Sausage and Pear Stuffing
It’s official! We’re moving! Yesterday we got possession of the new house and so we’ve begun slowly taking boxes over. The day of our BIG MOVE (beds and other furniture) has been scheduled for the 21st.
The babe isn’t due until November 12th but I have a suspicion that s/he wants to make a grand appearance and thus might make things difficult by arriving on moving day. But don’t worry: I’ve got a plan so that is less likely to happen. You know what I mean, if you don’t have a plan then the worse case scenario poops on your head; if you spend ages coming up with plans and back up plans, everything goes smoothly and you don’t wind up needing any of them.
I have made plans and back up plans. Therefore the babe WILL NOT arrive on moving day! So says me!
Anyhow, with my kitchen slowly emptying of equipment, my exhaustion levels rapidly rising and my brain full of the minutia of packing, cleaning and prepping for baby, I have found myself with very little time to cook, take pictures and write. I therefore have decided to take a little hiatus from my usual posting schedule.
Until after the babe arrives and my little family has had a chance to get used to the new routines, to the lack of sleep and to the re-introduction of diaper pails and of baby wails, I am not going to be posting much, if at all.
But I will be back so don’t give up on me, please. Until then, here’s a recipe following-up on last week’s stuffing post. It’s in celebration of Canadian Thanksgiving, which just passed, and of the upcoming American Thanksgiving which we will be celebrating with family for the first time since we moved to the US (and we will probably be celebrating it with a new baby in a new home as well! Hooray!).
Take care everyone! I’ll miss you!
Sausage and Pear Stuffing
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Serves 4-6 (depending on how many side dishes you’re serving)
The Poultry Cavity Conflict (PCC) I discussed last week is very real in my own home. I grew up on stuffing from inside the bird. My husband grew up on stuffing from outside of the bird. I therefore prefer very moist turkey-juice infused stuffings while he prefers slightly drier crunchy-topped stuffings. This recipe is a bit of a compromise. It is cooked in a casserole and does get crunchy on top. However, the sausage adds that meatiness and the pear, that juiciness. So I guess you could say that this stuffing is yet another PCC solution. Note that this stuffing is equally excellent served alongside roast pork as it is alongside roast poultry.
- 2 links mild Italian sausage
- 2 tbsps butter
- 1 medium sweet onion (like vidalia), chopped
- 2 pears, cored and roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp coarse black pepper
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 4 cups cubed bread (slightly stale is best)
- Grease a medium casserole pan lightly with butter. Preheat oven to 350ºF (but any temperature that the oven is at for your roast should be fine).
- Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Remove the casings from the sausages. Put the sausages into the pan and use the back of a wooden spoon to smoosh them into smaller pieces. Allow to cook for a moment and then continue to stir and smoosh until the sausage meat is in small crumbly bits and is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the cooked sausage crumbles to a plate lined with a paper towel to drain off some of the fat.
- Turn the heat under the pan down to medium and add the butter and onion. Let it sit for a moment so that the juices from the onion can escape onto the pan and mingle with any brownings left from the sausage. Stir and scrap the bottom of the pan for a moment to get up any bits of brownings. Cook the onions for a few more minutes, stirring every now and then until translucent. Add the pear. Cook stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add the garlic, fennel seed, salt and pepper. Stir and remove from heat.
- Stir the sausage into the pan. Sprinkle with the lemon juice. Stir in the bread. Place the stuffing into the buttered casserole dish.
- Bake alongside your roast for the final 30 minutes of roasting time.
- When the roast is done, you will probably want to allow it to rest for a little while. During that time you can either turn the oven off and leave the stuffing in there to stay warm or, if you prefer a crunchier top, you can increase the oven temperature to 450ºF and let the top really brown for 10 minutes or so. Another alternative is to pop the broiler on over the stuffing so that the top gets really toasty like in the picture below (it usually only takes a minute or two, but this depends on your broiler and how far your stuffing is from the heating elements).