"This dish is for the true food-lover who's prepared to spend a bit of time in preparation and enjoys a challenge: the wow-factor is definitely there at the end, and all the work can be done in advance. You can serve the turkey hot with vegetables, or warm with a green salad, baby potatoes and asparagus. This sour cherry relish is a proven winner; I serve it with all cold meats, especially Christmas ham and turkey - think of it as an Australian alternative to cranberry sauce. If you warm it you can use it as a sauce, but spooned from the jar it has a softly set texture." Stephanie Alexander
- 1 free-range turkey (about 4kg)
- 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
- ¼ cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve
- 1 tbsp (firmly packed) tarragon, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve
- To serve: steamed asparagus and potatoes (optional)
Sour cherry relish
- 250 ml dry red wine
- 250 ml muscat or fortified wine
- 250 gm dried sour cherries
- ½ Spanish onion, finely chopped
- 350 ml cider vinegar
- 200 gm white sugar
- 1 Granny Smith apple, coarsely grated
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- Finely grated rind of 1 orange
- 150 gm redcurrant jelly
- 1For sour cherry relish, bring wine and muscat to the boil in a saucepan over medium heat, add cherries, remove from heat and set aside to soak (20 minutes). Place onion in a bowl, pour over enough boiling water to cover, set aside for 5 minutes, drain (discard liquid), set aside. Bring vinegar, sugar, apple, spices, orange rind and onion to the simmer over medium heat, stir until sugar dissolves, then simmer for flavours to infuse (5 minutes). Add cherries and soaking liquid, simmer until slightly thickened (20 minutes), stir in redcurrant jelly until dissolved, simmer until softly set (10-15 minutes). Transfer to sterile jars, cool, refrigerate until required. Sour cherry relish will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks in a sterile container.
- 2Make an incision through skin down backbone of turkey, carefully separate skin, sliding fingers between skin and flesh and working around each side. Cut skin at wingtips and drumsticks to remove skin in a single piece. Remove breasts from carcass with a small sharp knife, running down breastbone, and trim sinew. Remove drumsticks and reserve for another use.
- 3Melt butter and garlic in a small saucepan over medium heat (30 seconds-1 minute), add lemon rind and cool slightly.
- 4Cut a 20cm x 30cm piece of muslin, dampen slightly with water then dip in butter mixture. Brush turkey skin with a little butter mixture and lay flat on muslin. Place a turkey breast in centre, season to taste, brush with more butter mixture and scatter with herbs. Brush remaining breast with butter mixture, season to taste and place top-to-tail on top of other turkey breast. Brush with more butter mixture. Bring up side of skin, fold in ends and roll to enclose. Trim excess skin and secure turkey roll at intervals with kitchen string. Wrap turkey in muslin, secure with kitchen string, then weigh to determine cooking time (allow 40 minutes cooking per kilogram).
- 5Preheat oven to 200C. Place turkey roll in a baking dish, add 125ml water and roast, turning once and topping up with water if necessary, until turkey is cooked through (1 hour-1 hour 20 minutes; juices should run clear when turkey is pierced with a skewer). Carefully unwrap, then rest in a warm place (20 minutes), carve, scatter with extra chopped herbs and serve hot with sour cherry relish, steamed asparagus and potatoes.
Drink Suggestion: Dry, pale pinot noir rosé. Drink suggestion by Max Allen