Whole Homemade Turkey

Christmas Mains – Butter Brined Turkey & Honey Glazed Ham

  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 3.5-4.5 hours

Butter Brined Turkey

For the Brine


1L Simply Turkey Stock

30g salt

35g brown sugar

100g clarified butter

For the Turkey


1 large, free range Bronze Turkey approx 6kg, giblets removed and retained

200g streaky, unsmoked bacon

500g salted butter, softened

50g fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme)

For the Stuffing


1kg breadcrumbs

100g onion, finely diced

25g fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, parsley, thyme)

150g butter


  • Mix all brine ingredients together in a high sided jug and set aside. Mix the butter and herbs together and rub underneath the skin of the turkey and all over the outside of the skin as well, season liberally. Layer the bacon over the crown being careful not too leave too much skin exposed.
  • For the stuffing, melt 1/3 of the butter in a pan and sweat the onions down for 3-5mins, add the herbs, remaining butter, and when frothing, add the breadcrumbs, cook slowly until crumbs just begin to toast and set aside to cool.
  • With help, stand the turkey up on its legs, holding open the skin of the neck, pack in the stuffing, but not so tightly as to rupture the skin, secure in place with toothpicks.
  • Carefully, using a brining needle, inject the brine into the muscle all over the bird, especially into the breasts, this will help keep your turkey moist and flavoursome.
  • Cook in a deep baking tray on a base of carrots, celery, onions & the reserved giblets at 180C until a probe inserted into the thigh meat reads above 72C for 2mins, this will take approx 3.5-4.5 hours depending on the oven, and don’t forget to regularly baste!
  • Once cooked, loosely cover with foil and rest for 30 minutes minimum.
  • Remove the bacon for the last 10 minutes, to crisp up the skin.

Honey Glazed Ham


2kg boneless ham fillet

1 bay leaf

2 cloves

100g onion, peeled & halved

30 cloves

100g brown sugar

100g honey

100g wholegrain mustard


  • Cover the ham in cold water & bring to the boil, pour out the water and refresh with cold water, bring to the boil again, reduce to a simmer and add the onion, (2) cloves and bay leaf, cook for 2 hours with a lid on.
  • Meanwhile mix together the honey, sugar and mustard and set aside. Remove the ham from the pot (carefully) remove the skin and score the fat in a diamond pattern, place a clove into each diamond. Cover a baking tray in tinfoil, place the ham on and cover with the glaze, bake at 180C for 20-30mins, basting as necessary.


The Gravy


200g good red wine

500ml Simply Turkey Stock

50g butter

50g plain flour


  • While the turkey is resting, take the tray it was cooked in and remove all the visible fat floating on top.
  • Place directly onto a burner and allow to bubble and reduce, add the flour and stir well to combine.
  • Add the red wine and reduce by half, add the stock and reduce by half again, pass through a fine sieve into a pot and finish with the butter.