I’ve made this stuffing twice at Thanksgiving now, and I served it recently with Sage and Clementine Roast Chicken. Stuffing (or dressing as we called it growing up) never had meat it in: it was a bread-and-veggies exclusive. I had a sausage stuffing at someone else’s Thanksgiving, served by a German grandmother. It was incredible; I never knew what I was missing! The sausage added texture to the traditional flavors, and there isn’t much that pork doesn’t improve.
After making this a few times, I have enjoyed it most when I have used a mix of hot Italian and mild Italian sausages, leaning a bit more on the hot. I like unexpected spiciness it brings to the stuffing. But, the mix is entirely up to you: select according to what your guests’s preferences are.
Sausage and Rustic Bread Stuffing
- 1 lbs Italian sausage, removed from casings
- 2 T unsalted butter, plus more for greasing dish
- 1 large Spanish onion, quartered
- 2 stalks celery
- 1 large carrot, peeled
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp rubbed sage
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 large egg, slightly beaten
- 4-6 C 1″ bread cubes, torn from stale country bread
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 C chicken stock
Preheat oven to 425º. Pulse onion, celery, and carrot in a food processor until finely chopped. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the sausage and break it up into small, bite-sized pieces with a spatula, cooking until golden brown. Remove the sausage with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towels. Add butter to the grease remaining in the pan, and scrape up the drippings. When the butter is melted, add the onion, celery, and carrots from the food processor. Cook until soft, then add the garlic. Cook for one minue, then remove from heat and fold in the sage and thyme. Scrape the mixture into a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add the sausage to the bowl. Pour the slightly beaten egg over the mixture, then add the bread and mix to blend everything evenly. Pour the chicken stock over the stuffing and keep stirring. Grease a casserole dish and scrape the stuffing into the dish. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.
Serves 6 – 8