Photograph: Maja Smend
For the turkey:
- 1 x 6kg free-range turkey at room temperature, giblets removed
- 50 g soft butter
- 9 rashers of streaky bacon
For the cranberry stuffing:
- 75 g soft butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 5 rashers of streaky bacon, finely chopped
- 500 g sausagemeat
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 100 g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 1 tsp dried sage
- 100 g curly leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1 good pinch ground cloves
- 1 medium egg yolk
- 125 g cranberries
- 2 tsp oil, for greasing
For the pigs in blankets:
- 24 rashers of streaky bacon
- 24 chipolatas
For the gravy:
- 40 g butter
- the turkey giblets, rinsed
- 2 stick celery roughly chopped
- 1 carrot roughly chopped
- 1 onion roughly chopped
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 tsp peppercorns
- 1.5 litres hot chicken stock
- 150 ml dry white wine
- 1 tbsp plain flour
For the cranberry stuffing, first melt 25g of the butter in a small pan and soften the onion in it over a low heat, this will take 8-10 minutes. Tip the onion into a large bowl and add the bacon, sausagemeat, lemon zest, breadcrumbs, sage, parsley, cloves and egg yolk; mix well. Season well; mix in the remaining butter. Add the cranberries and mix gently again.
Preheat the oven to 180°C, fan 160°C, gas 4. Remove the wishbone from the turkey, then take a third of the stuffing and push it under the skin. Bring the excess skin over the stuffing to hold it in place; secure it with a skewer. Smother the 50g of soft butter over the turkey; season the skin well. Lay the bacon over the turkey breast. Roll the rest of the sausagemeat into stuffing balls, you will have about 20; chill.
Transfer the turkey to a trivet set in a large, deep roasting tin; pour in 450ml boiling water. Roast the turkey, uncovered, for 1 hour, then cover the tin with kitchen foil and return it to the oven for a further 2½ hours, basting the turkey every 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, start the gravy. Melt the butter in a large pan over a medium heat. Add the giblets and vegetables, and fry for 8 minutes, until golden. Add the bay leaves, peppercorns and the chicken stock, and simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the gravy base into a jug – you should have about 1 litre. Cool slightly, then discard the fat from the surface.
To make the pigs in blankets, first roll out the bacon in batches between two pieces of baking paper, using a rolling pin, to stretch it. Wrap each rasher around a chipolata.
To check if the turkey is cooked, pierce the thickest part of the leg with a knife – if the juices run clear, the turkey is ready. If not, pop it back in the oven for a further 15 minutes. When ready, transfer it to a platter; cover loosely with kitchen foil and rest for 45 minutes-1 hour. Set aside the tin and juices for the gravy later.
Increase the oven temperature to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6. Bake the stuffing balls and pigs in blankets on a large oiled baking tray for 45-50 minutes. This is the time to roast your potatoes.
Put the turkey tin over a medium heat, add the wine and bubble to reduce. Sprinkle in the flour, whisking until smooth. Add the gravy base, bit by bit, and simmer for 10 minutes; then strain, season and warm through.