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Christmas Kai: Lamb, Ham or Turkey?

Plummeting prices make lamb the meat of choice this Christmas.

By Mel Fernandez

AUCKLAND – Surprisingly Santa’s resounding ‘Ho Ho Ho’ has been supplanted by ‘Baa, Baa, Baa’ – because there has been a significant change in meat choice for Christmas lunch across Aotearoa.

In Asian households for example, ham has traditionally been the go-to meat of choice for Christmas feasting. But this year an interloper has given ham the elbow. No, it is not turkey that we will be gobbling down but instead it is lamb roast that will feature as part of the Christmas spread.

In the midst of a cost-of-living crisis families are making the switch to lamb in droves for one simple reason – lamb prices have plummeted, which is very unusual during Christmas time.

A word of warning though, if you have not done it before, it can be stressful preparing a lamb roast for your friends and family.

Greg Egerton from Princes Street Butcher and Kitchen has some calming words of advice for Kiwis keen for a relaxed festive period.

“My advice to everyone is prep like a pro. For me, Christmas is about spending time with my friends and family, so I don’t want to be spending it holed up in the kitchen away from everyone.

“If you’re planning on cooking a leg of lamb this year, have a look at for some tips on prepping your meat or ask your local butcher for their top tips on reducing your kitchen time this Christmas.”

On the other hand, if you are expecting friends and family to stream in on the day, a whole lamb spit roast might be the way to go.

What makes up the rest of the Kiwi’s Christmas plate is most likely to be potatoes and mixed salads.

The Pavlova is the pick of the Christmas puddings for Kiwis, followed by trifle, strawberries with ice cream and a fruit salad.

By the way, the joy of feasting does not end on Christmas Day, Kiwis might be making Boxing Day sandwiches with their leftover lamb, ham and turkey.

Regardless of what kai you’ll be eating, be merry and enjoy Christmas with those you love.

Happy Holidays!

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