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Pear and Sausage Stuffing: Pork & Poultry Perfect

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Apple/Sausage Stuffing

Apple/Sausage Stuffing

Copyright 2008 Kevin D Weeks
I came up Pear and Country Sausage Stuffing one Christmas when I wanted to serve a stuffed pork loin. I've stuffed pork loins with all kinds of things over the years and pork is particularly good matched with the sweetness of fruit so I developed this idea. Then decided the stuffing was going to be too good to limit it to the little bit that would fit into the loin. So I made a bigger batch and baked it in a casserole. This is really good stuff with both pork and poultry. (Larger image.) Serves 2 - 4.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 2 - 4.

Ingredients:

  • 3 slices white bread; crust removed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 2 cups)*
  • 8 dried figs; stem removed and cut in quarters
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter; melted
  • 3/4 tsp. rubbed sage; divided
  • 1/2 tsp. dried thyme; divided
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • Pinch of ground pepper
  • 2 oz. country sausage
  • 1/2 sm. stalk celery; coarsely chopped (about 2 Tbsp.)
  • 1/2 sm. onion; coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 sm. pear; peeled, cored and coarsely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1 garlic clove; finely chopped

Preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Place figs in a small pot, add 1/2 cup chicken broth and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Set aside to rehydrate.

3. Toss bread in a bowl with 1/2 teaspoon sage, 1/4 teaspoon thyme, salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1/2 of melted butter and toss again. Drizzle with remaining melted butter and toss again.

4. Spread bread cubes on a baking sheet, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown - about 12 minutes. Set aside to cool.

5. Crumble sausage into a medium skillet, place skillet over medium heat and cook sausage until just done - about 5 minutes. Remove sausage to a paper towel with a slotted spoon to drain.

5. Add celery, onion 1/4 teaspoon sage, 1/4 teaspoon thyme and a pinch of salt and pepper to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions begin to brown (you may need to add a bit of butter) - about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 1 minute longer.

6. In a large bowl combine bread, vegetable mixture, figs (and soaking liquid), sausage and pears. Add 1/2 cup chicken broth, salt and pepper and toss to mix. Allow to sit for 10 minutes to fully absorb the broth. If you like a moister stuffing add more broth.

7. Scoop stuffing into a 1 quart baking dish and cover tightly with foil.

8. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove foil and cook another 15 minutes.

*Note 1: I recommend Pepperidge Farm Country White Bread. It's a sturdy bread that holds up well in stuffing. I also sometimes substitute a slice of Pepperidge Farm Whole Wheat for a slice of white.

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