Traditional Turkey and Ham

Now, back to Ireland and its center piece for Christmas dinner: turkey and ham. It was brought here by the British during their years in control of Irish people destiny. It consists on a pretty big turkey, roasted and stuffed with bread based stuffing, a poached ham, roast potatoes and some Brussels sprouts the lot served with gravy.
So, this is how I would cook this turkey and ham in the restaurant.

Recipe for 10+ people:
  • 1 turkey (10-16 lb bird), with giblets
  • 1 ham (I prefer bone in)
  • 1kg fresh bread crumb
  • 500g butter
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage
  • 1 bundle of fresh parsley
  • 4 onions
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 stocks of celery
  • 3 cloves
  • 10 black peppercorn
  • sprig thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 glass white wine
  • salt and pepper
Place the ham in some fresh water over night and change the water at least a couple of time.

Trim and get the turkey oven ready.

In a large pot, sweat off one chopped onion, 2 chopped carrots and the chopped celery. Add the ham, the garlic and cover some cold water. Then, add the thyme, bay leaf, peppercorn and cloves. Cook at a gentle simmer for 3-4 hours, skimming from time to time.

Meanwhile, cut the giblets in small dices, finely chop the onion (keep a couple of spoons on the side for the gravy), wash and chop the parsley and sage. Heat up 400g of butter into a cast iron pot, add the giblets and the onions cook them for few minutes. Then, add the herbs and the bread crumb. Stir well and set aside.

Put some of the stuffing into the turkey and roast it. Tips and advice on roasting a turkey here and here.

Towards 2/3 of the turkey cooking place the stuffing into the same tray as the bird.

When the turkey is cooked, take it out of the roasting tray as well as the stuffing and the potatoes if you're cooking them with the turkey. Get rid off the excess fat and put it on the range, add the onion left over, a chopped carrot and sweat them off for 5 minutes. Add the glass of wine, allow to reduce by half, then add a couple of pint of water. Let reducing by half, strain the sauce and put it in sauce boat.

Serve the turkey with ham on a tray with some stuffing, put the rest of the stuffing to the side in a dish. Put the sauce on the table along with roast potatoes and Brussels sprouts and some cranberry sauce (optional).

And let the head of the household do the rest!

Suitable for pregnant women, nut free.