• TO DRINK: The herby stuffing will benefit from a spicy, dry bubbly rosé like Graham Beck Rosé NV.

    2 whole turkeys – ask your butcher to debone each turkey. Remove half the turkey meat only, breast and thigh, and roughly dice. This meat, mixed with the stuffing, will form the mixture that will be stuffed in the other half of the turkey before it is rolled.

    Rooibos tea- smoked turkey ballotine with stuffing and gravy

    Serves: 12- 15 portions
    Cooking Time: 2 hours


    • GRAVY
    • turkey bones from the butcher
    • 1 large onion, quartered
    • 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
    • 5 sprigs thyme
    • 1 head garlic, halved
    • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • extra virgin olive oil
    • 60ml (¼ cup) dry white wine
    • 1 litre chicken stock
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) cold unsalted
    • butter, cubed
    • 170g (¾ cup) butter
    • 625ml (2½ cups) onions, chopped
    • 500ml (2 cups) fresh fennel, chopped
    • 20ml (4 tsp) dried sage
    • 5ml (1 tsp) dried savory
    • 5ml (1 tsp) dried marjoram
    • 2,5ml (½ tsp) dried thyme
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 2kg dried white bread, cubed
    • 400g (2 cups ) white sugar
    • 400g (2 cups) rice
    • 250ml (1 cup) rooibos tea leaves



    To make the gravy, preheat the oven to 180°C. In a roasting pan add the turkey bones, vegetables, thyme and garlic. Season well and drizzle with oil. Roast until the bones are brown, about 30 minutes.


    Remove from the oven and set over medium high heat on the stove top. Add the white wine to deglaze and scrape the brown bits off the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon.


    Add the chicken stock. Remove 500ml (2 cups) of stock for later use. Continue to simmer remaining stock in the pan to reduce the liquid until about 250ml (1 cup) remains, about 5 minutes.


    Remove from the heat and strain through a fine sieve, pushing some of the vegetable pulp through the strainer with the back of a ladle – this will help thicken the jus slightly.


    Add the cold butter cubes to the jus and swirl until it melts. Adjust the seasoning.


    For the stuffing, melt the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the onions and fennel together with the dried herbs, salt and pepper, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender, about 10 – 15 minutes.


    Transfer the mixture to a very large bowl. Add the bread cubes and mix well. Mix the stuffing with the diced turkey and prepare the ballotines.


    Place the mixture inside the other half of each deboned turkey. Close this with the overlap of the skin using butcher’s twine to secure the turkey roll.


    To smoke the turkey, line a large pot with a double layer of foil, shiny side on the inside and over high heat pour the smoking mixture into the pot.


    Once the sugar begins to caramelise the mixture will start to smoke. Place a drip tray on top and place the turkey on top of that. Cover the top of the pot with foil to allow for the smoking process to take place.


    Reduce the heat to the lowest setting and smoke for about 15 minutes.


    Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for another 10 minutes before lifting the foil.


    Once you have lifted the foil, place the turkey in a small baking dish and pour in the 500ml (2 cups) of reserved turkey stock. Preheat the oven to 180°C.


    Bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and discard the twine.


    Serve the turkey with parsnip purée, braised red cabbage with apples and cranberry and pistachio butter.