|Ready to put in the over... perfect every time.|
Whether it be for the traditional Christmas dinner, or for the American Thanksgiving, there's no doubt that the choice of stuffing is high on the agenda.
For me, who's been a voracious meat-eater since a wee boy, I've always leaned towards the "it simply has to be a meat stuffing" camp.
This recipe is based on my own mum’s meat stuffing recipe, which I took, re-vamped slightly and in-doing-so hopefully improved. Containing some fruit, it tastes mildly sweet, juicy, yet still retains the solid ‘meaty’ consistency of traditional sausage meat stuffing.
Obviously your own tastes will not be absolutely in step with mine, so if you want to drop an ingredient, or add one, feel free to do so. As long as you don’t alter the consistency too much, it’ll cook fine. I’ve heard of people adding or substituting cranberries, crushed pineapple, or even walnuts.
Beware though, the eggs are kinda essential to bind/hold it all together while cooking, and the breadcrumbs both soak in flavor from the other ingredients, and dry out the main mix, important for the final product. Without the breadcrumbs, it’s rather goopy.
Here’s my ingredients…
1 lb Pork sausage
1 lb Turkey sausage
1 Large onion
1 Large apple
1 Large pear
½ lb Brown bread breadcrumbs
2 Teaspoons of chopped garlic
Large pinches of salt and pepper
Kitchen items; Large casserole dish, mixing spoon.
Method; Chop the onion, apple, and pear into small pieces, (I use a food processor) and mix ALL ingredients together. There’s no real correct order. I even shred my breadcrumbs in the processor; by far the best way to get them uniform.
(TIP: do the breadcrumbs first, when the food processor is dry... that way they won't stick to the sides)
I then mix the whole mixture by hand, there’s nothing like getting your hands dirty for the process... it's a kind of ritual.
When evenly mixed, I usually build a ring of mix around the edge of the casserole dish (see pic above); this not only ensures even cooking, but also makes it easy to run off any fat given off from the sausages.
You will probably have to drain the fat halfway through cooking. For best results, I’ve even turned the mix upside down about halfway through. (Tricky operation, but the all-round crispy edge is worth the effort)
Stick in the oven, gas at 350F, and cook for a good 90 mins.
Good luck, and I hope you enjoy...