Stuffing is used in many countries in the world as a filling for meats. It was once called ‘farce’ in England but was changed to ‘dressing’ which is the term commonly used in the country today.
The main ingredients used in making a stuffing is breadcrumbs, rice or cornbread. Whichever one you decide to choose always remember the secret to a good stuffing is to keep it moist and not dry.
Before making a stuffing you should keep the following in mind.
- Do not use fresh bread as it will turn soft and mushy making the stuffing too wet and starchy. Use breadcrumbs or toasted bread cubes.
- Use cooked rice instead of raw rice or else you may end up with a stuffing that has rice which is partly cooked.
- When using veal or pork, make sure it’s minced and has been cooked through to remove any pink color before using it.
- Slightly sauté mushrooms, onions, celery and garlic before mixing it with the other ingredients.
- Refrain from stuffing the meat too tightly. The stuffing soaks in juices from the meat while it’s being cooked and if stuffed too tightly will expand and may burst the skin or come out. If there’s extra stuffing to be cooked, make it in a separate dish.
- Stuff the meat just before cooking it. If you keep the stuffing for too long inside the meat before baking/roasting it there’s a good chance it will spoil.
Thyme and Onion Stuffing (Using breadcrumbs)
For the Thyme and Onion Stuffing you will need:
- ½ cup (100 grams) breadcrumbs or toasted bread cubes
- Chopped fresh parsley – 1 tablespoon
- Chopped fresh thyme – 1 tablespoon
- 1 onion – cut into 4 and slightly sautéed in a little butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Softened butter – 50 grams
Mix the bread, parsley, thyme and onion in a food processor until the bread crumbs/bread cubes are a really fine result. Add the salt, pepper and the butter and process for another 5 seconds. The stuffing is ready to be used.
- Italian sausage – ½ pound (casings removed and sautéed in a little oil till meat is no longer pink)
- Vegetable oil – 1 teaspoon
- Chopped onion – 1 ¼ cups
- Chopped celery – 1 ¼ cup
- Chopped green bell pepper – 1 cup
- Minced garlic – 4 cloves
- Cooked rice – 2 cups
- Cumin powder – ¼ teaspoon
- Paprika – ¼ teaspoon
- Salt – ½ teaspoon
- Pepper – ¼ teaspoon
- Hot sauce – 4 drops
- 1 Bay Leaf - crushed
Sauté the onions, celery, green bell pepper and garlic till cooked through. Remove from fire and place the vegetables in a shallow dish. To this add the cooked sausage meat and the rest of the ingredients and mix thoroughly. The stuffing is ready.