Friday, December 20, 2013

*Homemade Holiday Stuffing...My Brother's (No Longer) Secret Recipe

Today the calendar may say December 19, but we are celebrating Christmas Eve with our boys and daughter-in-law, and my mom and stepdad.  We celebrate whenever we can gather family together, and this weekend we will commemorate Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

I have simplified our menu so that I can enjoy the day a little more.  We're having rotisserie chicken, Mom's rolls and mashed potatoes, my homemade cranberry relish, and for the first time, my brother Eric's yummy Sausage Stuffing, my first ever attempt at making stuffing!

It all started a couple of decades ago when we celebrated our first Thanksmas together, which initiated the tradition of celebrating Christmas directly after our Thanksgiving dinner with any available family members in the western United States. (That sounds pretty comprehensive. Utah and Idaho are currently the only western states participating in this regional event.)  My brother Eric asked what he could bring that first Thanksmas all those years ago.  I requested stuffing.  He agreed to try. What a relief.  I had never made it; neither had he, but being the good sport that he is, he set about teaching himself to make stuffing. He didn't pass the buck to his wife; he did it himself.  

I love this about the men in my family.  My dad's gingerbread cookies and German Christmas bread (Stöllen) are famous.  My brother Danny (and Eric) can replicate mom's rolls beautifully, WITHOUT a KitchenAid mixer).  My sons are becoming grill masters, and have no problem finding their way around the kitchen.  There's something so appealing about a man who knows his way around a kitchen.

Over the years, Eric has perfected his recipe, and has even experimented with providing us with two different recipes, but the one we all love is his Sausage Stuffing.  In all fairness, the recipe he started with most recently was from, but there is just as much of his handwriting as there is of type on the page; I think we can safely call this HIS recipe.  This recipe makes enough for a heaping 9x13 pan.  And it is to die for.

Last week I had to drop off some things at my brother's house and while I was there, he gave me his recipe with all of his notes on it.  Honestly, I was grateful for his commentary because the recipe that was online left out a lot of details!  He has eliminated most of the butter, and bulked it up with yummy mushrooms. If you hate mushrooms, leave them out!  If you love butter, grease it up! The beauty of any recipe is its ability to be adapted to suit your tastes.

Eric's Sausage Bread Stuffing

16-20 cups of bread cubes (one and a half loaves)  (NOT Wonder bread, it gets too wet.  Eric uses generic white bread.  My preference would be for a whole grain, but during my first experience, I always use what the chef recommends! Fresh bread will yield a soft, moist dressing, and dried bread will produce a lighter dressing that is fluffier.)

1 lb. Jimmy Dean regular sausage
2 T. butter (original recipe called for a CUP!!! Not necessary.  Eric uses a bit; I used none.)
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped celery with leaves
1 package of mushrooms, sliced
1/2 t. black pepper
2 or more t. each of poultry seasoning AND sage (Eric says you have to smell it to see if it smells right. It should SMELL like yummy, yummy stuffing before you pop it in the oven.)
1/2 can or a cup of hot broth

Cube bread and place into a very large bowl while cooking sausage and veggies.  Add seasonings to bread crumbs and distribute the seasonings on the bread crumbs using hands or large spoon.

Brown the sausage in a large fry pan.  Add chopped celery & onions to cooking sausage.  Then add in mushrooms.

Add sausage mixture to bread cubes.  For a moist stuffing, pour 1/2 can or about a cup of hot broth over stuffing mixture.  Stir to moisten stuffing.  

Bake in a foil-covered 9 x 13 pan for 35 minutes in a 325 degree oven.

Remove from oven, add more broth (I would add any desired butter, melted, to the hot broth), uncover, and bake 10-15 minutes.

Prepare yourself to be wowed.  It's easy; it's pretty quick, and it is oh, so yummy!

Just before it goes into the oven.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you so much for stopping by Randomocity. Like most writers, I enjoy interacting with the wonderful people who read what I have to say, so please, if you would like to leave a "blogment," I would love to hear from you!