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Organic Annie: Christmas Special, Pt II

Hats off to Annie - want to know where to buy all of your Christmas and New Years ingredients? You just got handed the answers on a platter!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Yesterday, Christmas dinner, today where to source it and everything else you might need for the Holidays. The markets and shops of Ibiza are full up with all manner of Christmas fabulousness. Head to Mercat Nou in Ibiza town or the Santa Eulalia Market to browse for ideas for holiday food, baking, gifts and stocking stuffers. And look to the shops around them and in the villages, a feast is to be found.

I have had a brilliant time shopping for my family holiday and find myself hugely inspired. Yesterday, I wrote under full disclosure that we would have beef for Christmas, but having discovered beautiful Iberico lamb at Carne Pepita in the Sta. Eulalia Market, I have ordered a leg. With all of the possibilities, the decision was too hard to take so by family vote, lamb won hands down. I cannot wait to get roasting.The recipe is included at the end should anyone be as excited as I am by Iberico lamb.

And for Christmas Eve, at Carniceria Javi, Mercat Nou, Ibiza, I found fabulous Duck Confit legs, complete with the goose fat. Not to be wasted, it will be used to make delectable crispy chips to accompany.

Don’t forget to put your receipts in for the Holiday draws held in many of the shops and stalls. A great Ibiza tradition, I love the idea of winning a delicious basket of treats.

Santa Eulalia:

Mercado:

Open 8am to 2pm, Monday thru Saturday.
Some seafood stalls are open Monday the 23rd.
Charucterie Ramis, the markets cheese and charcuterie stall is closed for Christmas.

The market is small, but the vendors are high quality and carry great stuff. With one of the largest selections of Ibiza product, it is my market of choice. An important rule, ask for local. And bring what needs fixing, shoes or clothes, there is a fabulous stall for each, and the mending pile disappears for Christmas. The hardware shop is great for gifts for the cook - think meat thermometer, as well as wrapping paper, table decorations, candles and paper goods.

Carnes Pepita:

Es Mercat, Nos. 102, 103 1ne 104
971 33 22 60

Specializing in Organic, local and imported meat and poultry

Founded by Pepita some 29 years ago, and now run by her son, Emilio. He has expanded, sourcing lots of organic and local product, turkey, chicken, lamb and pork. Also available, high end, grass fed Brazilian beef, goose, the renowned blue footed chicken of Bress, certainly one of the world’s tastiest. It is the only butcher to carry Iberico Lamb, hence my Christmas leg. Be sure to ask if you don’t see, he has an extensive list for the holidays and indeed year round.

TaniFruit:

Es Mercat, No 51-52
971 33 93 01

Can Sanso
Es Canar Rd
971 33 98 20

Tanifruit is the imported exotic and tropical fruit, herb and produce stall for the market.

Some local goods, though it seems it be mostly foraged. In the winter look for the wild spinach, in the early Spring local rocket. They have a great selection of mushrooms, if available, think wild mushrooms on toast. Out of sight is a large selection of spices and Spanish dried peppers. For Christmas, they stock a large selection of fine fruit.

Fruta Maria

Es Mercat, No 18 and 19

Maria is my 'go to' green grocer.

In business for 27 years, she carries a full selection of seasonal produce. Much of it local, grown on their farm, by her husband, Juan, or on the farms of friends. The vegetables are delicious - fresh and of high quality. Ask what’s best AND local. They know what they are doing. Juan is the only greengrocer I know who cuts sample plugs out of his melons before selling them. Seriously, I have never had a bad vegetable. They carry local farm eggs, herbs, mostly dried, spices, legumes, Spanish pine nuts and fantastic fancy dates.

German Specialty Stall:

Always a good bet for a holiday. Great Christmas stuff is to be found. High quality chocolates, homemade traditional German sweets and this year, great stocking stuffers, table decorations and gifts.

Seafood

There are a few Seafood vendors and all are good. Most have a good selection of local as well as the high end holiday treats.

Pescaderia Juani

No. 88

Find here fresh sea scallops, cleaned, but on the shell and fabulous Balearic prawns.

