SAUSAGE and LEEK STUFFING PUDDING

11.19.2015

Everyone has a favorite Thanksgiving dish and I'm skeptical of the person who doesn't like stuffing. I love it so much, I used to force my mom to make two different kinds every year. Such a brat. Then again, I don't think she objected. 

Based on the post title, you're either thinking this sounds delicious or disgusting. Wanting to steer away from Savory Bread Pudding as the name of this recipe, I just went with what I think sounds yummy. I love stuffing and I love pudding, so there. Even after I polled family and friends (who nearly all voted for Savory Bread Pudding), I went with Stuffing Pudding. It rolls off the tongue - try it. Hungry now, right? 

A version of this stuffing has appeared on our table for at least the last five years and I don't plan on changing it any time soon. Now it's my mom that requests the stuffing, which I love. Fewer things feel better than people liking a dish you make so much that they feel the holiday isn't complete without it. 

Knowing you have heaps of planning to do, I'm keeping the mumbo jumbo short. One important thing I want to point out is that because it is of bread pudding nature, you can make this stuffing all the way up till baking a DAY AHEAD. Yay for day ahead recipes! Just wrap it in foil and bring to room temp before popping it in the oven. If it looks a little dry because the bread sopped up all the pudding, you can pour up to an additional 1/2 cup of liquid (stock or cream) on top. 

Happy Thanksgiving planning! 




SAUSAGE and LEEK STUFFING PUDDING
~yields 3 quarts, enough for 6-8 people

1 lb Italian loaf, cut into 1” cubes*, placed in a large mixing bowl
2 Tbs olive oil, divided
2 large sweet Italian sausages, roughly 12 ounces, casings removed
6 Tbs unsalted butter (3 ounces)
2 medium white onions, chopped
1 medium leek, white and pale green parts only, chopped
4 large celery ribs, chopped 
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 large eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup heavy cream, divided, more as needed (see details at the end of the post)
1 1/2 cups turkey giblet stock or chicken broth, more as needed (see details at the end of the post)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1/2 cup packed parsley, chopped
1 Tbs  chopped fresh oregano


Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Generously butter a 3 qt baking dish. 
In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbs of olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add the sausage and using the back of a wooden spoon, roughly break up the sausage into chunks and brown thoroughly.
With a slotted spoon, remove the sausage and add it to the bread cubes.
Pour the fat from the skillet and wipe clean.  
Heat the butter and cook onions, celery, garlic, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until golden about 12-15 minutes.  
Add the vegetables to the bread and sausage mixture. Set aside to cool. 
Whisk together eggs, yolks, 1/4 cup of cream, turkey stock, cheese, parsley and oregano.
Stir into stuffing and mix well. 
Place the mixture in the prepped baking dish, drizzle the remaining 1/4 cup of cream on top and set aside to chill for about 20 minutes or overnight (see details at the end of the post).
Before baking, bring the dish to room temperature.  
Bake 400ºF covered tightly with foil about 20 minute.  
Remove foil, increase the heat to 425ºF and bake until the top top is golden and crisp, about 15 minutes more. 

*If you're using fresh bread, toast the cubes in a 300º for roughly 20-25 min so they are nice and dry. Otherwise, you'll end up with soggy stuffing. 

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