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Day At The Races

More than 9,000 people are expected to descend on Market Rasen Racecourse today for one of its most popular jump racing occasions of the year, the Rand Farm Park Boxing Day At The Races meeting.

There’s a packed programme of jump racing, including the annual Clugston Lincolnshire National. Like the ultimate Aintree race – the Randox Health Grand National - stamina is crucial for the Lincolnshire National, which is run over a distance of three and a half miles.

“Boxing Day horse racing at Market Rasen Racecourse is as much a part of Christmas as turkey, mulled wine and crackers. 26th December is always a very affordable festive day out for families over Christmas.

"I would recommend people to set off in plenty of time to get to the racecourse today. The racecourse is clearly signed, with a number of routes in place and we urge all visitors to follow them and to get here early.”

– Nadia Powell, Market Rasen Racecourse General Manager

The gates of the racecourse will be open from 10.05am when the fun begins for a first race time of 12.05pm. The finale is at 3.25pm.

Corrie star Bev's Xmas message to servicemen & women

Coronation Street actress Beverley Callard, who is from Leeds, has thanked servicemen and women from the armed forces as she shared her Christmas message.

The Yorkshire-born star, who plays Liz McDonald in the ITV soap, posted her festive greeting on social media.

She tweeted: "Merry merry Christmas to all our wonderful Service Men and Women! And THEIR FAMILIES THANK YOU! Both my Jon's have served in combat zones on Christmas Day, so we know only too well what it's like. Hope the Officers serve a tasty Christmas dinner xxxxxx".

Marco's perfect Christmas dinner

Yorkshire's most famous celebrity chef Marco Pierre White is offering his top tips on creating the perfect Christmas dinner.

Marco Pierre White, has just opened a new restaurant at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hull in Ferensway Credit: ITV News

“The thought of cooking Christmas dinner fills most of us with dread. It’s the crescendo to Christmas Day and everybody wants it to be superb.

"No need to panic, I’ve got a few essential tips for cooking the finest roast potatoes and timing the turkey perfectly.”

– Marco Pierre White
Marco Pierre White's Christmas dinner

The perfect roast potatoes.

For my potatoes, I cook with clarified butter, which is very simple to make. Slowly heat 7oz/200g of chopped, unsalted butter in a pan. Discard the surface liquid (milk solids and water). The remaining golden liquid is clarified butter. Alternatively use duck/goose fat or sunflower oil.

Nine medium-sized potatoes will serve six people comfortably without being wasteful.

An hour before you plan to serve, put the chopped potatoes in a saucepan of unsalted cold water. Place on a high heat, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer.

Meanwhile, put the clarified butter/fat into the roasting tin for the potatoes. I also sprinkle in a chicken stock cube– this provides seasoning so there is no need for salt. Heat the fat in the oven at 190C/gas mark 5.

At the first sign of cracks in the potatoes’ edges, remove them from the heat and drain. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and carefully place the hot potatoes into the fat, which should come up the edge of the potatoes. Baste them well with clarified butter or your turkey baste and return to your oven.

Do not touch the potatoes now until they are ready to be served, turning them may break them. Just leave them be.

Timing the turkey perfectly Turkey size matters. A massive one won’t cook evenly. I buy one that weighs about 4.5kg, which will feed six with plenty to spare. Don’t stuff the bird – cook the stuffing separately. It slows down the cooking, so by the time the inner meat is cooked, the white meat on the outside will be overcooked and dry.

Morning: Remove the turkey from the fridge as it will need several hours to reach room temperature – a cold bird takes longer to cook.

11.30am: Set the oven to 190C/gas mark 5, allowing it half an hour to reach that temperature. Baste your turkey.

12noon: Place the turkey in the oven, uncovered.

12.45pm: When the turkey is golden brown, remove it from the oven and cover it in tinfoil (to prevent it from browning further). Return it to the oven and continue to cook at 170C/gasmark 3. In total, the turkey should take between 90 minutes and two hours to cook.

1pm: Chop three onions in half, remove the outer layer of skin and place the halved onions into the roasting tin with the turkey. The onions will caramelise, adding sweetness and colour into the roasting juices.

1.30pm: Check the turkey. Remove it from the oven and insert a skewer into the thickest part of the bird – the breast behind the thigh. The temperature of the skewer represents the temperature inside the turkey; if it’s only slightly warm, it obviously needs longer. Do not be concerned if the juices are a little pink because the bird will continue cooking when it’s wrapped in foil. Return it to the oven.

2pm: By now your turkeyshould be ready. Lift it from the oven and quickly wrap it in tinfoil. During this rest period, the temperature remains high and will continue to cook. Don’t worry about it going cold, once wrapped in tinfoil, it will easily stay warmfor up to two hours. Finish off your trimmings, then carve, and lastly, enjoy.

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'Topping-off' ceremony at new Hull Venue

The topping-off ceremony has taken place at Hull Venue – a new 3,500-seater music arena.

It is hoped it will be ready for the first acts by late summer next year. Michael Billington took a look around.

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