Bacon, chestnut and cranberry stuffing
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This stuffing recipe is fairly involved, but worth making for special occasions such as Christmas dinner.
- 100g dried cranberries
- 50ml ruby port
- 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 rashers bacon , chopped (rind removed and discarded)
- 50g butter
- 3 Cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 450g sausagemeat
- 140g dried breadcrumbs *see Chef's notes
- I eventually used breadcrumbs from 3 fresh bread rolls, more than 140g, but that was the weight fresh, not dried.
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 140g cooked chestnuts (about 200g / 20 raw chestnuts to allow for peeling and waste), peeled and chopped - don't forget to peel and pick out all of the bitter brown skin.
- 1 egg, beaten
- Chop the cranberries and soak in the port for at least 1 hour
- Preheat the oven to 190° C (375° F - gas 5), [fan oven 170° C & reduce cooking time by 10 mins per hour]
- Gently fry the onion garlic and bacon in the butter for about 6 to 8 minutes.
- Allow to cool, then using your (clean) hands mix with the remaining ingredients.
- Once well mixed, add the egg and mix in well. This helps the stuffing to bind together properly.
- Roll into 20 balls and bake alongside your roast - make them even nicer by rolling in melted butter first.
- 35 minutes is all they need when cooked as balls.
- Butter a small oven dish and pack the stuffing into the dish (about 5cm thick)
- 40 to 45 minutes should be enough when coked in a tray
These also make nice nibbles served cold!
Make them before the event and freeze them (uncooked).
Defrost properly on the day you want to use them.
Breadcrumbs: If you have a food-processor you can make fresh breadcrumbs really quickly. Just tear up a few slices of good quality fresh bread, place in a food processor with a metal blade and pulse a few times until they look right. I find that fresh bread is far better than stale bread for this.
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