organic orchard – they produce a thing called drivers cider which tastes like a dry cider – not fermented at all – sweet and unsweet apple juice.

    Rib of beef goose or duck
    Wine: Rioja Tesco – good choice for beef – Tesco Finest Rioja Reserva 2008 – its €12
    Goose/ Duck – Pinot Noir – from New Zealand, and an Italian from Lidle – Morellino Di Scandscanzo – Medici Riccardi - €11
    Aldi – Chianti Classico Reserva €9.99 – best value wine in Ireland!!!!!!!

    Hot drinks
    Mulled wine
    - two bottles red wine, port, sugar and lemon

    Hot whiskey
    - traditional – make it with Powers and a little brown sugar, cloves and lemon and hot water... must have spoon in the class.

    Irish coffee
    trick with Irish coffee – must have good coffee – not instant coffee, that’s a hanging offence.  Make really good proper freshly brewed coffee – I’d use Jameson – more affinity with coffee and it’s more assertive.

    Sweet wine – desert wine
    Desert wine - Aldi have a 500ml - €24 from Hungary –it is one of the great desert wines of the world which tastes of Apricots and honey.

    Port – two of those I would suggest – One expensive – vintage port that needs to be decanted – Tesco own brand – 24.99 – 1994.

    The other is Aldi – Maynards ten year old Tawny Port – €13.99
    You need walnuts and blue cheese – Croziers.

    About The Show

    In-depth interviews, human interest stories, consumer and lifestyle news as well as a lively panel discussion on issues of the week and newspaper reviews.

    Saturday and Sunday from 11am-1pm

    Music Played on the Show

    • 11:44
      Title: Driving Home For Christmas
      Performer(s): Chris Rea
      Performer(s): Chris Rea
      Album: NOW That's What I Call Christmas
      Duration: 4:11

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