You are currently viewing 7 must-have recipes on MK’s festive table

7 must-have recipes on MK’s festive table

The team gathers to express gratitude for making it through 2023 with copious amounts of decadent food and drinks in true MK style! 

Creamy crab dip  

Makes 3 cups 

Swap out crab for smoked haddock or flaked cooked white fish, such as hake or kingklip. 


1 packet (500g) crab meat, defrosted
1 cup sour cream 
½ cup cream cheese 
2 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
2 cloves garlic, roasted 
4 spring onions, sliced 
2 Tbsp chilli flakes
Handful fresh coriander, chopped

For serving  

1 small cucumber, sliced into ribbons 
Toasted sourdough or ciabatta Fresh herbs  


  1. Place a colander over a pot of simmering water. 
  2. Put crab meat in the colander, cover with a lid and steam gently for about 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly. 
  3. Roughly chop crab meat. 
  4. Combine crab meat, sour cream, cream cheese, mustard and garlic.
  5. Stir through spring onions, chilli flakes and coriander. Season well. 
  6. Serve crab dip with breadsticks or toasted ciabatta, cucumber and scattered with fresh herbs.

“No festive season gathering with my family is complete without a decadent seafood-inspired meal!”

– Terry Msiphe Barnes, Publishing Manager TFG Media 

Spicy carrots with spring onion sauce  

Serves 4 

You can use any veg for this recipe – butternut, beetroot and pumpkin work well. 


2 packets (300g each) rainbow or regular baby carrots, washed 
2 Tbsp olive oil 
Salt and milled black pepper 
2 Tbsp smoked paprika 
1 Tbsp ground cumin 
1 Tbsp ground coriander 
3 Tbsp honey 
2 Tbsp chopped fresh coriander 

For the sauce  

1 cup yoghurt 
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 spring onions, sliced  


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  2. Place carrots onto a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. 
  3. Season with salt, black pepper, smoked paprika, cumin and coriander. Toss to coat evenly. 4. Roast the carrots for 10-12 minutes. 
  4. Drizzle with honey, toss through coriander and roast for another 5-10 minutes until cooked through. 
  5. Blitz together sauce until smooth and season. 
  6. Serve veggies warm and drizzled with sauce.

“In my family, we love a fresh plate of veggies to balance out the seven colours at Christmas lunch. I often end up going for thirds, especially when that special saltiness from the blue cheese comes through – perfection!”

– Geraldine Amoko, Senior Copy Editor 

Spring greens with blue cheese crumble  

Serves 4 

Not a fan of blue cheese? Swap it out for feta or goat’s cheese.  


1 packet tenderstem broccoli 
1 packet pak choi, halved 
1 packet mangetout 
1 packet green beans or edamame beans 
1 packet baby spinach 
Glug olive oil 
Salt and milled black pepper 
¼ ciabatta, torn into chunks 
2 Tbsp butter 
1 clove garlic, chopped 
1 wedge blue cheese, crumbled 


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. 
  2. Blanch all vegetables (except the spinach) in batches for 1-2 minutes or until tender, then refresh in ice water. Drain. 
  3. On a serving platter, arrange baby spinach and cooked vegetables. Drizzle with oil and season. 
  4. In a dry pan, add ciabatta chunks and cook for about 1 minute before adding butter and garlic. 
  5. Cook until crispy and fragrant, then set aside. 
  6. Stir through blue cheese while bread chunks are still warm. 
  7. Top the salad with the blue cheese crumble and serve immediately.

Slow-cooked pork belly with creamy mash, apple and red onion  

Serves 6-8 

Use any leftover shredded pork to make wraps, tacos or add to nachos for a delicious weeknight lunch or dinner.  


2-2.5kg boneless pork belly, skin scored 
¼ cup coarse salt and milled pepper 
2 Tbsp smoked paprika 
3 Tbsp Dijon mustard 
3 Pink Lady apples, quartered (or use any sweet apple you like) 
2 red onions, quartered 
1 garlic bulb, halved 
2 cups apple juice Honey, for drizzling  

For the creamy mash

6-8 large potatoes, cooked and kept warm 
½ cup cream cheese 3 Tbsp butter, softened 
Handful fresh sage, chopped 


  1. Place pork belly onto a plate or board with skin side up. 
  2. Sprinkle generously with coarse salt, then refrigerate pork belly uncovered overnight.
  3. Dab skin with paper towel to soak up all the excess moisture. 
  4. Rub the meat side with salt, pepper and smoked paprika and brush with mustard. 
  5. Preheat oven to 160°C. 
  6. Place apples, onions and garlic into a large deep roasting dish. 
  7. Place pork belly, skin side up, on top of fruit and vegetables. 
  8. Pour apple juice into the dish, making sure not to wet the skin of the pork. 
  9. Roast uncovered for about 3½ hours or until meat is fork-tender. Remove roasted apples and onions and set aside. 
  10. Increase the oven temperature to 200°C and switch to grill. 
  11. Roast pork belly for about 5-6 minutes until the skin puffs up and becomes crispy. (Keep a close eye on it!) 
  12. Mash the potatoes until smooth, then stir through cream cheese, butter and sage. Then, season generously. 
  13. Serve pork belly with creamy mash, roasted red onions, apple and fresh sage. Drizzle with honey just before serving.

