Christmas Roasting & Cooking Guide

Here at Mettricks our award winning chef, David Amesbury, has put together a step-by-step guide to help you cook and serve your Christmas dinner with ease! We've also included some useful videos at the bottom of the page, with tips on stuffing your turkey and more. 

We guarantee that all of our Christmas roasting joints & game will be of the best quality available in the UK. Shop our full range of Christmas products here.

Chrsitmas Roasting Joints, Birds & Game  

Serving Size 

Instructions 

Boneless Turkey Crown    

 

 Allow 1/2 lb (225g) per person 

 

  1. Bring the joint to room temperature.
  2. Weigh the joint, after stuffing if preferred, and calculate cooking time, allow 15 minutes per 450g plus 20-30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas Mark 7. Put the turkey joint skin-side up into a roasting tin, pour roughly 450ml water or a mixture of 150ml white wine and 300ml chicken stock. Spread some softened butter over the skin of the turkey and season well with salt and pepper (optional). 
  4. Cover the turkey and tin completely with foil and seal it well under the rim.
  5. Place the turkey in the oven and roast for 20 minutes – this gets the heat right into the centre of the joint. Then lower the oven temperature to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6 and continue to cook the joint for the remainder of the cooking time. Uncover the turkey for the last 20-30 minutes.
  6. To check if cooked, push a skewer into the centre of the meat. If the juices run clear it’s cooked. If there are still any traces of pink, return to the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the juices are clear.
  7. Lift the turkey joint onto a board, cover tightly with foil and leave it to rest for 15 minutes. 
  8. Cover the turkey with the foil and leave to rest, somewhere warm, for 20-30 minutes.

Turkey (Whole Bird) 

For a whole bird, allow at least 450g or 1lb per person. 
  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Remove the turkey from the fridge and bring it back to room temperature.
  2. Spoon your chosen stuffing into the neck cavity only, rounding it nicely to give the bird a nice shape, then tuck the flap of skin back under the bird and secure with a small, fine skewer (see video for help on this below). 
  3. Weigh the bird and calculate the cooking time. For turkeys weighing over 4kg, allow 20 minutes per kilo plus an extra 90 minutes. For turkeys under 4kg, allow 20 minutes per kilo plus an extra 70 minutes.
  4. Pour 300ml of water into a large tin and place a rack in or over. Rest the turkey on the rack, spread some softened butter over the bird and season well. Cover the turkey and tin with a large sheet of foil and seal it securely under the rim.
  5. Place it in the oven and cook for the calculated time, uncovering the turkey for the last 15-30 minutes to brown the skin.
  6. To check that the turkey is cooked, push a fine skewer into the thickest part of the meat, which is through the part of the breast sitting just above the wing and the thickest part of the leg. If the juices run clear it’s cooked. 
  7. Cover the turkey with the foil and leave to rest, somewhere warm, for 20-30 minutes.

Cockerel, Capon & Traditional Chicken (Whole Birds) 

For a whole bird, allow at least 450g or 1lb per person. 

 1. Heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 4)

2. Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the pancetta, garlic and leeks, stirring occasionally, for 5-10 minutes or until the leeks have softened

3. Place the cockerel, breast-side up, in a roasting tin that is just large enough to hold it and pour in the stock to a depth of 2cm. Add the pancetta, garlic and leeks and tuck in the thyme and bay leaves around the sides. Cover tightly with foil, and cook in the oven for 2-2½ hours (plan the roasting time for your cockerel at 15 minutes per 450g/1lb), basting occasionally with the pan juices. Remove the foil for the last 20 minutes to allow the cockerel to brown.

4. Leave the cockerel to rest in the pan for 30 minutes and cover with foil while you finish off the vegetables.

5. To serve, remove the cockerel to a warm dish. Skim any fat off the sauce, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove the thyme and bay leaves and transfer the sauce (and leeks) to a jug. Serve the cockerel with the sauce.

Duck & Goose (Whole Bird) 

For a whole bird, allow at least 450g or 1lb per person. 
  1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/Gas 7. Season the outside of the goose with salt and pepper but DO NOT prick the skin.
  2. Bring the goose/duck back to room temperature if necessary. 
  3. Season the body cavity, push in a small bunch of sage or spoon in some sage and onion stuffing, and then seal the opening with a fine metal skewer. 
  4. Weigh the goose and calculate the cooking time, allowing 14 minutes per 450g. 
  5. Season the outside of the goose/duck with salt and pepper but DO NOT prick the skin. Place the goose/duck on a rack resting over a large roasting tin and roast for 30 minutes. 
  6. Remove from the oven and decrease the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Pour all the fat from the roasting tin into a bowl, return it to oven and continue to cook for the calculated cooking time, pouring away the fat from the tin every 20-30 minutes. This fat can also be saved for cooking. 
  7. When the goose is cooked, lift it onto a board, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15-20 minutes before carving.

3 & 4 Bird Roasts

Allow 1/2 lb (225g) per person 
  1. Pre-heat oven to 190°c/375°f or gas mark 5 (180°c for fan assisted ovens)
  2. Calculate cooking time allowing 50 minutes per kg (e.g. a 2.5kg joint would take approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes & a 4.5 kg joint would take approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes)
  3. Remove all packaging, place in a large roasting tin and season with salt & pepper
  4. Loosely cover with silver foil and place in the middle of the oven
  5. Roast the joint for the calculated time, basting occasionally with the pan juices
  6. 20 minutes before the end, remove the silver foil and continue to cook until the skin becomes crispy
  7. Ensure that the the centre of the bird is piping hot and that the juices run clear
  8. A minimum core temperature of 72°c is recommended
  9. Allow the bird to rest for 15 minutes before carving

    Game (Pheasant, Wood Pigeon, Grouse, Pheasant, Partridge, Rabbit)

     

    Allow 1/2 lb (225g) per person 
    1. Game is a healthy choice, the meat is very lean because the animals have been very active. This means there is a danger of meat drying out as it has very little fat content. To prevent this, cover game birds with streaky bacon before roasting. 
    2. Don’t overcook your game – all game, even the birds, can be served slightly pink, meaning it’s more succulent and juicy.
    3. Experiment with flavours – game has a lovely flavour of its own and it is quite strong, so it can take some really punchy flavours in cooking.
    4. Start simply. Don’t think that because it’s game, it has to be complicated. Think of pheasant as a small, well-flavoured chicken and try using it instead of chicken in your favourite dishes.
    5. See here for more detailed cooking instructions and recipes. 

     How To Stuff A Turkey 

     Jamie's Perfect Roast Potatoes 

    Perfect Rib Of Beef