By S. J. Hinton
I wanted to thank all you in the Family who asked for this recipe.
When I made it I thought it was a matter of making the best of what you
have, and hope it turns out okay. It seems like most of you liked it an
awful lot, and many of you loved it so you asked me for more.
Well, sorry, but I guess you know a lot of it was eaten at the reunion
picnic, and some of it made it until Thanksgiving. It was all gone by
Christmas, and I don't have to tell you the meat is pretty hard to come
So, just in case some of you manage to get your hands on the proper
ingredients, I'm putting the recipe down on paper. I hope you'll all
pass it on to the young ones, too.
But first off I wanted to thank Cecil for getting all the right spices
I needed. I was ill all through the last days of summer, and I wouldn't
have been able to cook up the feast without his help. Charlene gave a
hand in the cleaning and chopping. Merle was there if we needed lifting
or carrying. And Linda always was around to cheer us up during the
long, hot roasting. Most of all, I want to thank Grandma, 'cause
without her the recipe wouldn't be here today. Love you all!
Crisp and brown on the outside, and moist on the inside is the way you
want the meat. The best way I've found is to start off really hot - at
about 260 degrees C - and then drop the temperature to 204 after the
first hour. The secret to keeping it moist is that the high initial
heat will sear the skin, trapping the juices inside. One of the best
ways to keep from burning the meat and drying it out is to wrap the
carcass in heavy-duty aluminum foil after rubbing it with a mixture of
extra-virgin olive oil and sweet butter. The oils will provide some
basting inside the foil until the juices start to run, then the foil
will keep the steam in and help in the cooking process.
I always use coarse Hawaiian Sea salt, sprinkled liberally over the
meat before wrapping. I know a lot of you worry about too much sodium,
but the steaming washes most of it away. Besides, the salt brings the
moisture to the surface of the flesh and speeds the steaming.
Orange juice adds flavor, moisture, and the sugar content aids in
browning. I use the juice of one orange per three pounds of meat. I
sprinkle the juice on the outside, and add the spent rinds to the
cavity along with the stuffing.
You also need one clove of crushed garlic per pound of meat. Separate
the clove, smash it with the flat of a knife, then remove the skin.
Crush it again with the flat of the knife, swiping away with the blade
like you're spreading butter. The clove is pulverized.
Make the stuffing out of one pound of white bread toasted, dried and
cubed, and one pound of cornbread dried and cubed. Mix with one-cup
water for every two pounds of bread, one white onion, two stalks
celery, and one pound of sage breakfast sausage browned per two pounds
of stuffing. Use your hands to really pack it into the body cavity -
get dirty doing this and feel what it's like to cook a meal.
When you're done, place the carcass breast up on a large roasting pan.
Cook undisturbed for the first hour at the higher temperature, and then
reduce heat. There's no need to turn the meat in the pan, although I
recommend rotating the pan starting after the first hour and every
Cooking time varies with weight. I suggest cooking through the first
hour, then the second, and then an additional half-hour per two pounds.
Servings should be estimated at one pound per adult, just to get an
idea of how many mouths may be fed. Remember that there is quite a lot
of weight in bones!
That's all there is to it. It's really quite simple, and such a better
use of the carcass than tossing it away or burying it in the yard.
Remember that even the cheapest cut of meat can be delicious, if
treated with proper care and love.
If you have any additional questions on stuffing a Grandmother, give
me a call, anytime. I'll be right here.
Thanks for the chance to share an old favorite of mine!