Roast Bronze turkey with all the trimmings - UK Independent

Cook: 4 hours 30 minutes, plus resting time

Serves 6


6 kg Bronze turkey

1 onion, peeled and halved

1 leek, halved

1 carrot, halved

3 bay leaves

½ bulb of garlic

1 litre water

2 celery sticks, halved

250 g pancetta slices

10 g thyme

170 g soft butter

salt and pepper

1 kg Maris Piper potatoes

Vegetable oil


Buttered carrots

1 kg carrots, peeled and cut into even batons

250 g butter

10 g thyme

2 bay leaves

Apricot stuffing

1 kg pork mince

150 g dried apricots

150 g white breadcrumbs

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tbsp herbes de Provence

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

3 tbsp brandy

Salt and pepper

Bread sauce

1 bay leaf

½ onion, studded with one clove

1 tbsp double cream

250 ml milk

nutmeg, freshly grated to tast

100 g white bread, crusts removed

Salt and pepper

Cranberry sauce

1 kg cranberries

400 ml orange juice

Zest of 2 oranges

Pinch of ground ginger

Pinch of mixed spice

Pinch of cinnamon

400 g brown sugar

Pigs in blankets

12 chipolatas

12 slices streaky bacon


1 carrot, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 celery stick, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

10 g thyme

500 ml red wine

1 litre chicken stock

500 ml veal stock

50 g butter

Brussels sprouts

1 kg Brussels sprouts

250 g butter

Salt and pepper


If you prefer, you can make the cranberry sauce, bread sauce and stuffing in advance – these can also be frozen a couple of weeks ahead to save time on the day.

For the cranberry sauce, place the orange juice and zest in a pan with the spices and simmer gently to reduce by half. 

Add the sugar and cranberries, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes so the fruit breaks down and stews. 

It may need another 5-10 minutes on this heat if it looks too thin​.

For the bread sauce, place the milk and the clove-studded onion into a pan with the bay leaf. 

Bring gently up to a simmer, then pass through a sieve onto the bread. 

Stir until the bread softens, then add the cream, nutmeg and seasoning. Leave to cool, then chill in the fridge. 

Alternatively, freeze in a lidded container, then place in the fridge to defrost the night before serving.

To prepare the stuffing, add the apricots, brandy and a splash of water to the pan, then bring to the boil. 

Remove from the heat, leave to soak until softened, then drain off the liquid. 

Dice the apricots and place in a bowl​. 

Add all of the remaining stuffing ingredients to the bowl with the apricots, correct the seasoning and chill in the fridge. 

Alternatively, freeze as you did with the sauces and defrost thoroughly in the fridge the day before using​.

To cook the turkey, preheat the oven to 210C/gas mark 7. About 20 minutes before cooking, bring the stuffing out of the fridge to come up to room temperature.

Season the turkey well inside and out. Fill the cavity with the prepared stuffing and place the stuffed turkey into a roasting tray. 

Spread the softened butter over the entire bird and cover with pancetta​. 

Arrange the onions, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic, thyme and bay around the turkey. 

Pour 1 litre of water into the roasting tray.

Wrap the entire tray with foil, making sure the foil is tightly covering the turkey and roasting tray – this will allow the turkey to gently steam in the oven. 

Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 170 C and continue cooking for a further 2 hours.

For the last 30 minutes of cooking time, remove the foil from the turkey and peel off the bacon. 

Increase the temperature to 200 C and roast until the skin of the turkey is golden brown and crisp.

To prepare the potatoes, peel and cut into quarters. 

Place them into a bowl under running water for 5 minutes to remove excess starch. 

Cover the potatoes with fresh water in a large saucepan and bring to the boil​.

Cook until the potatoes are almost breaking apart, then drain carefully and leave to steam and cool. 

Pour oil into a roasting tray and place in the oven to heat up.

Once the turkey has roasted, remove from the oven (reduce the oven temperature to 180C) and allow to rest for 45 minutes – this will ensure the bird retains its juices and stays moist. 

Add the potatoes to the roasting tray in a single layer and place in the oven until golden brown and crisp, turning every 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a pan large enough to hold the carrots in a single layer, melt the butter. 

Add carrots, thyme and bay and place a lid on the pan, then cook over a low heat until tender, making sure it stays at a gentle simmer and adding a splash of water if the butter gets a little hot. 

Do not allow the carrots to fry​.

To prepare the pigs in blankets, wrap each sausage in a rasher of bacon, place on a baking tray and cook in the oven until golden brown.

To prepare the gravy, pour all of the excess fat from the turkey roasting tray into a pan, then add the carrots, celery, onion and thyme and cook until caramelised. 

Add the red wine and reduce, then add the aromatics, chicken and veal stock and reduce by two-thirds​. 

Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan and return to the stove. 

Bring to the boil, correct the seasoning and whisk 50 g butter into the gravy​.

Peel the outer leaves from the sprouts and criss-cross the bottom of each one. 

Blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain. 

Heat a generous knob of butter in a large pan and add the sprouts, stirring to caramelise lightly and coat in the butter. 

Season well and set aside until ready to serve.

To serve, carve the turkey and serve with the stuffing, roast potatoes, buttered carrots, buttered sprouts, cranberry sauce, bread sauce and gravy.