For the turkey:

  • 1 x 6kg free-range turkey at room temperature, giblets removed
  • 50 g soft butter
  • 9 rashers of streaky bacon

For the cranberry stuffing:

  • 75 g soft butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 5 rashers of streaky bacon, finely chopped
  • 500 g sausagemeat
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 100 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried sage
  • 100 g curly leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 good pinch ground cloves
  • 1 medium egg yolk
  • 125 g cranberries
  • 2 tsp oil, for greasing

For the pigs in blankets:

  • 24 rashers of streaky bacon
  • 24 chipolatas

For the gravy:

  • 40 g butter
  • the turkey giblets, rinsed
  • 2 stick celery roughly chopped
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1.5 litres hot chicken stock
  • 150 ml dry white wine
  • 1 tbsp plain flour


  1. 1

    For the cranberry stuffing, first melt 25g of the butter in a small pan and soften the onion in it over a low heat, this will take 8-10 minutes. Tip the onion into a large bowl and add the bacon, sausagemeat, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, sage, parsley, cloves and egg yolk; mix well. Season well; mix in the remaining butter. Add the cranberries and mix gently again.

  2. 2

    Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Remove the wishbone from the turkey, then take a third of the stuffing and push it under the skin. Bring the excess skin over the stuffing to hold it in place; secure it with a skewer. Smother the 50g of soft butter over the turkey; season the skin well. Lay the bacon over the turkey breast. Roll the rest of the sausagemeat into stuffing balls, you will have about 20; chill.

  3. 3

    Transfer the turkey to a trivet set in a large, deep roasting tin; pour in 450ml boiling water. Roast the turkey, uncovered, for 1 hour, then cover the tin with kitchen foil and return it to the oven for a further 2½ hours, basting the turkey every 30 minutes.

  4. 4

    Meanwhile, start the gravy. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the giblets and vegetables, and fry for 8 minutes, until golden. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and the chicken stock, and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the gravy base into a jug – you should have about 1 litre. Cool slightly, then discard the fat from the surface.

  5. 5

    To make the pigs in blankets, first roll out the bacon in batches between two pieces of baking paper, using a rolling pin, to stretch it. Wrap each rasher around a chipolata.

  6. 6

    To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the leg with a knife – if the juices run clear, the turkey is ready. If not, pop it back in the oven for a further 15 minutes. When ready, transfer it to a platter; cover loosely with kitchen foil and rest for 45 minutes-1 hour. Set aside the tin and juices for the gravy later.

  7. 7

    Increase the oven temperature to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Bake the stuffing balls and pigs in blankets on a large oiled baking tray for 45-50 minutes. This is the time to roast your potatoes.

  8. 8

    Put the turkey tin over a medium heat, add the wine and bubble to reduce. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking until smooth. Add the gravy base, bit by bit, and simmer for 10 minutes; then strain, season and warm through.

Nutritional Details

Each serving provides
  • Energy 4832kj 1154kcal 58%
  • Fat 68.2g 97%
  • Saturates 27.0g 135%
  • Sugars 5.3g 6%
  • Salt 4.3g 72%

% of the Reference Intakes

Typical values per 100g: Energy 754kj/180kcal

Each serving provides

17.8g carbohydrate 5.4g fibre 112.7g protein

Back to top