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Oh dear god, I just had to jump online and get this out in the ether. I NEED to share it before any of your leftover ham and turkey goes to waste on anything other than this dish. STOP with the ham and eggs, no no NO to turkey pie. STEP AWAY from the Coronation Turkey.

You need to make Vincigrassi.

A mouthful of heavenYou will die and go to heaven and it will forever be your boxing day supper. I promise. And, in fact, for those that don’t really LIKE ham and turkey and suffer through it, this experience may well transform things for you.

I have to confess, firstly, to yet more recipe theft on a grand scale. In fact, Molly’s Uncle Harry cooked this for us last night.  I helped a bit by drinking Champagne on the side lines and throwing in helpful snippets of advice about bechamel etc but otherwise my role was Supreme Appreciator, Photo Taker, thence Recipe Thief.

Vincigrassi is like lasagne but with ceps and parma ham. What’s wonderful about it is its sheer simplicity. Effectively, you make a bitching bechamel sauce and mix mushrooms, pieces of thinly sliced ham and turkey into it with some truffle paste. You then layer lasagne sheets with this mix, dotting each layer with butter and a grating of parmesan. Finish with a drizzle of truffle paste or oil**

Needless to say, it’s very rich. Helpfully, we had an Italian speaker on hand who translated Vincigrassi as “conquer the fat”.

Go Forth And Conquer the Fat my friends.

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Boxing Day Vincigrassi

This is Uncle Harry’s version of Boxing Day Vinci Grassi. Forgive the inexact nature. It started with how much ham and turkey we had to hand (about two handfuls combined). The quantity of bechamel grew from the contents. So you will need to use a fair amount of own judgement for quantities but it’s virtually impossible to screw this one up, partly because even when loose and ‘sloppy’ (as ours was), it’s completely divine…

Ingredients: A cup-ish of dried mushrooms (or fresh, but precook), handful of leftover ham and handful of turkey, milk/cream/butter/flour for the Bechamel sauce, white truffle paste or oil, about 10 fresh lasagne sheets (ideally home-made of course otherwise bought), fresh parsley.

Method:Pre-soak a cup of dried porcini mushrooms. In the meantime, slice the turkey and ham. Add the ham and turkey to a bowl, then the soaked mushrooms and the juice. Add half of teaspoon of truffle paste, stir to combine, and leave to ‘meddle’ while you get on with the bechamel sauce.

For the bechamel, melt about 200g of butter on a low-ish heat, add flour to create a roux. Ensure you let the flour cook to expand before adding full fat milk and cream. When you have what you consider to be enough to ‘hold’ the ham/turkey/mushroom mixture, take off the heat, cool slightly and add to the bowl with meat and mushrooms.

In a large lasagnae dish, layer accordingly. Pasta sheets, bechamel mixture. Between each layer, dot with butter and a fine grating of parmesan. finish with a layer of lasagne sheets, smother with bechemel sauce without the meat (simply drained onto a spoon from the mixture), parmesan, some butter, and a few dots of truffle paste. Bake for about 40 minutes at 180 degrees c, or until pasta is cooked and the top is nicely browned and delicious.

** Re: the truffle paste or oil – it’s pretty widely available – I just checked and Ocado (UK shopping delivery etailer) sell it for about £7 for a small jar. But that jar will last for ages.. this dish fed 10 people and only used a teaspoon of truffle paste and the flavour came through beautifully.