1789 Sausage Stuffing

Adapted by StarChefs.com

INGREDIENTS:

2 qts bread, cut into cubes and left out to dry or toasted
1 lb. bulk pork sausage
1/2 lb. butter
1/4 cup peanut oil
1/2 lb. bacon, diced
2 large onions, diced
6 stalks celery, diced
2 qts. chicken or turkey stock
1 T. fresh picked thyme
1 T fresh chopped sage
bay leaf
1/2 lb. cooked Smithfield ham, diced
1 T. poultry seasoning
1/4 cup maple syrup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

METHOD:

Prepare the bread cubes. Save old bread for stuffing. The bread should be as dry as possible to better absorb the juices. Break up the sausage and roast it in the oven until just cooked. Pour off any excess fat. Set aside until ready to use.

To make the stuffing:
Heat the butter and the oil in a heavy based pan. Add the bacon and cook until crisp. Stir in the onions and celery and cook until soft. Add the cooked sausage, the chicken stock and the herbs and cook until the flavors have melded and the stock has reduced by nearly half. Taste the stock and if it is filled with the flavors of the herbs and the pork then it's ready. Stir in the bread cubes and the Smithfield ham. Remove from the heat. Season with the maple syrup, poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. Go gently with the salt at first since the bacon, pork and ham are all salty. The stuffing should be a little moist as it will be rebaked in the turkey cavity or in a casserole before serving. Just add more stock or more bread as needed. Top with a couple of pads of butter and cover before rebaking.

Wine Recommendations:

With Turkey dinner:
Chanebolle Musigny, Louis Jadot, '95
Tokay Pinot Gris, Alsace

With Oyster & Celery Stew:
Pouilly Fumé, Pursang, Didier Dagueneau