Christmas Main Dishes

Last week, we had the lovely Steph Joyce from The Rolling Pin share her recipe for some delicious Christmas side dishes. This week she’s back with Part Two: Christmas Mains. I’m drooling just reading through her recipes so please take a look and find some Christmas cooking inspiration.

Part two: Christmas Mains

1. Roast Turkey with pork and cranberry stuffing (serves 8-10)

roast turkey

  • Ingredients:
  • 1x 3.5-4kg turkey, giblets removed
  • 50 ml olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 kg pork sausages, skin removed
  • 100 g cranberries
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 red onions, quartered
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 1 lemon, cut in quarters
  • 2 a few sprigs of thyme

Cooking Instructions

1. Pre-heat the oven to 160°C.

2. Drizzle the olive oil over the turkey and rub all over to coat the turkey evenly (if you have a basting brush, it will be easier). Season to taste with the salt and pepper and place in a large roasting tray with a lid.

3. For the stuffing: sauté the onion and garlic in a splash of oil until soft and translucent. Remove from the pan and allow to cool slightly.

4. When the onion mixture is cool, add the pork sausage meat and cranberries and season to taste (fry a little of the mixture in a hot frying pan to test the seasoning).

5. Stuff the pork stuffing into the turkey loosely (if you stuff it too tightly the turkey will take very long to cook). Any remaining stuffing can be baked in a loaf tin alongside the turkey until cooked.

6. Place the quartered onions, garlic, lemon and thyme around the turkey in the roasting tray and cover with a lid/foil.

7. Place the turkey in the oven and allow to roast for approximately 45 minutes per kilogram (including the kg of pork filling) plus another 30 minutes uncovered until the turkey is golden brown.

8. When the turkey (and stuffing) is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest, covered, for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours before carving and serving.

2. Gravy

You have successfully roasted your turkey, and now it is time for you to make some gravy. You do not need a recipe because this step-by-step guide will show you how to make delicious gravy! The deeply browned and greasy scrapings from the bottom of the roasting pan might not look like much when you first take the turkey out of the oven. But those drippings are Thanksgiving manna. Let us make some gravy.

Easy Turkey Gravy

gravy 2

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup turkey fat (substitute: vegetable oil or butter)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup pan drippings
  • 1-2 cups broth or water
  • Salt and pepper
  • Optional Extras: splash of sherry, splash of wine, teaspoon of minced herbs like rosemary, thyme, or sage

Instructions

1. Gravy Prep – After you’ve removed the turkey from the oven and set it aside to rest, set the pan over medium-high heat on the stovetop. When the pan drippings are hot and sputtering, pour in a cup of broth and begin scraping all the bits from the bottom of the pan.

2. Separate the Fat and Drippings – Pour the pan drippings into a measuring cup and place this in the refrigerator or freezer. In the 30 minutes it takes to rest the turkey, the fat and drippings will separate and the fat will begin to harden. This makes it easier to skim off just the fat for making the gravy.

You should ideally end up with about a cup of pan drippings and 1/4 cup of fat. If you have less, you can make up the difference with broth or oil, respectively. If you have more, discard a little of the fat and use less broth in the next step. If you have a lot more, you can also double the recipe.

3. Make a Roux – Skim the fat from the top of the pan drippings (or use a fat separator) and warm it in a saucepan over medium-high heat. When the fat is hot, whisk in the flour to form a thin paste. Let this cook for a few minutes until bubbly.

4. Add the Pan Drippings – Next up, pour in the pan drippings and whisk to combine with the roux. This will form a thick, gloppy paste.

5. Add the Broth – Finish the gravy by whisking in a half cup of broth. You can add more broth for a thinner gravy or let the gravy cook a few minutes for a thicker gravy. Taste the gravy and add salt, pepper, and any extras to taste.

Gravy

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