A few weeks ago while going through link parties, I came across a delicious-looking recipe for a cherry braid smothered with icing from The Princess and Her Cowboys. I instantly wanted to devour it and was anxious to try out the concept Britney showed in her post. But instead of sticking with the sweet, I decided to do something savory.
This braid is made using shop-bought puff pastry, filled with a delicious holiday-esque filling of turkey mince, stuffing, cranberry and onion, topped with pistachio pieces and served with creamy homemade mash, steamed carrots and rich gravy. My family devoured this entire thing in one sitting. We all had seconds. Including the toddler. It's such a simple, versatile recipe that I'm sure your family will love too!
Ingredients:For the turkey braid
1/2 pack sage and onion stuffing
1 large carrot
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsbp sage
1 small onion, diced
1 tbsp mayo
1 egg, scrambled
1 packet turkey gravy
2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp cranberry sauce with cranberries
3 tbsp crushed pistachios
3 large potatoes, peeled and diced
250g turkey mince
salt and pepper
All right, let's braid:
Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
If using shop-bought pastry,take it out of the fridge.
Pour the olive oil into a skillet and brown the mince with salt, pepper and sage.
Make up the stuffing according to the instruction on the pack, while the mince is browning. Remember to just use half of the pack.
Put the potatoes on to boil and the carrots in a bamboo steamer basket on top of the potatoes so that they all cook together. If you do not have a steamer basket, you can put the carrots into a small colander that fits over the saucepan and cook them that way. No matter what you use, cover the bottom of the basket or colander with a piece of greaseproof paper.
The mince should be browned now and the stuffing should be ready as well. If so, mix the both together in a large bowl, along with the cranberry sauce. Set aside and get on with the pastry.
Roll out the pastry until it is roughly rectangular. Using clean scissors, cut slits on two opposite sides of the dough. It doesn't really matter what size the slits are and if they're all different sizes, as you can see from mine. Just leave some space uncut in the middle. This is where you'll pile all the filling.
Making sure the turkey filling is thoroughly mixed, pile it into the center of the pastry. Next, take a slit of pastry from alternating sides and cross it over the filling like a two-strand braid. If there's a lot of filling you might need to stretch the dough just a bit to properly cover the filling, but take care not to tear it.
When it's all braided, discard any leftover dough (if necessary). I had about two slits of unused dough when I made this. I just trimmed it and tossed it in the bin.
Using a pastry brush, egg wash the braid by brushing the scrambled egg over the tops of the pastry. This helps the dough to go a nice golden color when you're cooking. It will also help the pistachios to stick to the dough and not roll around.
After the egg wash, sprinkle the pistaschio pieces over and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
While the braid is in the oven, finish off the mashed potatoes, and carrots.
Remove the carrots from the steamer basket or colander, fork through a knob of butter and some salt, cover and set aside. Drain the potatoes, and using a fork (for lumpier mash) or a potato masher (for semi-lumpy mash) or a potato ricer (for super smooth mash with no lumps), mash the potatoes.
Add the milk, mayo and butter, salt and pepper to your taste and continue mashing until desired consistency. Once you've reached the consistency you want, incorporate all the ingredients with a wooden spoon.
Next, make the gravy according to the packet's instructions. (You could use homemade gravy if you have some stock piled, otherwise, the lean turkey mince doesn't produce enough jus to be made into a gravy.)
The braid should be ready by now or nearly done. Since the mince is already cooked, you're only cooking the pastry really and bringing it all together. It is done when the pastry is golden brown, like a pie.
Serve wide slices of the braid with the mash and carrots and a bit of gravy.
Four Seasons Food hosted by Delicieux and Chezfoti
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