Expensive, but worth it. He also has Spanish frozen prawns, a little less than the Balearic and quite good. Note: He is not open Monday the 23rd.He reopens for the 24th.

Notable Santa Eulalia Shops:

The White Island Corner Shop

Calle Juan Tur, Bldg Punta De Mayol
617 833 301 or 617 833 302

Sophie and Rod Ellington have a nice selection of English treats. Mince Pies, Christmas cake, chocolates, all of the British things we hate to miss for Christmas. I get my baking supplies there, dry yeast, vegetable shortening, soft brown sugar, both light and dark and Lyle’s Golden, necessary for holiday bread, pies and cookies. Best of all, is chatting with Sophie, her sparkle makes for jolly shopping.

Sali fret

Paseo s’Alamera, 17
Sta. Eulalia
971 33 66 06

Specialists in handmade German style charcuterie

In business for 37 years, Carmen and Werner specialize in handmade German style charcuterie. It is a real treasure trove for the carnivore. Great for hand smoked hams, f turkey breast, Serrano ham, sliced roast beef and PASTRAMI. We are so having the king of all sandwiches, the New York Rueben at one point over the holidays. The hotdogs wurst and liver wurst are handmade and to die for. But worth honourable mention, smoked streaky bacon, a Christmas breakfast definite. Also stocked, a good selection of Christmas breads, chocolates and a small grocery section. A full range of Christmas meat and poultry are available for order.

Ibiza Town:

Mercat Nou/New Market

Open 8am to 2pm, Monday thru Saturday.
The seafood stalls, normally closed on Mondays, are open the 23rd due to the proximity of Christmas.

The New Market is larger, has more vendors and a real market feel. It is generally bustling, especially so at Christmas. Enjoy browsing - a lot of what you are looking for is here.

There are many seafood stalls, all good.

Pascados Ma Maria,

No. 107 and 116 is my favourite.
The quality is great, the prices good and the ladies make for great entertainment.

Montiel Pastereria
No. 37 to 47

I love this stall, it rocks. down the aisle from Frutas Maria Cardonna, they carry the traditional Spanish Holiday treats. Candied fruit, used in the preparation of either Christmas Coca, or eaten alone as a dessert.

The world’s best almond & cinnamon cookies are sold here. Made is a tiny Seville factory, they are addictive. Buy a lot, they have a long shelf life and they go quickly. I often find myself wrapping gifts and preparing Christmas Eve night, hot brandied tea and cinnamon cookies at hand. Or serve them with afternoon coffee or tea. They also stock the larger selection of delicious traditional Spanish cookies.

Carniceria Javi

No. 89 and 90
971 30 64 84

Famed for Iberico pork product, Javi is also the confit vendor, our Christmas eve dinner. Also, available, a full selection of turkey, goose, duck, the works. Quality is supreme. He also sharpens knives, though most likely not during Christmas.

Frutas Maria Cardonna

No. 41,42,43 and 44

A veritable veg heaven, Angel and Monica, as well as the standard, carry exotic, tropical fruit, a full selection of berries, big bunches of fresh herbs, loose leaf lettuce, and prepared hand cut vegetables, baby veg and great out of season tomatoes. A great spot for fabulous fruit salad makings.

El Otro Sur,
No. 31 and 32,

Look out for this stall carrying exclusive wines and French products. You might have to look around for the proprietor; he is sometimes across the aisle drinking a cheeky coffee.

Notable Ibiza shops:

Pasteleria Mediterrenea

C/Pais Valencia, No. 11
Ibiza
971 300 196

Second Location:

Building Centro, Local 1
Jesus
971 313 646
(Across form the Church)

The Ibiza location is near the Market, it is unrivalled on the island for sophistication and elegance. They offer a full range of exclusive treats, chocolates, homemade ice creams, savoury takeaway and best, the bakery. This year on offer are beautiful boxes of Macaroons. Exclusive and divine, it is my Christmas gift pick of the year. After shopping, it is a great place to relax with a fantastic cup of coffee and a treat.

