Recipe: Matt Bishop’s Christmas Turkey, Brussel Sprouts and Red Cabbage

By Matt Bishop – Head Chef, ROAST, Borough Market. London
I have been cooking Christmas lunch for the same family for the last 15 years. During this time, I have cooked turkey boned and rolled, turkey spatch-cocked, turkey low and slow and the traditional way with a whole roasted bird.

Time after time I’m told that the best results come from this simple brine. It really does keep the turkey moist and juicy and also helps give it a really crispy golden skin which looks brilliant when displayed on your Christmas table spread!

Brining turkey

 First you need to find space in the fridge (its ok to keep your veg outside in a container with a lid and something heavy on top!)

You will need
A container that the turkey will fit in into your fridge with a lid.
Basic brine 
9.5 liters tap water 
570g salt
100g sugar

Bring all to the boil and give the water a stir to ensure its all dissolved.
Allow to completely cool
Pour over turkey and leave for 12-18 hours
Remove from brine and pat dry using kitchen paper and roast as would a whole bird.

Red cabbage 

You will need
1x red cabbage 
2x red onions
4x granny smith apples
100g brown sugar
50g red wine
25g red wine vinegar
Good pinch salt
1x cinnamon stick

To finish

You will need
50g redcurrant jelly

¼ the red cabbage, remove core and cut as thin as you can.
Peel apples and core and coarsely grate.
Put all ingredients in a suitable sized pan and cover with cartouche 
Bring to boil and then turn down heat and simmer for 2 hours (stir regularly to ensure it doesn’t catch, if it does catch change pan and continue cooking.)
Check seasoning and finish with red currant jelly

(Matt’s Top tip) Cook this on 22nd December
The flavor’s will combine and will help each other become tastier.
On Christmas day to save time microwave for 5minutes on full power covered with cling film to make your lunch easier

Brussel sprouts.

You will need
1kg Brussel sprouts
200g bacon 
200g pre-cooked chestnuts rough sliced or chopped.
150g butter
50g olive oil

• Cut Brussels sprouts in half through the stalk, and blanch in boing salted water for 2 minutes and the remove sprouts from boiling water and plunge into iced water, leave for a couple of minutes to chill and then remove to a colander to drain the water.
• Discipline the bacon into uniform batons and cover with cold water
• Bring the bacon to the boil and drain and leave to cool
(this process will remove the most of the impurities!)
• In a large frying pan heat up the olive oil and fry the bacon until it starts to go golden, add the butter and when it starts foaming add the sprouts.
• Don’t shake the or move the pan for a couple of minutes (if you think the butter is starting to burn add a spoon of water and stand back!)
• Carefully turn the sprouts and bacon using a flat spatula or fish slice, when your happy with the color (it all looks golden!) season with fresh ground black pepper and add the chopped chestnuts.

(Matt’s top tip) The Brussel sprouts can be prepared and blanched on Christmas Eve as can the bacon. When serving veg I find it best to present it in large bowls where people can help themselves and again reduce stress.

Of course, if cooking it yourself seems like too much work you can also try Matt’s very own version at Roast, Borough Market, The Floral Hall, Stoney St, London SE1 1TL