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Cornbread Stuffing with Thanksgiving Sausage

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We debated whether to call this stuffing or dressing. Technically it is only stuffing if it is actually stuffed inside of something and dressing if it’s baked in a pan. But other culinary officials say the terms are now interchangeable. What do you think? Whatever you call it, this dish is delicious. 

Cornbread Stuffing with Thanksgiving Sausage
By Brad Marshall, The Piggery

At Thanksgiving the Piggery makes a special sausage with pork, cranberries and sage, perfect for a classic stuffing recipe. The cornbread is a modified version of a recipe in Smokehouse Ham, Spoon Bread & Scuppernong.

1¼ cups cornmeal
3 tablespoons whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup buttermilk (Pittsford Dairy makes an especially creamy version)
2 eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons lard (or butter)
1 pound Thanksgiving sausage (any flavorful sausage will do)
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 small bunch of celery, coarsely chopped including the leafy greens
½ cup chicken stock, cider or water
1 batch of cornbread, crumbled
2 large eggs, beaten
1½ cups poultry or vegetable stock

Sift the dry ingredients together. Work the lard through the dry ingredients with a fork until thoroughly incorporated. Fold the eggs and buttermilk into the dry ingredients until well mixed. Spoon the mixture into a hot, greased cast-iron pan (it should sizzle a little). Bake in a 425° oven until it just feels firm to the touch in the center about 30 minutes.

Fry the sausages in a cast-iron pan over medium-high heat to an internal temperature of 155° (about 15–20 minutes). Remove from heat, let cool and chop into small pieces. Sautée the onions and celery in the same pan as the sausage. When they begin to brown, add the ½ cup of liquid and simmer about 20 minutes, until soft. Add the cornbread, sausage, eggs and the final stock, stirring well. The mixture should be quite moist. Bake in a 350° oven for one hour, or until brown on top.

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