Meat Dartmoor
Getting the best from your Frenchbeer Turkey
from Frenchbeer Farm
Moor meat on your plate

A turkey from the Malseeds at Frenchbeer Farm or the Cleaves at Mill Leat Farm


Cooking a turkey for Christmas can be a nerve racking experience but a bit of preparation and a few cooking tips can help ensure you get the best possible taste from your bird.

Cooking times can vary depending on your type of oven and size of bird so times below are a guide only.
If the bird is under 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg plus 70 minutes at the end.
If it is over 4kg allow 20 minutes per kg plus 90 minutes at the end.
If you are stuffing your turkey weigh it again after stuffing and increase the cooking time accordingly. Also include resting time of around 30 minutes at the end of cooking in your calculation.

1. Remove your bird from fridge about 2 hours before cooking so it is at room temperature for stuffing. To stuff your bird use your hands to push some of the stuffing into the neck end. Put the remainder in the body cavity.

2. Check the weight of your turkey and calculate your cooking times. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F) or gas mark 5. Oven temperatures vary so check your manufactures handbook.

3. Optional step-Mix some freshly chopped herbs and apply this to the turkey breast-this will help keep it moist.

4. Cover your bird loosely in foil and place in a roasting tin. When your oven is up to temperature put the turkey on the bottom shelf.

Upside down! When roasting your turkey you could try putting it upside down on its breast. The juices from the back and legs run into the drier breast meat and keep it moist during cooking. Cooking a turkey uncovered and upside down will reduce the cooking time by about 30-40 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

5. Regularly baste the turkey to retain moisture and remove the foil for the last ten minutes of cooking so the skin turns a golden brown.

6. To check that your turkey is fully cooked, pierce the thickest part of the thigh with a skewer. If the juices run golden and clear it is ready, if they run pink continue cooking.

7. Once fully cooked, allow excess juice to run out of the turkey then carefully transfer to a warm dish. Allow to 'rest' for around 30 minutes before carving.


For more recipes and a list of suppliers of quality Dartmoor meat