• Prepare the stuffing: In a large bowl mix together the onion, beef sausage meat, herbs, breadcrumbs and a pinch of salt and pepper.
• Slip your fingers under the skin at the neck end and loosen to create a cavity over the breast. Stuff the neck end with the onion and sage stuffing up to the breast. Tuck the loose skin underneath and secure with a fine metal skewer.
• Smear the soft butter evenly over the breast and legs of the turkey. Lay thin slices of beef bacon neatly across the breast and top surface of the legs. Sprinkle the whole turkey liberally with salt and pepper.
• Lay two large sheets of aluminum foil over a roasting tin large enough to hold the bird. Place the bird back down and fold the foil loosely over the bird leaving a roomy gap between the bird and the foil to allow steam to escape.
• Roast in the preheated oven for 40 minutes then lower the temperature to 325°F/160°C/Gas 3 and cook for three and a half hours basting from time to time.
• Remove the turkey from the oven; raise the temperature to 220°C/425°F/Gas 7. Fold back the foil on the turkey, remove the bacon and pour any juices into a jug or bowl. Return the turkey to the oven and cook for a further 30 minutes to crisp the skin.
• Remove from the oven and check the temperature with a meat thermometer placed into the thickest part of the thigh, the turkey is cooked if the temperature is 175°F/80°C. If you don’t have a thermometer the turkey is cooked if the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a small sharp knife. If the juices are pink return to the oven and cook until they run clear.
• When cooked, leave the turkey to rest for 30 minutes wrapped loosely with fresh foil before carving. Meanwhile make the gravy.
• Pour all the juices from the roasting tin into the bowl or jug with the juices saved from the foil. Spoon off all the fat which will float to the surface and discard. Place the roasting tin on a high heat on the stove top, add the flour and stir to scrape up all the sediment from the tin. Cook for one minute. Pour in the fortified grape and stir well then add the stock. Bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes. Add the turkey juices, bring back to the boil and cook for a further three minutes. Add the redcurrant jelly stir until dissolved then strain into a gravy boat or serving jug.
Chef Adrian Upward, the recently appointed executive chef at the Regency InterContinental, shares his granny’s Christmas pudding recipe
Ingredients: 2250g raisins 2250g sultanas 1285g currants 1285 mixed glace fruit 60g lemon zest 60g orange zest 270 ml lemon juice 60 ml French liquor 375g dark ale 250 ml sweet fortified grape 2250g butter 1285g brown sugar
Preparation: • Mix all of the above ingredients together as a batter
• Use round pudding bowls with good lids (800 – 1000ml)
• Dampen pudding cloth rub with flour place inside mold and fill tie with butchers’ twine and place lid on then cover with tin foil
• Cook on top of stove in steam bath place puddings on wire racks and cover well with foil
• Cook for seven to eight hours topping up with water when needed
• Optional: I Hang puddings for three weeks then refrigerate.