An all-in-one Christmas fattie: beautiful bacon lattice, turkey breast and a sage & onion stuffing all surrounding a sausage & cranberry centre! If you’ve never found that Christmas turkey is as good as it should be – give this dish a go.
What is the best bit of your Christmas dinner? Turkey? Unlikely, but definitely an important part. Stuffing? Possibly, and it complements everything else beautifully. Pigs-in-blankets? Almost certainly, the one thing everyone looks forward to! Especially when served with a creamy bread sauce and the tart finish of cranberry.
The main problem with all that is it’s very hard to get everything right, you usually end up with a dry, tough turkey, overcooked stuffing, and in your panic to get the roast potatoes and sprouts right, you burn the pigs-in-blankets.
How about give this dish a go: not only does it solve the problem of juggling ten different things at once, it will ensure a tender, moist turkey, and every slice sings with all the flavours of the perfect Christmas meal.
First, rather than worrying about how well cooked your turkey legs are, and overcooking the breast in the meantime, grab yourself a boneless crown of turkey. Next throw together one of the best sights in cooking, the bacon lattice – not only does it look good but when wrapped around the turkey it will baste it as it cooks keeping it juicy and tender. And now comes the best part; inside your crown of turkey, you will find a lovely christmassy surprise, a layer of traditional sage and onion stuffing, wrapped around lovely sausage meat, threaded with cranberries. Every bite is Christmas!
This dish would work perfectly cooked in your oven or an aga but I love the versatility and flavour that outdoor cooking brings – and it frees up all that oven space for your roast potatoes and all the other trappings! Hard to beat the lighting of a winter bbq too!
36 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
2kg turkey breast
for the sausage stuffing:
10 chipolatas (or around 400g sausage meat) I used Lincolnshire, with the meat squeezed out from the casings
handful of fresh cranberries, chopped in half
4 tsp cranberry sauce
for the sage and onion stuffing:
200g white breadcrumbs
100g sausage meat
2 onions, finely chopped
2 tbsp sage
1 tbsp olive oil
To make the sausage and cranberry stuffing:
Throw a handful of halved fresh cranberries into a saucepan with 2 tsp cranberry jelly over a medium heat. Cook down for a few minutes and then remove from the heat and leave to cool.
Mix with the lincolnshire sausage meat in a bowl before spooning onto a sheet of cling film.
Smooth down a thin rectangle of sausage meat and spread 2 tsp of cranberry sauce down the centre.
Using the clingfilm roll the sausage meat into a tight cylinder and place in the freezer for an hour to firm up – you can prepare this the night before but make sure you take it out of the freezer before you begin any of the cooking process to defrost.
To make the sage and onion stuffing:
Toss your chopped onions with a splash of olive oil, 1 tbsp thyme and some seasoning into a saucepan over a medium heat. Cover and sweat for 5 minutes until softened. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Add the breadcrumbs, the rest of the thyme, the sausage meat, 1 egg and 10 ml of water and mix to combine.
Spoon your stuffing between two layers of clingfilm and roll out until you have a rectangle around 2cm thick – ideally the same width as the sausage meat stuffing.
To assemble your Christmas fattie:
Prepare your bacon lattice by interweaving your bacon. For this cook, I had to interlink two different lattices. Have a look at this if you want to see step by step guide to a bacon lattice.
Butterfly your turkey breast. In a future cook, after butterflying, I would place the meat between two layers of clingfilm, tenderise and then roll until even.
Lay your turkey on top of your bacon lattice.
Next lay on your sage and onion stuffing.
Before finally setting your sausage cylinder down the centre.
In a perfect world the bacon lattice will have a couple of cm clear top and bottom from the turkey. The same also with the turkey to the stuffing. That way you should ensure a tighter, easier roll.
Now, take one end of your bacon and slowly roll the whole thing up into a cylinder. Fix with cocktail sticks or skewers to keep together while it cooks.
To cook your fattie:
Light up your bbq and bring it up to 180C, ready for a banked indirect cook.
Once it’s up to temperature, lay your fattie down on the grill – on the opposite side to the coals.
Cook for 45 minutes…
…before turning the fattie over.
Continue to smoke until your internal temperature is 70C.
Take it off the grill and rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.
We served ours with goose fat roast potatoes, carrots, a red wine & cranberry sauce and bread sauce.