Holiday Oyster Bar

Hostel Parque
Plaza del Parque, 4
Ibiza
971 30 13 58

Open every day. The Bar is available from lunchtime until closing. They continue to offer the full menu throughout the Holiday.

Last, but certainly not least My ultimate APRES shop, Cava Oysters and prawns. A real Ibiza must do and not only after shopping. We go several times over the holidays, Oysters taste like the sea smells, and a wonderful foil to the holiday’s rich food.

Robbert Franhan is the Islands premier Oyster guy, his company Donostra Ibiza, provides a private oyster service throughout the year and a wonderful and reliable service it is. He offers a complete oyster experience. We have used him for years at our holiday parties - it is always a huge hit.

He can be reached at donostraibiza@yahoo.com or 662651398.

Recipe:

Slow Roasted Leg of lamb

This is a versatile recipe. A decision to make in advance is to what degree of done-ness is desired. Lamb is delicious both as a falling of the bone, melt in your mouth sort of thing or a bit more elegant sliced, slightly pink, moist and tender. As this lamb is truly top quality and it’s Christmas, I opt for the more elegant. For melt in your mouth, falling off the bone, increase the cooking time, but greatly lower the temperature. Make sure the bottom of the pan always has a little liquid in the bottom. It is done when extremely tender.

Dry brine 36 hours before roasting. Brine is not just for turkeys, most meat benefits greatly from it. It will keep the leg moist and enhance the flavour.

Rub about a half a kilo of salt with a few torn bay leaves all over the lamb, think of using it as a paste. Wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Rinse the lamb and pat dry with kitchen roll.

Marinade:

1/2 cup olive oil

1 heaping tablespoons of rosemary chopped fine

2 heaping tablespoons Thyme chopped fine

4 cloves of garlic minced

1 teaspoon of ground cumin and coriander seed combined

A couple of big pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper, 10 good turns of the mill.

Mix all together and massage in to the lamb. Wrap and refrigerate for 12 hours or overnight.

Before roasting the lamb:

Bring to room temperature

1 or 2 cloves of garlic cut into slivers

With the tip on a sharp paring knife, make little slits on the meaty part of leg, just big enough to fit the garlic slivers all of the way into the meat, but no deeper. Do this depending on the size of the leg, like 10 times, evenly spaced about three inches apart.

Make a small bed of rosemary and thyme and rest the leg on top.

Heat the oven to 450F/230C

Roast the leg for 20 minutes or so, let is crackle and pop a bit, then turn back the oven to 325F/165C, add 1/2 of red wine. Do not allow the pan to burn, the bits at the bottom, the fond, make for great gravy. Add water or wine as needed. Roast to an internal temperature of 165F/73C. Try to use a meat thermometer it is handy for gauging exact internal temperature.

Remove from roasting pan to a platter, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.

For the Jus:

Jus is a thin gravy, meaning no flour or thickening agent is used. For me, it is a mix of the pan juices, reduced wine from deglazing the roasting pan and any juices that collect around the lamb while resting or carving. Don’t waste any of it, it is divine and if discarded, it is an opportunity missed.

Pour off any liquid from the pan into a glass breaker and discard herbs. Place the roasting tray across several lit burners, when smoking hot, dump a glass of red wine into the pan, de-glaze, meaning, scrape up the bits on the bottom of the pan with a spatula and bring the wine to a boil. Boil off alcohol and reduce the wine until slightly thickened and nice tasting. Pour through a strainer into a small pan, skim off any fat. From the glass beaker, the liquid will have rested and the fat having risen to the top forming a visible layer, discard the fat, strain and add the juice underneath. Add any juices from resting or carving.

Once in the pan, skim any final fat, check for consistency and flavour. Reheat, if needed, season and serve. Note: Do not forget to strain both the pan juices and the fond, the bits are not nice and will ruin the Jus.

Next Week

Up next week, New Year’s Day Brunch recipes, most are make ahead for a relaxing New Year ‘s Day, complete with a Bloody Mary Hangover remedy. With these recipes, it’s best to begin the New Year resolutions on the Second of January, leave the first for the final holiday indulgence.