Sage Roast Turkey with Pork Stuffing and Apple Cider Gravy
70g unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 bacon rashers, finely chopped
1-2 good-quality pork sausages (100g total), skin removed
1 cup (70g) breadcrumbs (made from day-old bread)
1 green apple, peeled, coarsely grated
1/2 cup (60g) coarsely chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons finely shredded sage leaves, plus 8 extra whole leaves
1 egg, lightly whisked
6kg whole free-range turkey
1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken stock
1 cup (250ml) dry alcoholic cider
Preheat the oven to 325° F
Melt 20g butter in a frypan over medium heat until foaming. Add the onion and bacon and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until onion softens. Allow to cool.
Transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl. Add sausage meat, breadcrumbs, apple, walnuts, shredded sage and egg, then mix well with your hands until combined. Season with salt and pepper.
Rinse turkey well, then pat dry with paper towel. Fill cavity with stuffing mixture. Tie the legs together with kitchen string and tuck the wings under. Place turkey, breast-side up, in a roasting pan. Run your fingers under the skin of the breast to create a large pocket, taking care not to tear the skin. Arrange the whole sage leaves in a single layer inside the pocket. Melt remaining 50g butter, then brush all over the turkey. Season.
Roast the turkey for 3 hours, basting occasionally with pan juices and covering with foil if browning too quickly, or until golden and the juices run clear when the thickest part of the thigh is pierced with a skewer. Transfer to a serving platter and loosely cover with foil. Rest for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, strain the pan juices into a heatproof jug. Stand for 2 minutes, then remove 2 tablespoons fat and place in the roasting pan over medium heat. Add flour and cook, stirring to scrape any brown pieces from the base of the pan, for 1 minute or until bubbling. Gradually add the pan juices, stock and cider and cook, stirring constantly, for 5-6 minutes or until the gravy bubbles and thickens. Season, then strain through a sieve into a heatproof jug. Serve immediately with roast turkey.