Pork Sausage Apple Stuffing in Pancetta Cups (Muffin Tin) on a white plate.
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5 from 4 votes

Pork Sausage Apple Stuffing in Pancetta Cups (Muffin Tin)

Stuffing baked in pancetta cups! The stuffing is slightly adapted from this Pork Sausage Dressing recipe by Hapa Nom Nom. These are fantastic made on the day but even better the day after because the flavours meld together even more. They reheat very well in the oven - both the pancetta and the tops crisp up again in the oven.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Side
Servings: 16
Calories: 224kcal
Author: Nagi | RecipeTin Eats

Ingredients

  • 16 slices of pancetta , around 12cm/5" in diameter (so it fits the muffin tin nicely)
  • 1 lb / 500g Italian pork sausage , casings removed (Note 1)
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion , finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk , thinly sliced
  • 1 granny smith apple , skin on, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup almonds , roughly chopped (note: original recipe called for pecans which I didn't have)
  • 5 cups slightly stale white bread , cut into 1/3" / 1cm cubes (Notes 2 & 3)
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock/broth (or turkey)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (not whipped)
  • 1 tsp fresh sage , finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried sage)
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme , finely chopped (or 1/2 tsp dried thyme)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large egg , lightly beaten

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F/180C with the oven rack in the middle.
  • Get 2 muffin trays and partially stack them so you have 16 muffin holes and the "joined" muffin tins will fit on one shelf (Note 4).
  • Line the holes with pancetta.
  • Heat a large fry pan over high heat. Add the pork sausage and cook it, breaking up the meat as you go. Cook until the sausage changes from pink to light brown and some of the bits starts to brown - about 5 minutes.
  • Remove the sausage into a bowl and drain the excess fat.
  • Return the pan to the stove and reduce the heat to medium high. Add the butter, and once melted, add the onion and celery. Sauté for around 3 minutes until the onion is translucent.
  • Add the apple and almonds, and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3 minutes.
  • Remove the fry pan from the stove. Add the bread and gently stir to combine.
  • Add the chicken stock/broth, cream, sage and thyme and sit to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Add the egg and stir until mixed through.
  • Divide the mixture between the 16 pancetta cups.
  • Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let them rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • To make ahead, transfer to a cooling rack. Cover and refrigerate until required. Then reheat in a 180C/350C preheated oven for 5 to 10 minutes until the pancetta and top is crispy.

Notes

1. The original recipe called for pork sausages. In Australia, depending on where you get the sausages, the quality varies. For a more consistent standard of sausages, Italian sausages are the best to get. As long as you get decent quality ones, they won't be filled out with flour or another starch. The fennel and other flavourings that you often get in Italian sausages will compliment this stuffing very well.
2. Use a good quality loaf like Vienna or cob loaf. This recipe is not suited to supermarket sandwich bread - it becomes too soggy. It is also not suited to sourdough because then there will be a slight sour flavour.
3. The bread should be slightly but not rock-hard stale. Kathleen recommends cutting it into cubes and leaving it overnight on the counter, uncovered, spread on a tray. I cut it into cubes, put it into a cold oven, turned it on to 180C/350F, then turned it off after 5 minutes and left the bread in there for 15 minutes or so while I got on with the rest of the recipe. This worked perfectly.
4. Partially stack one muffin tin on top of the other so only 4 muffin cups of the muffin tin on the bottom are showing. This way you will fit both muffin tins on one shelf of a standard size oven.
5. Nutrition per serving.
Pork Sausage Apple Stuffing in Pancetta Cups Nutrition

Nutrition

Serving: 99g | Calories: 224kcal | Carbohydrates: 8.3g | Protein: 10.2g | Fat: 16.6g | Saturated Fat: 6.2g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 55mg | Sodium: 540mg | Potassium: 182mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 150IU | Vitamin C: 1.7mg | Calcium: 40mg | Iron: 1.1mg