Stuffing is easily one of my favorite parts of a holiday meal. I have loved all sorts of stuffings, from ones with sausage to cornbread stuffing with fresh corn. My favorite stuffings of all always include fruit for some reason. I love the tiny kick of sweet in a savory meal, and fruit like apples and apricots tend to pair so well with the other dishes. On Thanksgiving day, I did my dinner shopping in Ireland. Since it’s not a holiday there, people were working, and I had until 6:30 to pull off our holiday meal. Shopping during the work day on a non holiday was a breeze, and I made the most of locally available ingredients and specialties.
I decided to make brown bread stuffing. With a natural dry crust on the outside, brown bread seemed like a great fit since I hadn’t had time to make croutons.
Instead, I roughly pulled apart this beautiful loaf and set it on the counter on some paper towels to dry a bit more throughout the day while I got my turkey into the oven. (I did an easy dry brine and let the turkey air dry for about five hours. It was the juiciest turkey ever!)
When it came time to make the stuffing, the kitchen was a flurry of activity, guests were arriving, and I didn’t take many photos. But I did chop one yellow onion and four Gala apples. I tossed the apples, onions, and chunks of bread in a deep frying pan, doused them in a little bit of Bulmer’s cider, sage, and a couple pats of Kerrygold, and got them cooking on medium heat.
Cooking stuffing on the stovetop was necessary as we already had a bunch of dishes and a turkey in the oven, but I often make it this way for quick dinners. Leaving it to cook for awhile means that the onions and apples soften, the bread takes on their flavor and juices, and the stuffing becomes an actual dish. It also can get a slight browned crust on the bottom if you leave it for a bit, which is really delicious. This stuffing was a hit with everyone. It was enough for about 10 servings, and with everyone looking for more, I wish I had doubled the recipe!
Have you added local flair to your cooking recently?