Christmas with Nigella: Allspice gravy

Nigella’s best festive recipes from the last 20 years 

The ultimate gravy for the ultimate Christmas dinner - no imitations will cut it  

The ultimate gravy for the ultimate Christmas dinner – no imitations will cut it  

The best gravies are made by deglazing a joint’s cooking juices in the roasting tin, but, with a brined bird, the liquid it gives off is too salty; you can’t use more than a few spoonfuls.

  • Giblets from the turkey (not including the liver)
  •  1ltr (1¾pt) water
  • 1tbsp allspice berries
  • ½tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4cm stick cinnamon
  • 1 stick of celery, halved
  • 2 carrots, peeled and halved
  • 1 onion (unpeeled), halved
  • 1tbsp Maldon salt or ½tbsp table salt
  • Juice of 1 clementine or satsuma (approx 60ml/2¼fl oz), plus the pulp 
  • 2tbsp plain flour
  • 2tbsp of the salty juices from the turkey roasting tin
  • 2tbsp honey

Put all the ingredients, except the flour, salty juices and honey, into a saucepan and bring to a boil. 

Cover with a lid and simmer gently for 2 hours. Strain through a sieve (or just pour, holding back the bits) into a large measuring jug: this should give you about 1 litre.

On the day itself, whisk the flour in a saucepan with 2tbsp of the juices from the turkey roasting tin. 

Put the saucepan on the heat and slowly whisk in the stock and the honey.

Let the gravy bubble away, stirring every now and again with a wooden spoon, until it thickens a little and the floury taste disappears.

If you’re preparing the gravy stock ahead, make sure when you add the flour and juices and reheat that it’s piping hot; fill the gravy jug with hot water for 10 minutes before draining, drying and filling with hot, invitingly aromatic gravy.

Adapted from How To Eat, £14.99 (published by Vintage Classics), Nigella Christmas and How To Be A Domestic Goddess, both £26, and Nigellissima, £20 (published by Chatto & Windus), all by Nigella Lawson © Nigella Lawson. To buy any of these books at 20% discount, go to uk/books or call 0844 571 0640, p&p is free on orders over £15. Spend £30 on books and get FREE premium delivery. Discount valid until 15 December 2018. Additional food photography: Lis Parsons