An elegant recipe that is surprisingly simple to prepare. Perfect for a special celebratory dish throughout the festive period. British turkey fillets are stuffed with sausage meat, Fenland celery and walnut, before being wrapped with streaky bacon. Serve with all the trimmings.
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 60 mins
1kg to 1.2kg British turkey fillet
12 to 16 rashers of dry-cure smoked, streaky bacon
Salt and pepper to taste
For the stuffing:
450g sausage meat
6 shallots, peeled and finely diced
4 sticks Fenland celery, diced
75g walnuts, chopped
100g fresh breadcrumbs
1 tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
1 free range egg, beaten
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 5. Butter a large roasting tin.
Cut open the fillet and beat it with a wooden mallet until it is has increased in size by a third – be careful not to make any holes in the meat. Brush some of the melted butter over the turkey and season with salt and pepper.
Mix all the stuffing ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.
Make a long sausage shape with the stuffing mixture and place it in the middle of the turkey fillet, roll the turkey meat around to cover all the stuffing.
Carefully wrap the streaky bacon around the rolled turkey fillet, tucking the ends underneath. With a spatula, lift it into the buttered roasting tin. Tuck any stray pieces of bacon underneath if necessary.
Add 6 tablespoons of water and cover with tinfoil before roasting for 40 minutes per kilo plus 20 minutes, so a kilo will take one hour to cook. Remove the foil for the last 15 to 20 minutes of cooking to allow the bacon to crisp up.
Allow to stand, loosely covered in tinfoil, for 10 to 15 minutes before cutting into slices and serving with seasonal vegetables and potatoes. (The juices from the roasting tin can be made into gravy).
Cook’s tip: Fenland celery is a heritage variety of celery grown in the Cambridgeshire Fens. In 2013, Fenland celery was awarded Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) status and joined the ranks of Parma ham, Champagne and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies. Fenland celery is only grown in small pockets of Cambridgeshire, Suffolk and Norfolk using traditional farming methods. The deep, peaty soils in the Fens work towards giving Fenland celery its nutty-sweet flavour and paler colour. Fenland celery is available from October to December and can be found in Waitrose, Marks & Spencer and Tesco stores nationwide and online at Ocado.