mom’s holiday turkey with home made stuffing


For the marinade
1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 cup yellow mustard
1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
16 to 18-pound turkey, gizzard reserved and chopped

For the stuffing
10 large eggs
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef (ground 3 times)
1 1/2 pounds ground pork (ground 3 times)
3 large yellow onions, finely chopped
15 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup steak sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
5 slices of white bread
3 tablespoons milk
1 red bell pepper, seeded, ribbed and finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded, ribbed and finely chopped
5 celery stalks, thinly sliced
20 scallions, white and light green part only, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
4 ounces tomato paste
1 pound your favorite cooked sausage, sliced
1 cup raisins
1 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
7-ounce bottle pimento-stuffed olives, sliced
2 bottles dark malt beverage (like Malta)




Mom always grinds her meat a couple of extra times so the stuffing isn’t too grainy. If you don’t have a meat grinder at home, become friends with the butcher at your grocery store and ask him or her to run the meat through the grinder a few extra times for you. The marinade can be made the night before you plan on roasting the turkey. If you have leftover stuffing after filling the bird, place it in a butter-greased casserole dish and bake it once the bird comes out of the oven. Serve alongside the rest of the spread—you can never have too much stuffing!

To make the marinade, place the onion, garlic, mustard and Worcestershire sauce in your food processor and purée. Rub the turkey, inside and out with the mixture. Place it in a large roasting pan and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the turkey for overnight or up to 24 hours.

To make the stuffing, place the eggs in a large saucepan and cover them with water. Bring the water to a boil, cover and turn off the heat. Let the eggs sit for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool completely before peeling and chopping.

Melt ½ cup(1 stick) of the butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the beef, pork and the reserved chopped gizzards and cook until the meat is starting to brown, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the chopped onions and 1/2 of the chopped garlic, along with the steak sauce, apple cider vinegar, lemon zest, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are completely tender and the meat is cooked through, 35 to 45 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until you’re ready to make the rest of the stuffing (the meat base can be made up to 1 day in advance).

Soak the bread in the milk for 3 minutes. Squeeze as much liquid from the bread as you can and then crumble it into a small bowl and set aside.

Melt the remaining ½ cup(1 stick) of butter in a large pot over medium-high heat. Stir in the remaining onions and garlic along with the peppers, celery, and scallions. Add the tomato paste and cook until the liquid in the pot is nearly evaporated, about 15 minutes. Add the meat mixture, the crumbled bread, the chopped eggs, the sausage, raisins, parsley, and stuffed olives and mix to combine. Let the stuffing cool completely before stuffing the turkey.

Preheat your oven to 300°F.

Fill the cavity and the neck of the turkey with the stuffing. Tuck the turkey wings beneath the breast and tie the base of the legs together with butchers’ twine. Using a pastry brush or bulb baster, baste the turkey with some of the malt and then roast, covered with aluminum foil, for 2 hours, basting every 30 minutes with the malt. Increase the oven temperature to 350°F and uncover the turkey (save the foil). Continue to roast another 2 to 3 hours, basting the turkey every 30 minutes, until the juices run clear and the turkey’s temperature at the thickest part of the leg reads 175°F on a digital thermometer. If the turkey breast ever starts to look like its getting too dark, cover it with aluminum foil.

Remove the turkey from the oven and cover it loosely with the reserved foil. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving and serving with the stuffing on the side.