Turkey cushion with fruity sausagemeat stuffing

Turkey cushion with fruity sausagemeat stuffing
  • Serves icon Serves 8 (with leftovers)
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min, oven time 1 hour 55 to 2 hours 10 min, plus resting

With a few simple techniques, this turkey cushion recipe show you how you can be a bit thrifty with the Christmas main. This turkey crown that usually serves 4-5 people has a wonderful stuffing added and feeds at least 8. It’s also easy to carve.

Nutrition: per serving

Calories
703kcals
Fat
32.4g (10.4g saturated)
Protein
67.6g
Carbohydrates
26.8g (6.9g sugars)
Fibre
2.1g
Salt
2.9g
Calories
703kcals
Fat
32.4g (10.4g saturated)
Protein
67.6g
Carbohydrates
26.8g (6.9g sugars)
Fibre
2.1g
Salt
2.9g

See Wine Match

Ingredients

  • 2.5-3kg British free-range turkey crown, boned
  • 250g pack streaky bacon, rashers stretched with the back of a knife
  • Pack fresh bay leaves
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • 200ml medium or dry sherry, plus a splash
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml potato or vegetable cooking water from the veg (or light chicken stock)

For the stuffing 

  • 2 x 400g packs sausagemeat
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 10 ready-to-eat prunes, chopped
  • 10 ready-to-eat apricots, chopped
  • Whole nutmeg for grating
  • Splash sherry
  • ½ tbsp chopped thyme leaves
  • ½ tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • Large handful fresh breadcrumbs

You’ll also need… 

  • Kitchen twine
  • Digital probe thermometer

Method

  1. Mix the stuffing ingredients in a bowl. Season and set aside.
  2. Lay the crown out flat on a clean chopping board, skin-side down. Working from the centre, slice into any much thicker parts of the meat, then open them out to make one flattish piece of meat. Put the stuffing in the centre and pull the meat over the filling so it’s round in shape. Tie the cushion by looping kitchen twine around the whole cushion and tying in the centre of the non-skin side with the knots underneath. Tie loops at 3-4cm intervals all the way round. Push and massage the meat into a round ‘cushion’ shape as you work (see Make Ahead).
  3. Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Turn the stuffed cushion over so the knots are underneath and put in a roomy roasting tin. Drape the rashers of stretched bacon over the top of the cushion, then tuck the bay leaves in around the string and drizzle with a little oil. Roast for 25 minutes, then pour the sherry and 500ml water into the tin. Cover with plenty of foil and roast for a further 1 hour 30-45 minutes or until a digital probe thermometer pushed into the centre reads 72°C. Once cooked, set the turkey cushion aside on a carving plate or board, covered with foil, for 30-60 minutes to rest.
  4. To make the gravy, put the roasting tin over the heat and skim off any excess fat with a large spoon. Stir in the plain flour, then gradually whisk in the 600ml potato/veg cooking water or stock. Stir with a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the tin to incorporate any browned bits. Pour the gravy into a saucepan and simmer over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes until thickened to your liking. Keep warm. Add a splash more sherry, taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve with the turkey.

delicious. tips

  1. If buying a turkey crown from a butcher, ask them to bone it for you or click here to learn how to do it yourself, at home. Keep the bones and ask your butcher for any spare chicken wing tips to roast with the cushion to add more flavour to the gravy.

  2. Make the stuffing 1-2 days ahead and store in a bowl, covered with cling film in the fridge. Stuff the turkey cushion (end of step 2) up to 2 days ahead and store, well covered, in the fridge.

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September 2019