Turkey with Pork and Chestnut Stuffed Cabbage and Gravy

  • For the brine
  • 6.5kg free range turkey
  • 5l water
  • 2 tsp table salt
  • 2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp whole cloves
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds
  • Star anise
  • 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
  • 250ml white wine
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • For the turkey
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and quartered
  • 2 sticks celery halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • Drizzle of olive oil
  • Handful of bay leaves
  • Small bunch of thyme
  • Pepper for seasoning
  • Bacon rashers (optional) for the turkey breast
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved
  • For the stuffing
  • 1 savoy cabbage
  • 6 sausages, removed from their skins
  • 200g chestnuts, chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tbsp goose fat
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the gravy
  • 1 pint chicken or turkey stock
  • 1 large glass port
  • 1 tbsp flour

1. To make the brine, add the water to a large pot followed by all of the turkey brine ingredients. Stir to dissolve.

2. Remove any string attached to the turkey, remove the legs from the turkey and put them back in the fridge covered.

3. Add the turkey breast & crown to the liquid, adding more liquid if needed. Bring up to the boil and then let it cool to room temperature.

4. Put the meat in the fridge or, if the pot doesn't fit, place somewhere cold such as outside. Leave for 24/48 hours.

For the turkey:

1. Sit your brined turkey on a roasting tray over the onion, garlic, carrot and celery. If desired, layer or lattice rashers of bacon over the breast to protect in the oven.

2. Take the legs out of the fridge, place in a roasting tray, baste with goose fat, dress with thyme, and a halved bulb of garlic.

3. Roast the turkey at 220°C for 15 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and roast for a further 2 ½ - 3 hours until cooked, basting every 30 minutes, and covering it with foil once it’s golden brown, to prevent over-colouring.

4. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 1-1 ½ hours in a warm place.

For the stuffing:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 130°C.

2. Cook the cabbage in salted water, drain and run under cold water.

3. Mix up all of the stuffing ingredients together and season.

4. Line an oven-proof terrine dish with 2 layers of cling film, leaving enough to completely cover the cabbage.

5. Cover the base and sides of the oven proof dish with the cabbage leaves. Arrange the sausage meat over the cabbage, around half way up and press down.

6. Finely chop some of the cabbage and layer in the middle of the meat.

7. Layer on the remaining sausage meat and finish with a final layer of the cabbage.

8. Cover tightly with the cling film and put into the oven for 40-50 minutes.

9. Remove from the oven, the cabbage should be tender, and allow it to cool.

10. Carefully turn out the parcel and remove the cling film. Slice into wedges and serve.

For the gravy:

1. From the turkey roasting tin, strain the juices and reserve for later, leave the onion, carrot celery garlic and a little fat and juice in the pan and heat over a medium heat.

2. Add a tablespoon of flour and mix with the fat in the pan. When the flour and juices have combined add the large glass of port and mix well.

3. Add the reserved juices from the turkey, stir then add a pint of chicken or turkey stock. Reduce by about half.

Copyright, 2014, Matt Tebbutt, all rights reserved

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