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Roast Turkey with Cider Gravy
6kg whole turkey 6 pork and fennel sausages ½ recipe Bacon, Herb and Hazelnut Stuffing (optional) 2 tbsp softened butter 5 cups (1.25 litre bottle) cider, plus extra if needed 1 tbsp cornflour mixed with 2 tbsp of the cider salt and ground black pepper For the brine ½ cup brown sugar 2/3 cup salt 1 tbsp black peppercorns 1 tbsp cloves 1 tbsp allspice 3 bay leaves 1 onion, finely diced 2 cups boiling water 10 cups cold water
© Annabel Langbein Media
For the brine
To make the brine, place sugar, salt, peppercorns, cloves, allspice, bay leaves and boiling water in a large heatproof pot or bowl and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Add cold water. Leave to cool.
Pour the brine into a large, clean plastic bag or bowl and add the turkey. Cover and chill for 6-12 hours. (This can be done by pouring the brine into a clean rubbish bag, adding the turkey, then storing the sealed bag packed in ice in a chilly bin).
When ready to cook, preheat oven to 160˚C. Lift turkey out of brine, discard brine and pat turkey dry.
Remove sausages from casings and mash sausagemeat with a fork. Stuff neck end of turkey with sausagemeat and cavity with stuffing, if using. Tie legs loosely and tuck wings under. Place turkey on a rack in a large roasting dish and pour 2 cups cider into the base. Rub turkey all over with butter.
Cook for about 4 hours, adding a further 2 cups of cider to the base of the pan after 2 hours. Your turkey is cooked when a cooking thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh shows 78˚C, or when the juices run clear when you insert a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh. Check now and then to make sure it does not dry out and add a little extra cider if necessary to prevent burning. If the turkey starts to brown too quickly, cover those parts loosely with foil.
Lift turkey out of roasting dish and place breast-side down on a serving platter. Cover with tinfoil and a clean tea towel and rest for 20 minutes while finishing Cider Gravy.
To make the Cider Gravy, warm the roasting dish containing the turkey juices over a low heat on the stovetop and add the cornflour mix and remaining cider, stirring constantly until mixture starts to thicken. Simmer for 5-10 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste. Gravy reheats well.
To serve, carve the turkey and slice the sausagemeat and stuffing, if using, and arrange on a serving platter accompanied by a jug of Cider Gravy.
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