Brined and barbecue-roasted turkey with beetroot purée and tahini gravy
- November 2019
- Serves 8
- Hands-on time 45 min, barbecue time 2½ hours, plus overnight brining and resting
The Christmas turkey to rival all turkeys, try chef Josh Katz’s brined and barbecued-roasted turkey for a roast dinner with a real difference.
If you like this recipe, you’ll love our buttered turkey with porcini and sourdough stuffing…
- 47.4g (21g saturated)
- 14.9g (9.4g sugars)
- 4.5-5kg British higher-welfare turkey, at room temperature
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 2 oranges, plus wedges to garnish
- Large bunch fresh lemon thyme
- 1 garlic head, halved horizontally
- 4 bay leaves, plus extra to garnish
For the brine
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 4 tbsp coriander seeds
- 4 cinnamon sticks
- 240g light brown sugar
- 320g table salt
- 6 bay leaves
- 4 garlic cloves, bruised
For the beetroot purée
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- ½ tbsp cumin seeds
- ½ tbsp coriander seeds
- 1kg cooked beetroot
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled
- 2 red chillies, roughly chopped
- Bunch fresh coriander, chopped
- ½ bunch fresh dill, chopped
- 4 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 120ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 100ml thick greek yogurt
For the tehina sauce
- 40g tahini (I like Belazu)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- ½ garlic clove, grated
- 40ml iced water
For the tahini gravy
- 60g unsalted butter
- 60g plain flour
- 800ml chicken stock
- 80g tehina sauce (see above)
You’ll also need…
- Digital probe thermometer; lidded charcoal/gas barbecue; food processor/blender
- For the brine, toast both seeds and the cinnamon in a dry frying pan until fragrant. Transfer to a large pan with the sugar, salt, bay, garlic and 6 litres water, then bring to the boil over a medium-high heat until the sugar/salt dissolve. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
- Put the turkey in a large non-metallic container, pour in the cooled brine, topping up with more water, if needed, to fully submerge. Cover and leave overnight in a cool place.
- Arrange and light the coals (or light the gas) on one side of the barbecue – the temperature should be about 180°C (see tip).
- Remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry with kitchen paper. Rub with 125g butter, season all over, squeeze the oranges over, then stuff them in the cavity with half the lemon thyme, the garlic and bay. When the coals are ready, put the turkey on the grill, breast-side up, away from the heat. Add wood for smokiness, then cook with the lid on and the vents part-open for 2-2½ hours (after about 1½ hours you’ll need to top up the coals – see tips). Melt the remaining 125g butter and use it to baste the turkey now and then, turning it around at the same time.
- Once the turkey reaches 65°C on a probe thermometer at its thickest points (or the juices run clear when you push in a skewer), set aside to rest for at least 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, make the purée. Toast the spices in a dry pan. Blend/grind to a powder in a spice grinder/pestle and mortar. Whizz the beetroot to a thick paste in a food processor/blender with the garlic, chillies and coriander. Add the dill, ground spices, vinegar and oil, then whizz to a smooth purée. Pulse in the yogurt, then taste and add salt, pepper or extra vinegar, if needed.
- For the tehina, put the tahini in a bowl and mix in the lemon and garlic. Gradually mix in the water to make a paste the consistency of honey. Add salt to taste.
- For the gravy, melt the butter over a medium heat in a pan until foaming. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2-3 minutes until it smells toasty, then gradually whisk in the stock. Simmer briefly to thicken, then remove from the heat and mix in the tehina. Taste and season, then keep warm.
- Grill the orange wedges, then use to garnish the turkey, along with the remaining herbs. Serve with the gravy and purée (see Make Ahead).
This recipe is by chef Josh Katz
The heat is easier to control if you use a gas barbecue.
The heat is easier to control if you use a gas barbecue. A chimney starter heats the coals quickly for an instant top-up.
Discover how to brine a turkey with our how-to video…
The beetroot purée will keep chilled in a sealed container for up to 3 days. Bring to room temperature to serve.
A peachy southern French Viognier.
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