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How To Roast The Perfect Turkey This Christmas

Turkey has always been associated with Christmas here in the UK, yet not everyone claims to like turkey at Christmas, this is possibly down to the fact that they often refer to a cooked turkey as dry.

However if you cook your turkey right it can be tender and very enjoyable, the fact that we only get to cook a Turkey once a year is possibly the reason for it being over cooked and on the dry side.

Below is one of my favourite guides to cooking the perfect Christmas turkey.   

Step one.

When you get your turkey make sure you remove the giblets, which should be in the body cavity, and place the uncovered turkey on a plate in the lowest part of the fridge.

Make sure you know how much the turkey weighs so that you can calculate the cooking time – the timings given here are for a 14 lb (6.5 kg) bird. Late the night before, take it out of the fridge so that it will be at room temperature by the time you plan to cook it.

Next stuff the turkey with your choice of stuffing, the quantity of stuffing will be the same whatever the size of your turkey.

Place about two-thirds in the neck end between the flesh and the skin, then tuck the neck flap under the bird's back and secure it with a small skewer.

Place the rest of the stuffing in the body cavity, there's no need to pack this in tightly.

(Note that it is only dangerous to stuff the body cavity if either the turkey or the stuffing is not defrosted properly, because the heat will not penetrate it quickly enough.)

If both are at room temperature it is perfectly safe, Spread 6 oz. (175 g) of softened butter all over the bird.

Lay about 8 oz. (225 g) of streaky bacon rashers over the breast of the bird, overlapping slightly, then season with freshly milled black pepper and a little salt.

Lay two large sheets of foil across the base of your roasting tin, one widthways and the other lengthways.

Place the turkey on its back in the middle of the foil then loosely wrap it: the parcel must be firmly sealed but with room for air to circulate around the turkey, creating 'an oven within the oven'.

Place in a pre-heated hot oven, gas mark 7, 425°F (220°C), for 40 minutes , this initial blast is so that the heat gets right into the turkey and the stuffing very quickly. Then reduce the oven temperature to gas mark 3, 325°F (170°C) for 3½ hours.

This gives will give you some time to prepare the any veg or other items for your Christmas dinner, once the time has expired remove the turkey from the oven, uncover it and discard any excess foil.

Baste with the juices then increase the oven temperature to gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C). Cook the uncovered turkey for a further 40 minutes – once the bacon on top of the turkey has browned you can push it down into the tin to allow the breast to get a final browning.

After the final 40 minutes, remove the turkey from the oven. Pierce the thickest part of the leg with a skewer then press the skewer against the leg to see if the juices run clear without any trace of pink.

If the juices are clear your turkey is cooked, You can also give the legs a little tweak – if they feel like they've got some 'give' in them, then the turkey is done.

Finally cover the turkey loosely with foil and allow it to rest for about 45 minutes before serving, and most of all enjoy your Christmas turkey and time with your loved ones.

Cooking times for other sizes of turkey:

8-10 lb (3.5-4.5 kg) – 30 minutes at the high temperature, then 2½-3 hours at the lower temperature, then a final 30 minutes (uncovered) at gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

15-20 lb (6.75-9 kg) – 45 minutes at the high temperature, then 4-5 hours at the lower temperature, then a final 30 minutes (uncovered) at gas mark 6, 400°F (200°C).

Please bear in mind that ovens, and turkeys themselves, vary and the only sure way of knowing if a bird is ready is by using the tests described above.

Disclaimer

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A Guide To The Core Temperatures

This is a guide to the core temperatures meat needs to reach for different degrees of cooking, from rare to well done – remember that it will rise by 6 to 8 degrees when left to rest in a warm place. Use it as a guide, and you’ll always get the meat the way you and your family likes it.

Beef or Lamb

Rare

Temperature out of the oven: 48–52°C

Temperature after resting in a warm place: 55–60°C

Medium rare

Temperature out of the oven: 55–59°C

Temperature after resting in a warm place: 61–65°C

Medium

Temperature out of the oven: 60–66°C

Temperature after resting in a warm place: 66–70°C

Well done

Temperature out of the oven: 67–71°C

Temperature after resting in a warm place: 71–75°C

 

Pork

Medium

Temperature out of the oven: 60°C

Temperature after resting in a warm place: 70°C

Well done

Temperature out of the oven: 70°C

Temperature after resting in a warm place: 80°C

 

Chicken

Well done

Temperature out of the oven: 65°C

Temperature after resting in a warm place: 75°C

Disclaimer

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Last Online Order Date for Christmas

 

Our final day for Christmas orders in store is 18/12/2015 and online orders must be received by midnight on 16/12/2015

Anyone wishing to purchase one of our Christmas parcels or Turkey crowns after the 18/12/2015 please phone one of our branches.

These products will not be available after the 31/12/2015

Our last day of delivery for orders online will be the 18/12/2015 and online delivery will resume as normal on the 05/01/2015

We apologise for any inconvenience

 

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Cooking For Kids

Kids love to do a spot of cooking as it engages them and teaches them some of life’s important skills,

and what’s more they are more likely to eat it afterwards also.

Ingredients (serves 2)

2 sausages

1 onion, finely chopped

Garlic (2x cloves), crushed

150g sweetcorn

400g chopped tomatoes

200g pasta

 

Method

Cut the sausages into child size chunks and fry in a little oil

Add the chopped onion and garlic and simmer until soft

Add the chopped tomatoes and simmer for about 10 minutes

Add the sweetcorn in for the last 2 minutes (Make sure you drain them first)

Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions and drain and then mix the pasta into the sausage and tomato sauce and serve.

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