Christmas Turkey with Beef, Pistachio and Parmesan Stuffing

Although Shelley Douglas is a professional hairdresser, we think she is more than capable of giving any chef a run for their money when it comes to her fabulous stuffed turkey...
Shelley Douglas' Christmas Turkey
ITP Images
Shelley Douglas' Christmas Turkey
November 22, 2018
Preparation Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 3 - 3½ hours
Serves 4-6

Has this recipe been in your family for a long time?
Yeah, it’s been passed down the generations, and is very Scottish.

Do you have a secret stuffing or have you made tweaks to the recipe here and there?
I’ve tweaked this one by adding pistachios to it. So it’s beef, Parmesan and pistachios, with caramelised red onions and mushrooms. The nuts are a Middle Eastern influence. I guess after living here for seven years I’ve picked up a thing or two. I’ve played around with the stuffing in the past – last year I used apricots.

So you've had plenty of practice at festive hosting?
Yes, I always host a big gathering for Christmas. All my friends here are from different cultures, so many of them had never experienced big Christmas dinners where turkey was the main course, prior to eating it at my place.

PHOTO BY Rajesh Raghav
RECIPE BY Shelley Douglas



6kg turkey, giblets removed

Salt Rub

100g French sea-salt butter, mixed with 1 tsp
spinneysFOOD Black Pepper Powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp spinneysFOOD Fine Paprika

Beef pistachio parmesan stuffing

700g spinneysFOOD Beef Lean Mince
2 red onions, chopped
5 mushrooms, chopped
50g French butter with sea-salt crystals
½ spoon French mustard
1 tbsp Worcester sauce
1 tbsp passata
1 tsp spinneysFOOD Black Pepper Powder
1 large spinneysFOOD Organic Free Range Egg
cups stale bread, crumbed
30g pistachios
100g Parmesan
1 tsbp thyme
Handful fresh parsley


  • 1

    Fry the beef, onions and mushrooms with the butter until soft. Then take off the heat and add mustard, Worcester sauce, passata, black pepper, egg, breadcrumbs and mix together. Then add the pistachios, Parmesan, thyme and parsley, making sure all is well mixed. Set aside.

  • 2

    Mix the butter and spices together to form a paste.

  • 3

    Take the turkey out of the fridge and let it sit for at least 30 minutes to allow it to come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Spread the salt rub liberally all over a clean, dry, patted-down turkey. Fill the turkey with the prepared stuffing, beginning with the neck. Place the turkey in a large ovenproof dish with tin foil over it, ensuring you baste it every 20 minutes to keep it moist and succulent. When the juices from the turkey start filling the dish, take some out and keep for the gravy for later. To test if cooked, juices shouldn’t be pink. When cooked, wait 20 minutes before carving.



Thanksgiving is all about the turkey. If you're hosting, keep guests coming back for more with this succulent bird... the secret's in the gravy!
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