Bacon wrapped turkey and all the trimmings

A turkey dinner can be a bit on the bland side and most of the ones I have had have also been a bit been dry. I was determined to cook a very English and completely non bland turkey dinner with all the trimmings, it is so delicious when everything falls in to place. I looked at my list, do you make lists for large dinners? There are so many traditional dishes and I had to spend some time thinking of how to make some of them a little more interesting without loosing the character of the dish.


First out was the Brussels sprout. It is perhaps more hated than loved and I think we all remember overcooked and slightly soggy sprouts and the cabbage smell that develops. I love Brussels sprouts and had bought a whole stem.


Roasted Brussels sprouts

preparation time 20 minutes 

cooking time 25 minutes 

serves 4-6

oven 190C or 375F


  • 1 stem of Brussels sprouts, 20-25 sprouts
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 tsp paprika powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Crush the garlic and mix with the spices and oil. Place in a bowl. Cut the cleaned Brussels sprouts in half and mix with the spice mix. Set aside until you are ready and roast them for 25 minutes.




I wanted to give the turkey maximum flavour and thought truffle would be interesting to add.


Truffled, bacon wrapped turkey

preparation time 20 minutes 

cooking time 3 1/2 hours + 40 minutes resting time

oven 175C or 350F

serves 10-12


  • A medium sized turkey, 6 1/2 kg or 14 pounds
  • 500 gr or 17.3 oz of sliced streaky bacon

The butter 

  • 100 gr or 3.5 oz butter
  • 1 tsp white truffle creme

Turkey stuffing

  • 1 clementine
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 3 fresh bayleaves
  • 1 onion
  • 1 garlic bulb
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • ground black pepper

Cut the grapefruit in 8. Peel the clementine and separate the segments. Roughly chop the rosemary and break up the thyme. Rip the bayleaves. Cut the garlic in half and chop the onion, skin on. Add crushed black pepper and the sea salt. Mix in a bowl and stuff the turkey. This is not for eating, just to infuse the turkey.




Loosen the skin, mix butter and truffle and place the butter under the skin. Last add a twig of rosemary. Cover the turkey with the streak bacon.




Keep going until the turkey is covered.




Roast, as a rule of thumb 30 minutes/kilo, and make sure the juices run clear from the breast and the leg before serving.

If the bacon is getting too crispy cover the turkey with some tinfoil.


The bacon keeps the meat moist and it comes out delicious.








Save all the cooking juices for the gravy. I made a big batch of gravy, some for a curry the next day and some for our guests to take home, on request. Gravy is a must. This takes a little time to reduce but it will come out delicious. It is easy to make with any roast meat.


Turkey gravy 

preparation time 5 minutes 

cooking time 40 minutes 

serves many, you will end up with about 8 dl or 4 cups of gravy


  • 12 dl or 6 cups of chicken stock (or water with 3 cubes of chicken stock)
  • 1 dl or 1/2 cup port wine
  • the roasting juices from the turkey
  • 4-6 heaped tsp corn starch
  • cold water for mixing, about 2 tbsp

Place the chicken stock in a pan and bring to a boil. Add the port wine and reduce to almost half. Add the roasting juices from the turkey and reduce some more, I had quite a lot of juices. Mix corn starch with the cold water and thicken the gravy. Let cook off for a few minutes and the gravy is ready. There is no need to add cream or butter, this gravy is bursting with flavour.

The citrus, the herbs and the garlic came through from the stuffing and there was an ever so faint trace of truffle from the butter. I just kept it warm until I was ready to serve.


I can’t decide if I like or dislike the very English thing called bread sauce but it is part of the Christmas dinner so here is a recipe. It is so easy to make so here is a recipe. A friend said she thought the bread sauce was from when times were poor and they needed a bit of “stodge” to make the meat go around.This makes sense as it is very filling but it adds a nice texture.


Bread sauce 

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 30 mins including infusion time + heating up 

serves 6


  • 4 slices of white bread
  • 20 gr or 0.7 oz butter
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 onion
  • 4 dl milk
  • nutmeg, a small amount grated in
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Crumb the white bread. Peel the onion and cut in half. Stud each onion half with three cloves. Place the onion in milk with the bread and butter and heat up. Once bubbling turn the heat off and let infuse with the lid on for 30 minutes.




After that remove the onion, whisk the sauce smooth, taste with nutmeg, salt and white pepper before serving.





Cook some pigs in blankets with the Brussels sprouts.




Last but not least my friend Chris did the stuffing. We did it on the side to make sure it caramelized and for a bit of a crispy top. I have the recipe on a note from old but changed it ever so slightly. I like sage and I like pork but for some reason I don’t like them together. If you want sage simply add it.


Herbed cranberry and pork stuffing

preparation time 10 minutes 

cooking time 25 minutes 

oven 175C or 350F

serves 6-8


  • 400 gr or 14 oz pork sausage meat
  • 1 dl or 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 celery stick
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Chop the onion and the celery fine. Mix with the sausage meat. Add the cranberries, salt and pepper.




Place them on a non stick baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes.







I roasted potatoes to go with the turkey and I even ate bread sauce! I served the turkey dinner with cranberry sauce and the gravy brought it all together.




What a very foodie Merry Christmas! 


5 Responses to “Bacon wrapped turkey and all the trimmings”
  1. Loretta says:

    This looks just wonderful Petra, what a spread!! I agree turkey can be so dry and tasteless at best, but you’ve brought it up to a new level. This year for the first time, I tried covering it for most of the cooking, and exposed it for the last 45 minutes to give it that golden brown color. It was delicious! I love the bacon strips on the turkey, it looks like it all came together nicely for you…those sausages had me drooling. Best for 2015. 🙂

    • petra08 says:

      hi Loretta
      Thank you 🙂 It sounds like you had a lovely turkey as well! Everything tastes a little better with bacon, doesn’t it?! 🙂 Have a lovely 2015!!

  2. What a lovely meal, love how you did the turkey to ensure that it’s moist and flavorful. Everything is wonderful, never heard of bread sauce it sounds delicious. Happy New Year!!

    • petra08 says:

      hi Suzanne
      Thank you so much. It was a great meal. I had never heard of bread sauce until I moved to the UK. It is extremely filling and thick but quite nice. I can see how it works as a “filler” that became a regular part of the meal. It is also popular eaten with chicken. It doesn’t taste much but the nutmeg helped.
      It was so lovely to “meet” you this year and all the best for a Happy, Foodie New Year! 🙂

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