Christmas all-in-one fattie

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.

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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!

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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!

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Recipe:

Ingredients:

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

10ml water

1 egg

salt

pepper

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Method:

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.

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Mix with the lincolnshire sausage meat in a bowl before spooning onto a sheet of cling film.

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Smooth down a thin rectangle of sausage meat and spread 2 tsp of cranberry sauce down the centre.

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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.

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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.

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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.

To assemble:

Lay your turkey on top of your bacon lattice.

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Next lay on your sage and onion stuffing.

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Before finally setting your sausage cylinder down the centre.

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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.

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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…

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…before turning the fattie over.

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Continue to smoke until your internal temperature is 70C.

Take it off the grill and rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

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We served ours with goose fat roast potatoes, carrots, a red wine & cranberry sauce and bread sauce.

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