Luxury stuffing made with Gluten-free sausage meat, bacon, pureed clementines, prunes, walnuts, sage and aromatic spices. Moist, with delicious brown crust.
I use the term ‘stuffing’ somewhat loosely, as this recipe does not involve cramming anything into the ragged-edged cavity of a dead bird. Not because I’m particularly squeamish, but because doing so restricts the circulation of air during cooking, and so makes for unpredictable cooking times. So the stuffing that goes inside the cavity of the bird is for flavouring the meat only, and not for eating. Herbs, chopped citrus fruits and seasoning will do the trick in this regard. Next time you roast a chicken try stuffing with a big bunch of tarragon, and you will notice how the anise flavour subtly percolates throughout the cooked meat.
This stuffing is therefore cooked separately and more civilly in a loaf tin. When it comes to stuffing, you can really play around with different ingredients, depending on what meat you are cooking, seasonality or just whatever you have an excess of in the store cupboard. I made this recipe to go with roast goose at Christmas, as the clementines give it a nice festive feel. But stick to a basic mixture of herbs, seasoning, sausage meat and sautéed vegetables, some nuts for texture, and a wet ingredient such as an egg, stock or puréed fruits and vegetables to bind it all together and you can’t go wrong.
- 1 clementine
- 100g ready-to-eat prunes, chopped in half and stoned
- 1 tablespoon cooking oil (I used lard)
- 1 onion, peeled and very finely chopped
- 3 bacon rashers, chopped into small pieces
- 60g walnuts, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 600g gluten-free pork sausages
- Puree the clementine. Put the clementine in a small saucepan and cover with cold water. Place a plate with a smaller diameter than the pan on top to weigh the clementine down. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer and cook for 2 hours. Drain, then slice into quarters. Remove any pips, then place the whole lot – skin, flesh and pith – into a food processor and blitz until smooth. You can make this ahead, as the puree will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Add the prunes and blitz until combined.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Fry the onion and bacon. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and fry for about 4 minutes, until translucent but not brown. Add the bacon and fry for another 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave to cool to room temperature.
- Combine the ingredients. Tip the onion and bacon into a large mixing bowl. Add the boiled clementine and prune puree, and then combine all the remaining ingredients apart from the sausages. Mix using a wooden spoon.
- Shuck the sausages out of their skins and crumble into the mixing bowl. Use your hands to break up the meat and work the seasoning into the sausage meat.
- Cook the stuffing. Once thoroughly mixed, spoon the stuffing mixture into a 2lb loaf tin. Rest a sheet of tin foil on top of the tin to prevent the top from over-browning. Cook in the preheated oven for 1 hour, removing the tin foil for the last 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and pour out any excess fat that has pooled in the tin (this can be saved for cooking with later). Leave to rest for 30 minutes, covered with a double layer of tin foil to keep warm.
- To serve, invert onto a serving plate. If you want more of a crust, you can brown under the grill for 2-3 minutes.