Roast turkey with pears and cranberries
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.