12 Days of Christmas Dish#10: Gingerbread Stuffing

Can you ever go wrong with bacon?  The answer is no, especially during the holiday season.  So imagine this: bacon, plus gingerbread.  That’s right, crispy, salty bacon married with a sweet, spicy gingerbread, equals a dish made in heaven.  This  is a Nigella Lawson recipe from her Feast cookbook, not surprising, and I make it as my second stuffing, because you can never have too much stuffing.

The Recipe:

Serves 8-10

1 lb (3 medium) onions, peeled
2 eating apples (11 ounces), peeled and cored
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon oil
1– 1½ pounds bacon
Zest of 2 clementines or 1 orange
1–pound loaf of good store-bought gingerbread, crumbled makes 5 cups
2 eggs, beaten
Approximately ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Finely chop the onions and apples, using a food processor or by hand.  Heat the butter and oil in a large wide saucepan and fry both until soft, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Now very finely chop the bacon in the processor, and add this to the softened onion and apple mixture.  Cook everything, stirring frequently, for about 5 more minutes and then add the clementine or orange zest.

Take the pan off the heat and let it cool a little before mixing in the gingerbread crumbs.  You can let this get properly cold now if you want and put it aside.  Just before cooking the stuffing, add the beaten eggs and pepper, mix, and use it to stuff the main cavity of your turkey, or cook all of it (or what’s left after stuffing your bird) in a buttered baking dish.  Bake it in a hot oven with your turkey for about the last 45 minutes.  If the stuffing’s going into a very full oven – which it no doubt is as part of a festive meal – it might take longer to cook; alone, 35 minutes should do it.

Let the cooked stuffing sit in its terrine for a good 10 minutes before turning it out and slicing it.

Gingerbread stuffing

If pigs could fly, little gingerbread men would be riding them!

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