Roast turkey with Grandma’s stuffing

Roast turkey with Grandma’s stuffing

Ben's Meat Bible
Benito Martin

You are going to need a fairly big pot or bucket and plenty of refrigerator space for this recipe, but it’s worth it.


Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Cider brine
1 x 4.5kg turkey
200g salted butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon extra
2 large onions, thickly sliced
125ml chicken stock
1 tablespoon plain flour


Quantity Ingredient
120g raisins
80ml brandy
50g salted butter
2 brown onions, finely diced
1 bunch sage, chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
6 slices sourdough bread, crusts removed
500ml cream
freshly ground black pepper


  1. One day before cooking, make the cider brine. Place the turkey in a very large stockpot or bucket and pour over the prepared brine, turning to remove any air from the cavity. Refrigerate and brine for 1 hour per 500 g of turkey. If available, use a brining syringe to inject the breast and thighs with the brine occasionally.
  2. Make the stuffing. First, soak the raisins in a bowl with the brandy. Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the onions, sage and garlic until soft. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. In a bowl, soak the bread in the cream for 10 minutes. Use your hands to mash and soften the bread. Add the soaked raisins and onion mixture and season well with salt and pepper.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  5. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with paper towel. Stuff the turkey loosely, both in the rear cavity and the neck cavity. Rub 200 g of the butter all over the turkey. Place the thick onion slices in a large roasting tin and lay the turkey, breast side down, into the tin. Season well with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast for 20 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven until well coloured. Turn the heat down to 165°C. Cook with its bum in the air for 1 hour. Using a large spoon, baste the turkey occasionally by spooning over the fat from the tray.
  7. Remove from the oven and turn the turkey over, then return to the oven. Continue to cook, basting often, for a further 1½ hours, or until the internal temperature of both the turkey and the stuffing reaches 75°C. Remove from the oven, transfer the turkey to a platter and cover loosely with aluminium foil. Allow to rest for 20 minutes while you make the gravy.
  8. Place the roasting tin on the stove top over medium heat. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil. Use a wooden spoon to scrape off any bits of onion or turkey stuck to the bottom of the tin. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon of the butter with the flour and whisk this mixture into the stock, along with any juices from the resting bird. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 10 minutes to cook the flour and thicken. Season with salt and pepper.
  9. Carve the rested turkey and serve with the gravy.
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