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"Escobar" stuffed turkey

Welcome to the Ramos – Escobar kitchen.

This is the original recipe for turkey, stuffing and gravy from my "granny Teodorita", which under her tutelage inherit to my mom, now "granny Elbita" and that in a curious way became of mine. How did it happen?. Well one day, specifically a 30 of December, a problem arise in my mother’s-in-law home when my sisters in law did not agree upon to "order preparation" of a turkey that some of them receive as a gift. After an excited discussion they decided to give or throw away the Christmas bird. Then, my compadre Carlos Laffontaine and I intervene "...how much problem can be to cook a hen...I've seen for many years, done it at home...", then our wives said among them "...wait till tomorrow in the middle of their hang over...".

For a change, my wife was wrong, the same night I started to call my mom to Guaymas "...what else does it takes?... how often it must be turn?... what is the right temperature for the oven?... how many raisins do I need?... this will be a million pesos phone bill? Ja, ja, ja..."

Since then, I do it to please my daugthers and all Ramos - Batriz Faily. Following are the directions and my comments:

Ingredients:

  • A 6 to 8 Kg. normal (perhaps butter) turkey, not smoked
  • 1-1/2 Kg. of pork meat (leg preferable)
  • 2-1/2 Kg. of bovine meat (the better one for cook boiling)
  • 150 gr. of pork fat
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • onion salt
  • meat seasoning (only if you have some)
  • 6 to 8 sweet oranges or 2 cans of pineapple juice
  • 3 celery sticks
  • 150 gr. of butter or margarine
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 small pkg. of cilantro
  • salt
  • black peeper
  • a few sticks of cinnamon for the gravy
  • 1 pkg. of raisin (200 gr.)
  • 1 pkg. of prunes (100 gr.)
  • 1 small olive jar, preferable without pits (130 gr.)
  • 250 gr. of dried peaches & apples (dried fruit)
  • 2 fresh apples chopped without rind for the stuffing
  • 2 fine yellow apples for the gravy
  • 250 gr. of walnuts (thick rind preferable)
  • 1 oz of white table wine like "Padre Kino" brand (or ½ oz of whiskey)
  • you will need an open roasting pan about 4 inches deep with cover (a pan capable of contain completely cover the turkey, or help it with aluminum foil); a large frying pan to cook 4 o 5 Kg. of meat at the same time, including all its ingredients; and
  • your collection of records, CDs or cassettes to enjoy the exquisite job of 6 to 8 hours (personally I recommend the company of a very special person to take pleasure from a long, long chat)

How to prepare …

Turkey:

If turkey is frozen, thaw it with some time in the lower part of refrigerator (outside of the freezer) or use cold water.

Get rid of the back part of turkey, the one with a lot of fat (tail). Remove the neck and giblets packages from the body cavity and rinse without drying. Rub with celery and put parts of it between wings and legs, include some in neck and body cavity. Grease roasting pan completely with butter for avoid to stick. Seasoning rubbing turkey with butter (or margarine).

Spice it with salt, black pepper, a pinch of garlic salt (or just "a quarter" of garlic clove finely chopped because it will not be recover), onion salt, a pinch of meat seasoning (only if you have some, it’s not important). Spread over the turkey the juice of a sweet orange (or a third of pineapple juice can). Some recipes suggest to inject turkey with white wine, personally I prefer a natural orange or pineapple juice to dip, because believe it or not it became smoother and not to dry.

Roast at 300 ºF (150°C) for 30 to 45 minutes in the roasting pan perfectly close with its cover. If you prefer it can be roasted with aluminum foil if it covers turkey completely. Take it out from the oven and rotate it a quarter of turn, spread it with the juice of one orange and roast again for 30 to 45 minutes. In case that skin sticks in the pan, use a wood shovel to loose it without damaging it.

(Do not seat down, start to prepare stuffing, taking care of time for turning turkey)

Repeat operation until when you puncture turkey with a fork it does not drip (this method is safer than the thermometer). If after used all oranges you need to spread it again, use a spoon for juice at bottom of pan.

Once roasted, place its breast side up and fill body cavity and all around with stuffing already prepared (see how to prepare stuffing in following paragraph). Roast again for 10 to 15 minutes, without covering to allow a nice golden skin. Take it out from oven and turn it in a way that front side of pan became rear side and roast for another 5 minutes. Turn off oven and keep turkey covered to serve it hot. If it will be serve after some time, do not live it in the oven because it will overcook.

Stuffing:

For a 6 to 8 Kg. turkey it requires approximately 1-½ Kg. of pork meat (leg preferable) and 2-½ Kg. of bovine meat (use the better one for cook boiling). Chop it in medium pieces, keeping a little bit large the pork pieces because of tenderness (bovine meat its harder to cook).

Boil the 4 Kg. of meat together (or wait 15 to 20 minutes before gather pork meat), in water enought as needed adding: 2 or 3 garlic cloves, half onion chopped in big pieces, 1 celery stick chopped along and in 4 parts, one quarter of pkg. of cilantro, salt and black pepper. After meat is cooked must be chopped finely (not shred because thread is not pleasanter). Keep bouillon for late use.

In a large frying pan fry some white onion loops with pork fat (can be corn oil) until they became transparent (do not leave to brown). Remove onion and start to fry meat..

Fry it until brown a little bit. Add some salt and black pepper, be careful with salt because the bouillon used at the end can be quite concentrate.

Once meat is fried, add: raisins, prunes, olive (without pits), dried peaches & apples (dried fruit), fresh chopped apples without rind, walnuts, "Padre Kino" white table wine (or just a little bit of whiskey, if you use a lot the whole stuffing can become bitter). Do not use red wines, just white wines. Add some bouillon to hydrate and cook stuffing at low heat for 5 more minutes.

Taste stuffing, its flavor must be according it smell, a little bit sweet … if you taste that some sweet is missing, sprinkle a spoon of sugar and stir again. If is still something missing, leave it to rest a couple of minutes, drink some water and taste it again, maybe it will need another half of sugar spoon, but not more than that.

Apple gravy (sweet sausage):

To serve it you can cover turkey slices with this simple but tasty sweet sausage

Use two sweet apples (preferably the fine yellow ones), without seeds and rind, blend them in little water.

Boil it, add a pinch of salt, a few cinnamon sticks and if requires some sugar. Serve over turkey or stuffing as you wish.

Final suggestions:

Use an electric knife to cut slices of turkey and cut it completely to keep frozen the rest that is not going to be consumed immediately. Use a recipient that can be frozen.

You can serve it decorating with a leaf of lettuce which mashed potatos, prepared with milk and butter. Do not forget some bread and maybe some table wine.

et bonne appétit …!

 


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