I know I haven't posted for a while but I didn't realize that father hood would be so time consuming, well I do now lol. Right then, I really do not know where to start with this topic. All I know is that, if your mum asked you in front of your dad, your Nan, your sister's boyfriend, your best mate, his girlfriend or your neighbour's great grand cousin, who cooks your favorite roast dinner, and you don't say your mum's is your favorite, then you will be in a lot of trouble. Even though secretly I love my nan's and mine is a close 2nd ;-), but now I feel that if I don't include everyone's roast in my top two, I will be ruffling a few feathers.
I'm not joking! People can get quite protective over their roast dinner - down to what meat to use, the hundred and one ways to cook that meat and if you are going to stuff the meat. What to stuff the meat with? What would be the best basting lard or oil to cook the meat and roast potatoes in if you're having roasted potatoes? What veg to use or whether to have boiled or roasted vegetables? I mean with all the different types of veg available now and ways to cook them it's literally enough to send you mad and you haven't even started cooking yet. And don't get me started on the gravy. Every chef will have his own version of gravy. And as every chef I love my mine. I have to say that depending on how many people you are cooking for, it can turn into a military mission. I always liked my dad's method of stepping in at the end to do the gravy, for which he takes great pride in. Anyway after that rant let's get back to the fact that I have my oven back and my turkey roast.
Up until two and a half years ago, I had never had any sort of roast turkey or turkey joint due to the fact I was lead to believe that it was quite a dry meat. But after my girlfriend brought a turkey joint home for me to cook, I was quickly converted. In fact, I favor a turkey joint Sunday roast over most meats now, because it's cheap and very tasty. So here is my take on our favorite roast at the moment. The roast potato's and honey roasted parsnips for this meal have been inspired by recipes from the internet. This will serve 3-4 people.
What you need:
turkey joint ( I buy ours from Tesco )
4 medium potatoes
3 large carrots
1 large broccoli
bag of runner beans
2 large parsnips
2 large red onions
And Brussels sprouts if they are in season
4 table spoons of goose fat
1 and a half table spoons of honey
2-3 sprigs of rosemary
5-6 gloves of garlic
plenty of olive oil
salt and pepper
What to do:
When I said that sometimes a roast dinner can be like a military mission, mine is no different - so bare with me. First thing you need to do is to preheat the oven on to 190C. When I cook this meal, I base it around taking 1 hour and 45 minutes cooking and preparation time.To save time I would get your carrots, broccoli, leeks, Brussels sprouts and runner beans peeled, prepared and put into sauce pans of salted water - ready to boil. Right, then get a large saucepan of water boiling, peel and quarter the potatoes and add to the boiling water, boil for 7-8 minutes. Whilst they are boiling, chop up the garlic and rosemary. When done drain the potatoes and then shake in the colander to roughen up the edges. Now you want to put the goose fat into a roasting tray and heat up in the oven for 5 minutes. As this is happening prepare the turkey joint, which is just a case of removing the cardboard and cling film cover. When the 5 minutes are up, take out the roasting tray and add the potatoes garlic and rosemary and really mix them well.
Now put the potatoes and turkey joint onto the middle shelf of the oven and set your timer for 35 minutes even though the turkey and potatoes take an hour to cook. For best results, I baste them every 15 minutes. For the honey roasted parsnips you need to get a saucepan of salted water boiling, then you need to cut the parsnips length ways into four and remove the core before you cut each piece in half and put it into the boiling water where you boil it for 5 minutes. Remove, drain and add straight to a bowl of cold water, then drain again and set to the side. This part I quite like, just some plain old roasted red onion: You will need to peel and quarter them, put them into a roasting try and mix with a good amount of olive oil, salt and pepper. When the 35 minute timer has gone, reset it for 25 minutes. Put the onions into the oven and turn the gas or electric hob on full to boil the veg. Once the water is boiling turn down to simmer and cover. The veg should take close to 20 minutes depending on how you like it. Onions should take about 25 minutes.
This is the part where I wish I had a bigger cooking range with maybe a couple of added hobs. So how you juggle this is up to you, but here goes: I would say that the leeks are the first to cook, so once they are done I would drain them and put them back into the saucepan and cover, then use that hob to heat up an oven proof frying pan with olive oil. When hot add the parsnips and drizzle the honey over them. Season to taste and fry until golden. Now the hour should be up, take the turkey out the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes. Then take out the roast potato's and put to the side. Turn the oven up to 220c and put the roast parsnips in the oven for 5 minutes. During this time plate up your veg and potato's and carve your turkey. By this time your parsnips should be done and ready to plate up. Ok that's it: job done! Well almost: just the gravy to go, but that's another story for which I have a few recipes, I will share them over the next few weeks. There we go, my take on a turkey roast. Takes a bit of time but trust me it's well worth the cooking hassle and you might need to invest in a couple of saucepans or if like me do a bit of a juggling act, anyway
Happy cooking and enjoy!