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Cider-brined smoked turkey with cranberry barbecue sauce


You'll need a kettle-style barbecue for this outdoors take on the classic turkey-and-cranberry combo. Begin this recipe two days ahead to brine the turkey.

You'll need

300 gm salt 300 gm brown sugar 2 rosemary sprigs 4 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tsp black peppercorns, crushed 2 dried bay leaves 750 ml apple cider 60 ml (¼ cup) apple cider vinegar 1 turkey (about 4kg) 40 gm butter, softened 200 gm wood chunks such as cherry or apple (see note)   Cranberry barbecue sauce 2 tbsp olive oil 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 Spanish onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp tomato paste 130 gm brown sugar 2 tbsp Dijon mustard Pinch each of ground chilli and allspice 125 ml (½ cup) apple cider vinegar 200 gm frozen cranberries 70 ml Worcestershire sauce 20 gm butter, coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • Stir salt, sugar, rosemary, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves and 4 litres of water in a large saucepan over medium heat to dissolve sugar and salt (2-3 minutes). Set aside to cool to room temperature, then add cider and cider vinegar and stir to combine. Rinse turkey under cold running water, pat dry with absorbent paper and place in a non-reactive container large enough to submerge turkey in brine. Add brine, weigh down turkey with a plate and refrigerate for 2 days. Rinse off brine under cold water and pat dry with absorbent paper. Gently work your fingers under turkey skin to separate it from flesh, being careful not to tear it, and gently push butter under skin. Smooth over the top to spread evenly. Season to taste with salt and cracked black pepper.
  • 02
  • For cranberry barbecue sauce, heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic and onion and sauté until tender (6-8 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir until colour darkens slightly (1-2 minutes). Add remaining ingredients and simmer until thick and dark in colour (20-25 minutes). Remove from heat, set aside to cool slightly, then process with butter using a hand-held blender or food processor until smooth. Season to taste.
  • 03
  • Prepare a large kettle barbecue for indirect grilling. Push coals to one side and place a drip tray under the grill to catch the juices. Place turkey on the grill over the tray and scatter a few soaked medium-sized wood chunks (see note) over coals, cover with barbecue lid and cook, basting occasionally, until cooked through (3½-4 hours). You may need to add more coals and wood during cooking. Aim to keep the grill at around 120C. Set aside to rest, then carve and serve with cranberry barbecue sauce.

Note Chunks of wood for smoking are available from barbecue shops. Pick out the medium-sized pieces and soak them in cold water for at least an hour before use.


At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 - 8 people

Drink Suggestion

Bottle-fermented Australian cider.

Featured in

Dec 2013

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