Roast turkey with pears and cran­ber­ries

Landscape (UK) - - Food For The Festive Day -

In a large con­tainer, such as a clean plas­tic stor­age con­tainer, place the salt, 2 sprigs of thyme, bay leaves, sugar, ju­niper, all­spice and cin­na­mon stick and add 1 litre of cold wa­ter. Mix thor­oughly and im­merse the turkey. Slowly add more cold wa­ter un­til the turkey is to­tally cov­ered. Cover and chill overnight. Pre­heat the oven to 200°C/ gas mark 6. Rinse and drain the turkey. Place on a large oven tray and grease with 150g of the duck fat or lard. In a large bowl, mix to­gether the bread­crumbs, mince­meat, eggs, ham hock, the leaves from 2 sprigs of thyme and pars­ley. Chop the onion finely, slice 1 pear and add both to the mix­ture, along with the 200g cran­ber­ries and the juice of the Cle­men­tine. Sea­son, then stuff the turkey with the mix­ture and tie the legs to­gether with string.

Cut 2 pears into wedges. Com­bine with 200g cran­ber­ries, the sherry, stock, honey, 100g of the but­ter and 2 star anise in a saucepan. Bring to the boil and then sim­mer for 15 mins. Re­move and dis­card the star anise, then blend into a smooth purée with a hand blender. Pour this mix­ture, with the wine and 150ml wa­ter, into the tray around the turkey. Roast for 30 mins, then baste with a baster or by care­fully pour­ing the juices into a jug and then pour­ing over the turkey. Turn the oven down to 180°C/gas 4. Roast for 2 hrs 30 mins, bast­ing ev­ery 30 mins. One hour be­fore the end of cook­ing, add the re­main­ing but­ter and lard, mas­sag­ing it into the turkey skin. Cover loosely with tin foil if at any point the turkey be­comes over browned. Slice the re­main­ing pears and add them to the tray around the turkey, with the re­main­ing cran­ber­ries and star anise. Cook for 10 mins. Re­move from the oven, then cover loosely with tin foil and rest for 30 mins be­fore carv­ing. Save the juices for the gravy. Dec­o­rate with the re­main­ing thyme and sea salt.

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