“I absolutely adore the tenderness of the pork belly meat with the crispiness of the crackling. This dish appears on our festive family table every single year!”

– Chad January, Editor 

Best ever roast potatoes  

Serves 4-6

You can fluff the potatoes using a fork to ruffle up the edges instead of shaking them in a pot.  


8 large potatoes, peeled and quartered 
2 cups duck fat 
Handful fresh sage or rosemary 
6-8 cloves garlic   


  1. Parboil potatoes in boiling, salted water for about 6-8 minutes (they should not be cooked all the way through). Drain, season with salt and set aside. 
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  3. Place potatoes back into the pot, close the lid and shake the pot to ruffle up the edges of the potatoes. (This is what creates the crispy layer.) 
  4. Place duck fat, sage and garlic into a deep roasting dish, then place in the oven for about 20 minutes until almost smoking. 
  5. Add potatoes and cook for about 10-15 minutes, rotating every so often until crispy and golden all around. 
  6. Drain on paper towel, season once more with salt and serve hot.

“What would a traditional festive feast be without the humble roast potato? Or rather, what would that post afternoon-nap be without a sneaky roast potato straight out of the pot – sacrilege!”

– Christine Siljeur, Senior Designer 


Thyme roasted chicken cooked in white wine  

Serves 4 

Omit white wine and cook chicken in carbonated apple juice or non-alcoholic bubbly.  


1/3 cup butter, softened 
1 punnet fresh thyme, leaves picked 
2 cloves garlic, chopped 
Salt and milled pepper 
1 large whole chicken 
4 plums, peaches or nectarines, halved 
1 cup white wine 
Roasted carrots and Brussel sprouts for serving 


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. 
  2. Combine butter, of the thyme and garlic in a bowl and season. 
  3. Using your fingertips, loosen the chicken skin gently away from the flesh, making sure not to tear it. 
  4. Spread butter mixture under the skin, pressing down gently to spread it around. 
  5. Drizzle chicken with oil, season and sprinkle with remaining thyme. 
  6. Place chicken in a deep roasting dish and nestle stone fruit around it. 
  7. Pour the wine around chicken, cover with foil and roast for about 45 minutes until golden and skin is crispy. 
  8. Add Brussel sprouts and roast for a further 15-20 minutes, uncovered until golden. 
  9. Remove chicken from the oven and baste with pan drippings. 10. Serve with roasted carrots and Brussels sprouts.

“This roast chicken recipe ticks all the boxes! Crispy, golden skin accompanied by tender meat makes this a winner at any festive gathering!”

– San-Mari Mouton, Art Director 

Citrus gammon with Asian glaze  

Serves 8 

Opt for a simple traditional glaze by combining apricot jam and Dijon mustard to baste the gammon.  


2.5-3kg boneless gammon 
2 cups orange juice 
2 cups chicken stock 
1 onion, peeled and halved 
1 garlic bulb, halved 
Handful fresh coriander 
2-3 fresh or dried bay leaves 
1 orange, quartered 

For the Asian glaze 

Glug olive oil 
2 spring onions, chopped 
3 cloves garlic, sliced 
5cm knob ginger, peeled and finely chopped 
1/3 cup soy sauce 
1 cup brown sugar 
1 orange, juiced 
Handful fresh coriander, chopped 
Toasted sesame seeds and fresh micro herbs, to serve  


  1. Place gammon into a large 5L pot. 
  2. Pour over orange juice and chicken stock. 
  3. Add onion, garlic, herbs and orange, then top up with water (if needed), making sure the gammon is completely submerged. 
  4. Boil gammon for 2½ hours, topping up with water if the liquid gets too low. (If your gammon is a different size, cook it for 25 minutes for every 500g of meat.) 
  5. Remove the gammon from the pot (reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid) and cool slightly. 
  6. Remove the netting and carefully peel away the skin while warm, by lifting the edge of the dark, leathery skin and pulling it backwards. 
  7. Score the fat layer in a criss-cross pattern, careful not to cut through the meat at all, and place on a baking tray. 
  8. Preheat oven to 200°C. 
  9. For the glaze, heat oil in a pot and fry spring onion, garlic and ginger for 3-5 minutes. 
  10. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar, orange juice, coriander and reserved gammon liquid. Simmer until reduced and sticky, about 8-10 minutes. 
  11. Brush gammon with glaze and roast for about 8-10 minutes until sticky. 
  12. Slice gammon just before serving (to prevent it from drying out). Drizzle with the sticky Asian glaze, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and micro herbs.

“The delicious sticky Asian glaze is what really takes this dish from ‘just gammon’ to ‘I need a second helping!’ This will turn any gammon sceptic into a gammon lover, from a previous sceptic herself.”

– Sjaan van der Ploeg, Food Stylist

Also read: 5 festive roasts to feast on

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