Very important to have Lots of Stuffing.
As a result of developing and testing these recipes for my recent Christmas cookery demonstration at Bulgaden, the Husband came home from the brewery on more than a few days to be faced with a dinner of assorted stuffings. You know what I discovered? Pile a plate high with stuffing, add some hearty salad on the side – something like this Crunchy Apple ‘Slaw or Broccoli, Tomato and Avocado Salad would be good – fry an egg in chilli oil, slide it on top and, hey presto!, you’ve got a real meal.
Or you could just use them to stuff your turkey…
Don’t forget the Cranberry Sauce:
Apricot, Lemon and Herb Stuffing
Inspired by a cousin who loves fruity stuffings, this is light and zesty and crunchy and, yes, apricoty. Also great in duck where it picks up great meaty flavours and cuts through the rich fat.
100g dried apricots, chopped
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
200g fresh breadcrumbs
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, chopped
25g pine nuts, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh sage, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
100g butter, melted
Sea salt, freshly ground black pepper
If baking this separately, preheat oven to 180°C. Butter a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
Place dried apricots in a small bowl, pour over the lemon juice and allow to stand for 5 minutes, while preparing the rest of the stuffing.
In a large bowl, combine the lemon zest, bread crumbs, shallots, garlic, celery, pine nuts, herbs butter and seasoning.
Add the soaked apricots in the lemon juice and mix thoroughly.
Use to stuff the turkey or tip into the loaf tin and bake for 35-40 minutes until brown and crunchy on top.
Marie’s Sausage, Potato and Mushroom Stuffing
This originally came from my aunt Marie but each of her sisters has taken it in a slightly different direction as I discovered when my mother started texting around looking for the recipe. This is my take on it.
450g sausage meat or sausages, skins removed
450g mashed potatoes – leftovers are perfect
3 tablespoons caramelised onion relish
250g button mushrooms, sliced
50g fresh cranberries
Freshly ground black pepper
If baking separately, preheat the oven to 200°C and butter a 900g (2lb) loaf tin.
Mash the sausage meat and potatoes together, stir in the caramelised onions and season well with black pepper. Put half into a baking dish, sprinkle thickly with most of the mushrooms, reserving a few for the top, then top with the rest of the sausage meat-potato mixture. Scatter over the reserved mushrooms and cranberries and push firmly into the stuffing. Drizzle with a little olive oil.
Use for stuffing the turkey or cook in the loaf tin for 1 hour until cooked through and golden brown on top.
I caught this on the RTÉ Archives twitter feed during the week. If you’re a fan – as I am – of finger lickin’ Monica Sheridan, check out her take on the RTÉ-supplied turkey for her Christmas stuffing demonstration from December 1987.