Today has been a big baking day, tray upon tray of mince pies, several panforte and snowy drifts of ricciarelli adorn the worktops. Sausage rolls must wait until Christmas Eve - a baking ritual here at the White Cottage. I’d be in big trouble with the family if I dared to bake them beforehand. Christmas doesn’t start until that first sausage roll is baked and eaten. I am, however, allowed to prep the stuffing for the turkey and tuck it in the freezer until its needed.
Our stuffing this year will feature fennel seeds - I adore the combination of pork and fennel - with juicy prunes for their dark, fruity stickiness and the crunch of toasted pistachios. We have a ready supply of old scraps of sourdough here, but don’t buy some especially. However, do use good quality bread - even better, make your own!
It’s so easy to make the stuffing ahead of time, taking only minutes to prepare, and beats a packet of Sage & Onion every time.
Good quality, free range pork sausage meat 1kg
Sourdough breadcrumbs 150g
Soft prunes, chopped 200g
Pistachios, roughly chopped 100g
Dried pink peppercorns 2 heaped tbsp
Fennel seeds 1 tbsp
1 egg, beaten
Zest of 1 orange
1/2 bunch fresh parsley, chopped
Salt and black pepper
A great use of any old bits of sourdough you might have lying around (or in the freezer). Don’t use fresh - best at a week old. If the bread is still quite soft, slice and leave it out for a few hours (or overnight) before blitzing into crumbs.
Simply combine all the above ingredients, excluding the meat and egg. When evenly mixed, add the final ingredients and mix thoroughly with your hands. Will keep for several days in the fridge, or freeze until ready to use.