Following right along with the pumpkin cornbread theme…
I had to do it, I had to make another batch of that Pumpkin Cornbread just to see if it could knock it out of the park as a stuffing and man, did it ever. This was fabulous, and I’m not even a stuffing kind of person.
The appeal of plain stuffing has always been lost on me. But when you substitute homemade cornbread enriched with pumpkin, molasses and a little brown sugar for those brittle dried breadcrumbs in the bag, then add country sausage and fresh sage, you can’t help but get something special. You could easily make this a vegetarian stuffing, just replace the sausage with some roasted mushrooms, add in a few walnuts, and use veggie stock. I think dried cranberries would be nice, too.
I cut my cornbread in large chunks so it wouldn’t completely fall apart as the stuffing is mixed. I crumbled the larger pieces as I added in the liquid to get a combination of textures. I also cut the onion and celery in relatively large dice, so they are recognizable in the final dish; you can taste them and they still have some crunch..
The peppery country sausage and the fresh sage really make this stuffing good.
- 1 recipe Pumpkin Cornbread (get recipe here)
- 8 oz country sausage (the kind that comes in a tube, or from the butcher)
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 onion, chopped (2 big handfulls)
- about 6 inner stalks of celery, leaves included, sliced (2 big handfulls)
- salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 4 Tbsp chopped fresh sage leaves
- more butter for dotting
- Set oven to 350
- If you have the time, let the cornbread sit on the counter overnight to dry out. Then cut it in large bite sized cubes. Set aside.
- Crumble the sausage into a large heavy bottomed pot. Brown the sausage, continuing to break it up into small bits as it cooks. When it is completely cooked, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Melt the butter in the same pan and sautee the onion and celery for several minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent.
- Add the sausage back to the pan.
- Turn off the heat and toss in the cornbread cubes and fresh sage. Add salt and pepper, and stir briefly to combine.
- Lightly beat the eggs in a measuring cup, and then stir in the stock. Pour this mixture into the stuffing pan, stirring lightly as you add the liquid. Break up any extra large chunks of cornbread as you mix. If it seems dry to you, add a little more stock, but not too much or the stuffing will get mushy. When it is all combined, but not overly mixed, turn into a buttered baking dish or casserole.
- Dot with butter, and then bake for about 30 minutes until hot and browned on top.
I had a little bit extra so I baked it in well buttered muffins cups for individual portions…
I guess I’m going to have to call myself a stuffing person from now on.