This is a recipe I’ve enjoyed so many years but this year I decided to serve it in a loaf tin for the aesthetic and also so it takes up less room on the table! Stuffing or forcemeat as it’s called traditionally is a great reflection of classic flavour combinations; sage and onion, cranberry and orange, chestnut and apple, but with this recipe I throw caution to the wind (or as much as you can when making stuffing) and go for a quartet of flavours, and it’s a sensation even though I say so myself!
The basis of any good stuffing is a good quality sausagemeat and because I want to be the one adding the flavours I opted for a plain pork sausage meat from my butchers. After that the combination is a citrus, a herb, and nut and a dried fruit. The zest of the citrus is where the real potency is as when you zest an orange, lemon or lime you release the oils into whatever it is you’re cooking. For the herb I chose a woody herb and as this dish bakes rather than grills I find dried herbs give more flavour then fresh. The pistachios and cranberries are fun as they are the Christmas colours but feel free to substitute cooked chestnuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts or apricots, sultanas instead.
This is a one bowl, one dish wonder and with a little decoration on the top you will transform this side dish into a thing of beauty. If the heat is a little high and the top colours slightly too much don’t worry as the inside will be just perfect!
- 1kg (2lb) pork sausage meat
- 3tbsp dried thyme
- 100g pistachios, plus extra for decoration
- 100g dried cranberries, plus extra for decoration
- zest and juice of an orange
- 75g breadcrumbs
- 2 clementines, sliced
- fresh thyme for decoration
- Preheat the BBQ for 180-200c (350-400f) roasting / indirect heat with the lid down and vents open as applicable.
- In a bowl add the sausage meat, dried thyme, pistachios, cranberries, orange juice and zest and breadcrumbs and combine until the mixture is completely even.
- Line a 1kg (2lb) loaf tin with parchment long enough to overlay the sides. The extra will give you handles to lift the stuffing from the tin once it’s cooked. Transfer the stuffing mixture into the tin being sure to pack well into the corners then level off the top. Roughly chop the extra pistachios and cranberries and sprinkles half onto the top along with some picked fresh thyme. Discard the clementine end slices and arrange the full slices along the length of the dish before dusting over the remaining cranberries, pistachios and thyme.
*This can be prepared on the 23rd or 24th, wrapped and popped into the fridge until an hour before it goes on the BBQ to cook.
- Place the stuffing tin in the roasting / indirect zone of the BBQ and close the lid. Roast for approx 45 -50 mins or until the core temperature reaches 75c (167f) and if the colour on the top begins to go a little too dark simply place a sheet of tinfoil over the tin to allow the dish to cook through without any further caramelisation.
*In testing I found the clementine slices kept the top of the stuffing cooler a little longer so as well as checking the core with your digital temperature probe also check just below the surface beneath the slices.
- Remove from the grill and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Run a knife around the sides of the tin to loosen the stuffing and lift out using the parchment handles. Slice and serve!