Mini Christmas part II

On Friday, a neighbour called round in the evening with a big box for us. I hadn’t ordered anything so was a bit puzzled until I saw Kelly Bronze Turkeys on the side. Ooh.

As a thank you for visiting the farm, Paul Kelly had gifted all of us bloggers with one of their fabulous turkeys. Here was mine, and it took me rather by surprise! Yes, those are the giblets in a bag. Believe me, they make FABULOUS stock. I simmered them with 2 shallots to make stock for a sauce and the smell pervaded the house.

Surprise turkey

We had planned to have a Christmas with my in-laws weekend of the 15/16th, as I’m going to be away over the actual Christmas holiday, so we would have taken the turkey up to Suffolk, but pa-in-law came down with Norovirus so our visit got cancelled. Now we had the turkey, so what to do?

I had no room in the fridge or freezer, but luckily the weather cooperated and I popped the whole thing outside. It was so well packaged that I didn’t have to worry. The icepacks were still frozen the next morning, and stayed so until well into the afternoon. It was have been a very determined cat or fox to get into that lot of packaging.

Saturday night was going to be Roast Turkey Dinner night!

I read all the instructions, weighed the turkey on scales which then went EEEEEEEEE at me, so after a certain amount of jiggery pokery I guessed that it was around the 5 kilo mark and cooked it accordingly, making use of the meat thermometer that Kelly’s kindly send out with each turkey.

I have never seen such an amount of meat juices in  a turkey roasting tray before. I did not add any butter or oil. I just put some shallots and a lemon in the cavity, and salted the skin. It needed nothing else at all.

Cooked upside down initially, and then turned and finished off breast side up,  it retained all the moistness in the breast, which made it a pleasure to carve. I took the breast off in one whole piece, which made it much easier to carve up and portion out. It’s what I do when carving a roast chicken, but this took a bit more effort, the bird being that much bigger.

I can also happily attest to the fact that if the turkey has reached the temperature of 65ºC at the thickest part of the breast, it is done. It does not need to be cooked anymore, just taken out and left to relax, uncovered. No more danger of chalky, crumbly breast meat and don’t worry, it stays perfectly hot.

Served with olive oil roasted potatoes, green beans for Tex and steamed, buttered sprouts for me.

But what to do with all the leftover meat? Turkey and ham pie.

I had enough meat to make two pies, each one enough to feed four people, and I still have some dark meat left in the fridge to snack upon.

The pie was a great success, so here’s the recipe.

Food Processor Shortcrust Pastry (makes just over 1lb pastry)

300 g (11 oz) plain flour

150 g (5½ oz) butter, straight from the fridge (I use half lard and half butter here)

2.5 ml (½ tsp) salt

about 60 ml (4 tbsp) cold water.

Fit the stainless steel blade.

Put the flour and salt in the bowl and process for a few seconds to mix.

Cut the fat into pieces and add to the bowl.

Process on speed 2 for 5-10 seconds until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Use the food pusher to measure the water.

With the machine running add the water through the tube and process until the dough just forms a ball.

Remove and knead lightly until smooth.

Wrap the pastry in cling film or foil, and chill for at least 30 minutes before using.

Divide the pastry in half and roll out. You need enough to line and top an 8” x 1” pie plate.

Line the pie plate, leaving a bit of overhang to allow for pastry shrinkage. I do not own any baking beans, so I just pricked the base all over with a fork so it didn’t puff up too much.

Bake at 180C for about 15 minutes then take it out of the oven to cool.


Turkey and Ham Filling (this is approximate, as I’m afraid I just threw it together.)

Lingonberry or cranberry sauce

1/2 a whole turkey breast, cut into cubes

4 thick slices of cooked gammon, also cubed

3 carrots, cut into small dice and cooked (I microwaved them for 8 minutes)

1/2 cup of frozen peas

1 leek, very finely chopped

500 ml turkey or ham stock (You can use any stock you have)

2 tbs plain flour

About 1 tbs butter

1 tsp mild mustard (use whatever mustard you like, but don’t use too strong a flavoured one or it will overpower the turkey.)

Pinch salt

1/4 cup milk

Fry the leek in butter until softened. Add the carrots, peas and meats, and mix well to combine.

Heat the stock, and melt the butter in it.

Add the mustard and milk and whisk to combine then whisk in the flour until no lumps remain. The sauce will thicken if you keep it on a low heat.

Pout the sauce over the meat and vegetables and mix well.

Put a couple of tablespoons of cranberry sauce into the bottom of the pastry case and spread the sauce around.

Pile as much of the meat mixture as you can into the pie base, brush the edges with milk or beaten egg and then cover with the second half of the pastry.

Press the lid onto the base and crimp to close. (I am very haphazard, but it sealed anyway. Just didn’t look very pretty!)

Brush the top with more beaten egg, cut a slit in it so that the steam can vent and bake at 180C until golden.

Turkey Pie


Turkey Pie close up

A friend is having goose this Christmas, and I think this pie recipe would work well with leftover goose too. I’d probably make the sauce a bit more zingy, as goose is so rich, perhaps adding in orange zest and a bit of redcurrant jelly.

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