For 25 years I’ve made this at Christmas, and for 25 years I’ve wondered ‘why don’t I make this all year round? It’s utterly delicious, and so easy’ (but difficult to photograph, alas).
I thank my 1980s-vintage Good Housekeeping Cookbook from which I’ve adapted this recipe. Fresh herbs really make this special but don’t sweat it if you have only dried.
- 450g good-quality pork sausage meat
- Butter and/or vegetable oil, if required
- 3 small or 2 large eating apples, cored and chopped
- 1 large or 2 small brown onions, chopped finely
- 2 celery sticks, sliced medium-thickly
- Fresh bread crumbs (see footnote)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
- Handful of fresh sage leaves, finely chopped; or, 1 tablespoon dried sage
- Handful of fresh oregano leaves, finely chopped; or, 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- One large, heavy-bottomed pot
- One large bowl
- One small bowl for beaten egg
- Put the sausage meat in a cold pot on the hob on a low heat, until you hear it start to sizzle and release its fat. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until browned, stirring frequently, and breaking apart any clumps as you go. Remove the meat to a large bowl when done.
- In the drippings in the pot (if you have good sausage meat with a lower fat content, add some butter and/or vegetable oil now) on a low heat, cook the apple, onion, and celery 10-15 minutes or so, until the onion is translucent and softened, and the celery has become tender-crisp. Stir every few minutes or so.
- Remove the pot from the heat and tip the contents into the bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir until well mixed. This stuffing is best when freshly made, but it’s still very good eaten cold, say, in a sandwich the next day. Just put it into the fridge in a sealed container, and it will keep for well over a week.
I place 4 thin bread slices on a wire rack overnight to dry out, then crumble them (you could also lightly toast 4 thin slices before crumbling). This stuffing is really improved by using whole wheat, granary, and/or seeded bread – I’m not a fan of plain white bread at any time, and certainly not in this recipe (unless it’s an herb-ed up version of my soured cream bread).