Heat the oil in a saucepan, add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Add the sausage meat and stir well just breaking down the sausage meat but do not actually cook it through.
Cool slightly and add just enough breadcrumbs to stiffen up the mixture, but remember that they will continue to thicken as they reconstitute themselves so take care not to add too many. Stir in the whole egg and beat the whole mixture well.
Finally add the Christmas pudding and cherries and some salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas mark 4.
Push some of the stuffing into the neck end of the bird packing it right up to the breast meat. Secure the neck skin with cocktail sticks. Roll the remaining stuffing into balls (these can be cooked separately for 30 minutes).
Weigh the turkey and calculate the cooking time at 20 minutes per kg + 90 minutes at the end.
Cover with foil and roast. Remove the foil and baste with the juice, a little oil is also good here and roast uncovered for the last hour of cooking time.
Check to see if the turkey is cooked by pushing a metal skewer into the thickest part of the leg - if the juices run clear the turkey is cooked. If the juices are slightly pink pop back into the oven for a further 15 minutes before checking again.
Cover with foil and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes before carving.
© Copyright Phil Vickery 2011.
For the stuffing:
For the turkey: