As a child, full of the excitement of Christmas, I was only interested in a couple of bits of Christmas Dinner. Namely – the stuffing, and Mince pies!
Stuffing at home always had sausage meat in it, and we never had ‘Bread Stuffing’. When I moved up to Norn Irn, I embraced bread stuffing with gusto, and have been making it ever since.
However this recipe from my friend Muriel, formerly of the Ormeau Road, but now living within view of the Indian Ocean in Perth, Western Australia, sounded so good that I really had to try it recently. I was not disappointed, as the flavours and texture were wonderful. There are several recipes from Muriel, and her daughter Chloe, on this site, so do check them out.
This recipe is made in a large bowl, and I did all the chopping, mixing etc by hand (I used ready-grated breadcrumbs), but a food processor will make it much easier.
The mix comes together beautifully, and it’s really easy to work with – something that Bread Stuffing can often not be!
This recipe is enough to stuff a Turkey for that big December festival that starts earlier every year. I made the whole recipe, and stuffed a 1.5Kg chicken with it. Naturally, I had quite a lot left over, but it’s in a box in the fridge waiting for its midweek moment of glory when I stuff a few Chicken breasts https://eatingforireland.com/recipe/stuffed-chicken-and-bacon-parcels/ It’s one of my most popular recipes, by the way, in case you’ve missed it until now..
I imagine that it will freeze beautifully too, and it’s what I’ll be making this year, and freezing sometime in December – something else I won’t have to think about in the run-up to Christmas Day..
So, let’s get stuffed! 😉
- A very large mixing bowl, or a Food processor
- 400g breadcrumbs – the better the bread, the better the stuffing. Just saying..
- 4 regular size Pork sausages, with their skins removed or 150g of well seasoned Sausage Meat.
- 4-6 slices of Streaky bacon, chopped small
- 1 large or 2 medium Onions, finely chopped
- 6-8 fresh mushrooms, finely chopped
- A handful of fresh Parsley, chopped
- Some fresh or dried Thyme, about half a teaspoon if you’re using dried
- Fresh Nutmeg, grated
- Plenty of Salt and Pepper
- Weigh your Chicken/Turkey. Write it down somewhere.
- Put all the ingredients into the bowl, and – with clean, jewellery-free hands – mix it all until it comes together.
- If using a Food processor, put everything in, and pulse until everything is mixed and in large clumps. You could also use a pair of forks to mix it, or even an electric beater, with dough hooks inserted.
- The mixture clumps together very nicely, and it’s very easy to stuff the bird.
- Cover the bird with the rest of the Streaky bacon – my pack had 12 slices.
- Before cooking, re-weigh the bird, and adjust the cooking time according to your provider’s instructions.
- A really good trick when making stuffing is to fry a spoonful of the mixture and let it cool a little before tasting, then you’ll know exactly what it will taste like when it’s cooked. That way you can adjust the seasoning while you’re still making the stuffing. It’s a good plan, if you’re really not sure, or if it’s your first time making this recipe.
- I bought good quality sausages, but I’ll definitely go for proper Sausage meat next time. Of course, you could go for your own favourite brand of sausages too.
- Rock up the changes by using smoked bacon if you like.
- Don’t worry about the mushrooms – they completely disappear during the cooking. For that reason, use nice Portobello or Chestnut mushrooms for flavour. I also added a little dried Mushroom Powder.
- For those of you who never stuff your Chicken or Turkey, but still fancy a bit of Stuffing on the day – this recipe makes delicious Stuffing Croquets – you certainly won’t need the whole recipe, but make about half of the recipe. Then, with slightly damp hands just roll some of the mixture until it’s the shape and size you want. The Croquets in the picture below took about 30 minutes to cook at 180Fan.