Last Christmas was the first time I ever made this pork & chestnut stuffing. Actually, I was cooking a full Christmas dinner for the first time, too. For 13 people. Talk about throwing yourself in at the deep end eh?
Because I’m not totally insane, I did a test run of the stuffing recipe at the end of November and, honestly, I was kinda surprised at how great it turned out.
It was one of those times you make something expecting it to be distinctly average, and then feel weirdly proud when it turns out well (just me!?).
Honestly, it’s all down to the fantastic flavours going on but I’m gonna take some credit anyway. You can’t go far wrong with sausage, pancetta, chestnuts and sage.
You’d think after it being such a success, I’d have taken a note of the recipe, but I didn’t. (It’s actually embarrassing how frequently I do this!)
So, a few weeks ago I started the recipe development process all over again. Luckily I remembered most of the ingredients so it wasn’t too painful!
Plus, this pork & chestnut stuffing recipe is pretty forgiving. Mixing up the quantities a little won’t make a huge difference to the end result.
The recipe basically goes like this: grab your ingredients (sausages, pancetta, chestnuts, onion, sage, nutmeg & breadcrumbs). Whizz the pancetta, chestnuts and onion in a processor.
If you don’t have a processor, no worries! Just finely chop the onion and chestnuts. Leave the pancetta in cubes unless you have the patience of a saint (I do not!). It’s a bit more of a faff and your stuffing will be a little more rustic but it’ll taste just as good!
Then, add all the ingredients together in a bowl and give it a good mix with your hands (make sure they’re clean!). That’s it, ready to cook! You can prep it to this stage the day before then pop it in the fridge til you need it.
You don’t even need to grease your baking tin because the fat from the meat does a perfectly good job of stopping it from sticking. Hooray for easy recipes!
- 100g pancetta
- 1 large onion, roughly chopped
- 190g cooked chestnuts
- 400g (about 6) sausages
- 2 tbsp dried sage
- 1 tsp ground nutmeg
- 30g breadcrumbs
- salt & pepper
- Pre-heat oven to 180c. Add the pancetta, onion and chestnuts to a food processor and process until everything is finely chopped. Don't worry if there are still some bigger lumps of pancetta.
- Remove the sausage skins and squeeze the meat into a large bowl. Add the pancetta/onion/chestnut mixture to the bowl, plus the sage nutmeg and breadcrumbs.
- Season with salt and pepper - since you can't taste the raw mixture you'll have to make a guestimate here. I'd err on the side of too little since the recipe includes salty pancetta and lots of flavour.
- Mix everything together (it's easiest just to get stuck in with your hands here!). Transfer to a 1lb loaf pan or small roasting tray and squash down.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, until piping hot throughout.