Enjoy Rosemary Shrager's scrumptious four-bird roast this Christmas. Try out her recipe below, serving up to 8 people.
●1 large Duck , boned but with drumsticks and outer wingbones intact
●2 boneless chicken beasts, skinned
●2 boneless pheasant breasts, skinned
●1 Partridge, breasts removed
●Fine sea salt and black pepper
●800g Cumberland saugsage meat, skin removed
●2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
●3 tbsp dried cranberries
●3 tablespoons pitacio nuts
●4 tbsp chopped curly parsley
●1 egg, beaten
1. For the first stuffing, melt the butter in a pan, add the onion and apple and soften them over a gentle heat without browning. Sprinkle in the sugar and cook for a couple of minutes, then add the nuts and cook for 2 more minutes. Tip the mixture into a bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs and herbs. Season well. For the second stuffing, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Season well.
2. Lay the boned Duck out on a flat surface, skin side down, and season it with salt and pepper. Spread over some of the stuffing, then put a chicken breast on each side. Add some more stuffing to fill the spaces and make the surface smooth. Add the remaining meats in the same way, and seasoning each layer.
3. Now pull the sides of the Duck together (like a cardigan), another pair of hands is invaluable here. Tuck in the edges and, using a trussing needle and butchers’ string, stitch the turkey together very securely, starting at the neck end. Turn the bird over, so the stitched side is underneath. Now take a really long piece of string, about 3m. Start by knotting the crossed drumsticks together using the mid-section of the string. Then criss cross the strings underneath the bird and take them round the back, pulling the drumsticks in to make a neater shape. Criss-cross them again and take them back round the wings to the neck end, pulling the wings into the sides, and tie securely. You could also tie another piece of string around the bird to hold it together.
4. Preheat the oven to 190C/Fan 170C/Gas 5
5. Weigh the bird and work out the cooking time – it will need about 40minutes per kg. Place it in a roasting tin, then roast it for the required time. 15 mn before the end of the cooking time, turn the heat up to 220C/Fan 200C/Gas 7 to brown the skin. Remove the turkey from the oven, put it on a board and cover with a double layer of foil. Leave it to rest for 30 minutes.
6. Remove the string. Cut the down the middle with a serrated knife. Taking one half at a time, turn it cut side down and carve it across into slices. Each slice will contain a mixture of meats and stuffing
Boned stuffed Goose
●1 domestic goose
●1 Aylesbury duck
●1 guinea fowl
Stuffing Number 1:
●1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
●3 coxs apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped
●1 tablespoon caster sugar
●50g hazelnuts, chopped
●200g fresh white breadcrumbs
●2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
●Salt and pepper
Stuffing Number 2:
●1 kilo sausage meat
●6 tablespoons fresh cranberries
●2 eggs, beaten
●3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
●Salt and pepper
1.Heat oven at 170°C
2.Pluck, draw and bone out the goose, but leave the legs, wings and skin. Pluck draw, bone and skin the other birds. Season the flesh (non-skinned sides), cover and put to one side.
3.To make the first stuffing melt the butter in a frying pan and add the onion and apple. Sprinkle over the sugar and gently fry until soft and golden. Add the hazelnuts and cook for two more minutes. Put the mixture into a bowl and mix in the breadcrumbs and parsley. Season well with salt and pepper.
4.For the second stuffing, mix all the ingredients together in a clean bowl.
5.To assemble start with the largest bird, the goose, first. Lay it out on a flat surface and season with salt and pepper. Lay the duck on top and use the fist stuffing to build up the spaces to make the surface smooth. Continue with the rest of the birds, alternating the stuffing and seasoning each layer with salt and pepper.
6.When all the birds and stuffing have been layered pull them all together by pulling the goose over (like a cardigan). Tuck in the ends and stitch it together up the seam.
7.Weigh the bird and place it on a grid in a metal roasting tin. Cook in the oven for 25 minutes a kilo. 15 minutes before the end turn up the heat to 200°C to brown the skin.
8.Remove from the oven and cover with a double thickness of foil. Leave in a warm place for 20 minutes before slicing and serving on warm plates (do not forget to remove the string). Garnish with watercress.