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Cornish Recipes from The Alverton: Nick’s four bird roast

At our first ever Christmas market this year, our Executive Chef, Nick Hodges, hosted a festive workshop demonstrating how to cook his four bird roast recipe for your Christmas dinner. Perfect for wowing your guests on the big day itself, this recipe is one to be savoured...

Ingredients for the four bird roast

  • Two large slow cooked duck legs, meat shredded away from bones
  • One chicken breast, skin removed and diced
  • 500g – 600g turkey breast, butterflied
  • Two pheasant breasts, skins removed and diced
  • 200g good quality sausage meat
  • 50g dried cranberries
  • 50g pistachios (optional)
  • One spoonful of chopped parsley
  • Ten slices of parma ham (or ten rashes of streaky bacon)
  • Seasoning

Method

1. At least the day before, prepare all the meat described in the ingredient list. You can always ask your butcher to help.

2. To pre-cook the duck legs; cover with vegetable oil and add fresh garlic, parsley stalk and juniper berries if you have them, plus bay leaves and fresh orange. Cover and cook in a low oven, 140 – 150 degrees for 4 -5 hours.

Preparing the joint

1. Roll out approximately a 50cm square of cling film making sure to overlap the cling film – you do not want gaps.

2. In a large bowl add the shredded duck leg, the diced pheasant and chicken, the sausage meat, cranberries and pistachio, fresh herbs, and a sprinkle of seasoning.

3. Mix well.

4. Place the turkey in the middle of the cling film and open out fully. Layer the sausage meat mix into and on the flattened turkey.

5. Carefully roll – try to keep the roll tight and evenly filled and seal in the cling film, creating a ‘sausage shape’. Pop in the fridge and allow to rest and set for an hour or two. To finish, remove from the fridge and remove the cling film.

6. Wrap evenly in the parma ham or bacon.

Getting ready for the oven

1. Tear off a good size piece of tin foil and baking parchment.

2. Lay the foil on your worktop.

3. Top with the baking parchment. Smear a good lashing of butter onto the parchment then sprinkle with seasoning. Place the meat joint onto the parchment and re-roll, sealing the foil.

To cook

1. In a suitably sized roasting tray, pour in a pint of water and a good glug of beer.

2. Place the joint in the tray, cover the tray in foil and place in a pre-heated oven (180 degrees). Cook for 1 ½ to 2 hours.

3. If you have a temperature probe, test after 1 ½ hours. We want to achieve 70 degrees core temperature. If you
don’t have a probe insert a small sharp knife into the middle of the joint and leave for 20-30 seconds. The blade should be hot!

4. Once you’re happy the joint is cooked, remove from the oven and remove the foil and cling film.

The final steps

1. Turn the oven up to a high heat

2. Make sure to keep the cooking liquid from the roasting tray and from inside the foil from the joint

3. Pour the cooking liquid into a saucepan. This will create the base to the gravy.

4. Pop the joint back into a dry pan and smear the joint with butter. Pop back in the oven and roast until the parma ham (or bacon) goes crispy.

5. The joint is ready to serve.

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Cornish Recipes from The Alverton: Nick’s Festive Game Pie Recipe

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