Recipe video above. Still the BEST stuffing recipe I’ve had in my life, adapted from this brilliant recipe by Hapa Nom. It’s got it all – golden, buttery crunchy top, soft and moist inside, big bold pops of salty sausage melded with juicy little bits of tart apple, a hint of crunch from pecans and subtle perfume from sage and thyme. The ultimate combo of flavour and textures. Amen!
8heaped cups plain white bread, crust on, cut into 2.5cm / 1 “ cubes (~600g/1.2lb) (Note 1)
500g/ 1 lb pork sausages, good quality (Note 2)
50g/ 3 tbsp butter, unsalted
1/2onion, finely diced
1large celery stalk, sliced 3mm / 1/8” thick
1granny smith apple, skin left on, diced into 0.5 cm / 1/5” cubes
1/3cuppecans, roughly chopped (Note 3)
1 cup (250 ml)chicken stock/broth, low sodium
1/3 cup (85 ml)cream, heavy / thickened (low fat also ok)
1tbspfresh sage, finely chopped
1tspfresh thyme leaves
1/4tspeach salt and pepper
30g / 2 tbspbutter, melted (extra for brushing)
Thyme leaves, small sage leaves, chopped parsley, optional garnish
Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F.
Spread bread out on tray (squished is fine). Bake for 8 minutes until lightly toasted – pale gold ok, should be soft on inside but crispy on outside. Transfer into large bowl.
Meanwhile, place about 1 tsp butter in a large skillet over high heat. Once melted, add sausage and cook, breaking it up as you go.
Once cooked with a few golden bits, pour over bread (yes, including all the fat!).
Return skillet to stove, turn down to medium. Add remaining butter. Once melted, add onion, cook 2 minutes.
Add celery and apple, cook for 3 minutes.
Add pecans, chicken stock, creamy, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir.
Bring to simmer, then cook for 2 minutes, then pour it into the bowl. Mix well, ensuring all the bread is evenly coated. Get in there with your hands if needed!
Taste and add more salt if needed (depends on saltiness of sausage).
Transfer into a 2 litre / 2 quarts baking dish. Cover with foil, bake 40 minutes.
Remove foil, brush with Extra melted butter if desired. Then broil/grill on high for 2 to 4 minutes until the top is nicely browned (watch it carefully - but be brave! Colour = flavour!).
Serve warm, sprinkled with parsley, fresh thyme or some small fresh sage leaves if desired!
1. Bread – plain, boring, standard white sandwich bread is best here. I find Artisan breads like sourdough is too tough and chewy for this recipe, especially given stale bread is best. It’s just too much effort to eat!Measuring – use heaped cups ie pile bread cubes in a mound in a cup (see photo in post). Weight isn’t the right measure here as breads vary in density and weight.Day old if possible but not essential (ie take out of packet and leave out overnight). Best if slightly stale because fresh bread gets soaked into mush but for this recipe, it’s not so much an issue because the bread is lightly toasted anyway.2. Pork Sausage – the better the sausage, the better the stuffing! While you can buy sausage meat not in sausage form (ie sold like ground/mince meat), you’ll find that good pork sausages have better meat. Look for pork sausages where you can see the speckles of meat and fat, avoid the ones that are a uniform pink colour (cheaper). Plain pork sausages are what I usually use, but I’ve made it with Italian flavoured, herb & garlic, apple & cider – all are tasty!3. Pecans – or walnuts. Chop then measure.4. Make ahead – store the bread separately, combine the sausage into the liquid mixture in the skillet. Cool completely with lid on then store in fridge. On the day of, warm the sausage mixture (to loosen), pour over bread, assemble and bake per recipe.Leftovers – cover and store in fridge for 3 to 4 days. I love making Stuffing Muffins:
For every 2 cups of stuffing, mix with 1 egg and 1 tbsp milk. Squidge together well with your hands (toss in some chopped ham or turkey, veg etc if you want!), then pile into a muffin tin. Bake 15 – 20 min at 180C/350F until golden. They taste like stuffing – except in breakfast muffin form! Should make 3 – 4.
5. Nutrition per serving. You don't need much - it's actually quite rich!! Serves 10 to 14 people depending on how many other sides you have.