Bird in a Bird Roast

James Martin spurns the turkey for his Christmas lunch, instead cooking up a stunning four-bird roast
By James Martin
Bird in a Bird Roast
  • Rating:
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 45 minutes plus resting time
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1 yorkshire pot, (see cook's note)
  • butter, for greasing
  • 1 leek

For the gravy

  • 1 bottles red wine
  • 1.5 litres beef stock
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 knobs butter

Tips and Suggestions

the Yorkshire pot is the speciality of Derek Fox family butchers in James Martin's home town of Malton in North Yorkshire. It is a bird within a bird, within a bird, within a bird - just like one of those Russian dolls. A partridge goes inside a pheasant, which goes inside a chicken, which goes inside a duck. At the centre is a pate, and each bird is stuffed with three different types of homemade stuffing. You could substitute any bird in a bird roast, but check the weight for cooking time.


1. Preheat the oven to 160C/gas 3.

2. Wrap the Yorkshire pot into a parcel in a large sheet of buttered tin foil.

3. Cut the leek in half lengthways, and use the 2 halves as a trivet in a roasting tin to prop the bird on. Cook in the oven for 2 hours 30 minutes. While the bird is cooking, start making the gravy.

4. For the gravy: put the wine, stock and vinegar in a pan and bring to the boil. Leave to bubble away until reduced to a thick gravy. Stir in the knobs of butter which will make it glossy and rich.

5. Remove the tin foil from the bird and turn the oven up to 200C/gas 6. Return to the oven to brown the skin for 10-15 minutes. Check that the bird is cooked through by poking a knife into the centre - the juices should run clear. Leave the bird to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

6. Carve the Yorkshire pot into slices (don't cut the string first as it helps it hold its shape) and lay out on a serving platter. Pour over some of the rich gravy, and serve the rest in a gravy jug at the table.

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