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Stuffing with sage and chestnuts

By: Derek Dammann

Stuffing with sage and chestnuts

I choose not to stuff large birds as they take too long to cook when filled, which results in a dry product. You could always shove a little bit of the stuffing up the backside of the bird for a little cook’s treat in the kitchen. —D.D.

From Canada’s 100 Best Cooking Issue 2016

INGREDIENTS

Serves
8

Stuffing

  • 200 g (7 oz) cooked, peeled chestnuts
  • 2 yellow onions, quartered
  • 1 bunch sage, leaves only
  • 50 g (2 oz) stale bread
  • 50 g (2 oz) bacon, chopped
  • 1 kg (2 lb) ground pork shoulder
  • 1 lemon, grated zest only
  • ½ orange, grated zest only
  • ½ nutmeg seed, grated
  • Salt, white pepper

Cranberry Sauce

Go to the supermarket and buy a can of cranberry jelly. When you are ready to serve your Christmas dinner, open the can and tip the jelly onto a serving plate. Slice into decorative rounds, just like in the photo on the can. If anyone judges you for buying it, simply reassure them that nobody can make cranberry jelly better than this and that for you it evokes wonderful memories of your childhood. Mentally adjust your guest list for next year… —D.D.

METHOD

Preheat oven to 175°C (350°F). Use a food processor to process the following sequence of ingredients, transferring each of them to the same large mixing bowl after processing—without cleaning the bowl in between.

Start with the chestnuts, pulsed until coarsely chopped. Follow with the combined onions and sage, pulsed until minced. Next the bread, pulsed into coarse crumbs. Finish with the bacon, processed until minced.

Then, add to that mixture the raw pork, zest and nutmeg. Season generously. Mix until thoroughly combined. Transfer to a casserole and bake until bronzed, crisp and bubbling—45-55 minutes. Rest for 30 minutes.

Just before serving, drain any excess fat that may have pooled around the edges of the pan.

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