The meal that only comes once a year. Oh, the pressure! No fear. With these top 5 tips on cooking your turkey, there will be no need to panic this Christmas. Keep scrolling for a sneak peek at what’s on the table this Christmas at Ben’s Butchery, Epsom…
Top turkey-cooking tips:
1. The perfect fit
It may seem an obvious one but ensuring your turkey fits the oven and has enough space to cook evenly is step number one! That and making sure you have a tin big enough to cook the bird in and to fit anything else you plan to roast with it!
2. Timings and temperature
Check the weight of your turkey to calculate the cooking time to avoid overcooking your bird (or presenting a raw one!). Make sure to pre-heat your oven and allow your turkey to sit 30 minutes at room temperature. You could even write your timings on a piece of paper to keep you in check on the big day!
3. Cover with foil
Place foil on top of your turkey and remove in the last hour to allow it to brown. Once all the juices run clear from the thigh when pierced your bird is cooked!
4. Leave to rest
Make sure that you leave enough time for resting once its cooked – the bigger the turkey, the longer the rest time!
5. Keep it simple
Christmas day is meant for fun with the family, not stress with the turkey! Choose your favourites for the meal like the turkey, gravy and stuffing and focus on perfecting those for a winning menu.
Wanting to get that perfect Christmas day menu, we spoke to Ben’s Butchery, a high-quality independent butcher in Epsom to get the low down on meat at Christmas.
Ben started a butcher’s apprenticeship when he was 20, opening Ben’s butchery at aged 25.
“I wanted to know exactly where my meat was coming from and that it is ethically sourced and now we’re proud to be able to bring this quality to the people of Epsom.”
After two successful years in a farm shop, Ben’s Butchery moved to a shop in Upper High Street, Epsom. They source from local farms in Surrey and make all their products such as their award-winning Sausages on site.
“I have a great team of staff all of which have been trained here, Conner has been with us for over two years now and Alex and Phil are midway through an apprenticeship.”
Local businesses in Epsom have had to make lots of changes this year to adapt to the pandemic. Ben tells how they coped with COVID, highs and lows.
“We’ve managed to cope well. We had to adjust as we now offer a click and collect and local delivery service. As well as doing this we have launched an online shop (www.bensbutchery.co.uk).”
Customers can now easily browse and pay online for meats, cheeses, and jars. The team will be delivering up to the 21st December offering a collection all the way up until Christmas Eve. Turkeys will be sourced from the Award Winning Appledore Turkeys and “all-out homemade trimmings” will be available this festive season such as pigs in blankets and their pork, prune, and brandy stuffing.
We asked Ben what he would recommend for the dinner table this Christmas.
“Our Tuscan Porchetta has just recently won two Stars at the Great Taste Awards. A lovely alternative to Turkey at Christmas – full of Italian flavours such as coriander, rosemary and garlic.”
His top tips for cooking the meat would be to start with a high temperature in the oven to get the best crackling. Then turn the temperature down to 160 degrees and allow to slow roast for a couple of hours.