With that time of year fast approaching I decided to give the old Christmas bird a Love Your Guts twist and trust me when I tell you this will be the moistest Turkey at the table.
Sauerkraut, the tartly tantalizing fermented-cabbage dish that made its way to Australian shores in barrels aboard Captain Cooks ships as a vitamin-rich weapon against scurvy, has largely been forgotten about for most of Australia’s short history unless you were of German or Polish decent.
With the rise of the modern Aussie ‘foodie’, it’s starting to emerge from the odd-ball European section in the supermarkets and take its rightful place again as a staple gut-healthy condiment as it has been for centuries for so many cultures from ancient Egypt to China and Eastern Europe.
Famous for its capacity to tease just the right flavours from a juicy bratwurst or Rueben sandwich it works perfectly to imbue its subtle tartness into the rich flavour of the festive fowl.
Here I’ve combined it with buttery onions, grated apple, herbs and spices to create a flavour packed moist bed and stuffing for the turkey. The left-over dripping mixture from the pan is turned into a gravy with slightly sweet-sour notes that makes a beautiful combination alongside the turkey, potatoes and salad.
Of course, an extra serve of fresh kraut tossed through the salad helps to cut through all those rich flavours and ease the load on your gut as it takes its usual Christmas beating.
Prep time 20 mins
Cook time 3.5 hours
2 cups of Love Your Guts Fennel and Pepper Sauerkraut
1 whole Turkey or Turkey breast
2 apples, grated
3 onions, sliced
15 Juniper berries
2 cups chicken stock
150g of butter
3 or 4 sprigs of Thyme
Bunch of chopped parsley
1 head of garlic, whole with top chopped off
Preheat your oven to 180 C.
Melt the butter over low-medium heat and add onions and saute for 10 mins.
While onions saute grate apples and rub celery salt, pepper and some chopped parsley all over the Turkey.
Once onions are cooked add the broth, juniper berries, thyme, some salt and rest of parsley. Boil for 2 mins and remove from heat.
Transfer the onion mixture to a large roasting pan, add apple, sauerkraut and mix through well.
If using a whole turkey stuff some of this mix inside it and place on top with the garlic.
Cover with foil and cook for 2 to 3 hours. To be sure it’s cooked you can insert a thermometer into the deepest part of the turkey, and it should read 160 C. I like to cook it uncovered for the last 20 minutes to brown up the skin.
Transfer to a chopping board and let it rest for 15 mins.
While it rests, add the onion/apple/kraut dripping mixture to a saucepan, and heat over medium-high heat.
Whisk in ½ cup of flour and stir continuously until thick, about 5 mins. Add more flour if needed or more stock/water depending on the consistency, being sure to stir continuously. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This will be a chunky gravy so if you prefer it smooth blend the onion/apple/kraut mix beforehand.
I’ve served it on a simple salad of kale, red cabbage, beetroot & ginger sauerkraut, rocket, and pomegranate for a splash of festive colours. I like to fry the kale in olive oil very quickly, tossing continuously, just to soften it a bit. Season simply with lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
Enjoy with all the sides while you boast about how unbelievably moist your turkey is.