Glazed Ham

Preheat oven to 180°C and line baking tray with foil.

Remove skin (rind) from the ham and score the fat in a diamond pattern.

Press a clove into the middle of each diamond.

Warm glaze in saucepan.

Brush the glaze onto the scored fat of the ham and spread evenly.

Place ham in baking tray and pour ½ cup of white wine to prevent ham from sticking.

Bake for approximately 40 minutes, basting once or twice with the rest of the glaze, until a golden caramelised.

If further caramelisation is required, continue to baste and leave in oven until desired effect.

Pork Roast

If not already done so, score pork skin at 5mm intervals right through into layer of fat just beneath the skin using a very sharp knife.

Pour boiling water over the skin, the scored cuts will open up as the skin contracts. Dry the pork very well with a clean tea towel or paper towels and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour or as long as overnight.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature – thus allowing to cook evenly through. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Rub salt into the scoring cuts on the pork. Dribble half a cup of white vinegar over the meat (the salt will absorb it) then rub skin with oil.

Place pork in the oven at 220°C for 20 mins, then lower the temperature of the oven to 160°C. Remaining baking time will depend on the size of the meat. Baste the pork with the juices from the pan every 20 mins.

Turkey Breast

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator at least 30 mins prior to cooking, to bring the turkey to room temperature.

Rub the turkey all over the seasoned butter. Allow a cooking time of 30 mins per kg.

Pour ½ cup water into baking tray. Turn the turkey halfway through cooking and replenish water every 30 mins to stop juices from burning. Pierce the breast with a thin skewer to test whether turkey is cooked – the juices should run clear.

Continue to baste with the seasoned butter and/or juices from the pan every 30 mins.

Remove from oven, cover the foil and allow to rest for 20 mins. Resting will allow the turkey breast to finish cooking and for the meat to relax.

 

Seasoned Butter: Melt 150g butter into a frying pan and drop in zest of 1 lemon. Warm over a gentle heat for a few minutes then tip into an electric blender and add 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme and 1 bay leaf. Whizz to pulverise herbs then tip into bowl. Stir in juice from 1 lemon, add salt & pepper.

Turkey Buffet

Ensure turkey is washed inside and out and preheat oven to 180°C.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator at least 30 mins prior to cooking to bring the turkey to room temperature.

Rub the turkey well inside and out with a seasoned butter. Loosely stuff the cavity with stuffing, then weigh the turkey. Allow a cooking time of 35 mins per kg plus 15 mins.

Pour ½ cup water into baking tray. Place the turkey in the baking tray with breast side down. Turn the turkey halfway through cooking and replenish water every 30 mins to stop juices from burning. Pierce thigh with a thin skewer to test whether turkey is cooked – the juices should run clear.

Baste with seasoned butter every 30 mins.

Remove from oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 mins. Resting will allow the turkey to finish cooking and for the meat to relax.

Seasoned Butter: Melt 150g butter into a frying pan and drop in zest of 1 lemon. Warm over a gentle heat for a few minutes then tip into an electric blender and add 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme and 1 bay leaf. Whizz to pulverise herbs then tip into bowl. Stir in juice from 1 lemon, add salt & pepper.

Brining a whole Turkey

Brine Recipe:

- ½ cup salt

- ½ cup sugar

- 1 bunch fresh thyme

- 1 bunch fresh sage

- 3 tablespoons black pepper corns, coarsely ground

- 2 bay leaves, torn into pieces

- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled

 

Heat 2 litres of water in a pot, add all brine ingredients into the water, and stir until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. Chill the brine mixture in the fridge. Add another 3 litres of cold water to the brine.

For the steeping, you can use a deep roasting pan, casserole dish, or other container big enough to house the turkey and place it in your fridge. Or, if you're like most people and don't have such a container, use two strong, brining bags or white plastic bags (not made of recycled materials), and put the turkey with the brine in the doubled-bag. Then, you can place the bagged-and-steeped turkey in a cooler with a significant supply of ice to ensure the turkey stays cold. The goal in either method is to submerge the bird completely, therefore add more water if needed. If you're using a roasting pan and the turkey is not completely submerged, turn the turkey every few hours and cover with plastic wrap each time. If you're using the bag method, squeeze out as much air as possible and close each bag separately. Make sure to place a bag of ice or other weighted object on the top of the turkey to ensure it stays submerged and does not float to the top.

 

Brine for up to 24 hours for very large birds (9kg +).  Avoid over-brining which will result in a salty bird; overnight for 8 hours works perfectly for most turkeys. Before seasoning or stuffing, remove the turkey from the brine, rinse with cold water, and dry with paper towels.

Remove the turkey from the refrigerator 1 hour before roasting.

For best results, roast your turkey on a wire rack in an open roasting pan. Although not essential, a cup or two of stock added to the bottom of the roasting pan increases moistness.

Optional Extras - Rub your turkey with butter or oil for a richer flavour and browner skin, rub minced herbs or ground spices into (or beneath) the skin for more flavour, place a few halved lemons or garlic cloves inside the cavity of the turkey.

Roasting an unstuffed Turkey

The times listed below are calculated for an unstuffed turkey brought to room temperature and roasted at 200°C, breast side down, for the first 45 minutes, then turned breast side up and roasted at 160°C until done.

Roasting a stuffed Turkey

Stuff the turkey just before putting it in the oven (do not stuff it earlier). Spoon the stuffing loosely into the body and neck cavities. Do not overfill as the stuffing will expand during roasting.

To ensure that a stuffed turkey cooks evenly, roast the bird slowly, breast side up at 160°C, covering the breast loosely with foil for the first two-thirds of the roasting time. Then remove the foil to allow the turkey to brown.

Using the chart above, add about 30 minutes to the total cooking time for stuffed birds weighing 7kg or less, and about 1 hour for birds weighing more than 7kg.

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