Roast turkey with bread sauce

Christmas recipes and menus

Get into the Christmas spirit with our recipes, make homemade presents or plan the perfect Christmas lunch.

Roast turkey with bread sauce


  • Roast turkey with bread sauce1 free-range turkey weighing 4kg/8lb 11oz
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 175g/6oz unsalted or lightly salted butter
For the bread sauce
  • 450ml/15fl oz full-cream milk
  • 1 small onion
  • 4 cloves
  • 75-100g (2½ to 3½ oz) fresh white breadcrumbs
  • freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
  • 40g/1½oz butter or 2 tbsp double cream
  • cayenne pepper, for sprinkling

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Check that you have not left the plastic bag of giblets lurking inside the bird. Put the turkey in a large, deep roasting tin. Season generously all over with salt and pepper and massage the seasoning into the skin.
  2. Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Fold the muslin in four and lower it into the melted butter, pushing it in so that it soaks up virtually all the butter.
  3. Lift out the butter-soaked muslin and lay it over the turkey, making sure that it completely covers the breast and upper thighs.
  4. Pour about 300ml/½ pint water into the roasting tin and slide it into the oven. Cook for approximately 3 hours 20 minutes, basting the bird approximately every 30 minutes with the pan juices.
  5. Test that the turkey is properly cooked in just the same way as you would a chicken. Pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run clear then the turkey is done. If they are pink, slide it straight back into the oven for a further 15 minutes before testing again and continue to do this until they do run clear.
  6. Once it’s done, transfer the turkey to a large serving dish, discard the muslin and leave in a warm place to rest for at least half an hour. Cover with foil to stop the meat going cold.
  7. While the turkey is cooking, make the bread sauce. Pour the milk into a heavy-based saucepan. Stick the four cloves into the onion, add to the milk and bring very, very slowly up to the boil, so that the milk has plenty of time to absorb the flavours of the onion and the cloves.
  8. Remove the onion and cloves and stir enough breadcrumbs into the milk to give a thick sauce. Season to taste with nutmeg and salt. Stir in the butter or cream, adjust the seasoning, then spoon into a warm serving bowl, sprinkle with a little cayenne pepper and place on the table. If making in advance, leave to cool, then cover with cling film and store in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat thoroughly before serving. Sprinkle with the cayenne pepper just before serving.

Less than 30 mins preparation time
Serves 8

Chocolate and cranberry roulade

Chocolate and cranberry rouladeIngredients

For the roulade
  • 5 free-range egg whites
  • 150g/5oz caster sugar
  • 2 tsp cornflour, sieved
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 400ml/14fl oz double cream
  • 1 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 vanilla pod, split, seeds scraped out
  • 150ml/5fl oz raspberries, puréed
  • 200g/7oz dried cranberries
To serve
  • icing sugar
  • cocoa powder
  • raspberries
  • chocolate sauce

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas 2. Grease and line a 33cm x28cm/15in x11in Swiss roll tin with silicone or greaseproof paper.
  2. Place the egg whites into a bowl and whisk until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed from the bowl. Gradually add the sugar until stiff peaks forms and the mixture is glossy. Whisk in the cornflour and cocoa until well combined.
  3. Spoon the mixture into the tin and gently smooth the surface with a palette knife. Bake in the oven for one hour. Test by pushing a skewer into the centre of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean, the cake is ready.
  4. Whisk the whipped cream, icing sugar and vanilla seeds in a bowl until soft peaks form when the whisk is removed.
  5. Dust a large piece of greaseproof paper with icing sugar.
  6. Turn the roulade out onto the paper and peel off the lining paper. Trim the two long edges.
  7. Spoon over the raspberry purée, then the cream and finally the cranberries. Roll up using the sheet of greaseproof paper to help you lift the meringue. Place the roulade onto a plate and dust with the icing sugar and cocoa powder.
  8. To serve, slice the roulade into thick pieces and serve with the raspberries and chocolate sauce.

Less than 30 mins preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4-6


Leave a Comment