Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Thanksgiving: Sausage Dressing

Move over Stove Top Stuffing. I've got some homemade dressing that's way better. Crusty bread, sauteed sausage and vegetables, and homemade stock. Layers of flavors and textures.

The most important part of the dressing for me is the bread. I need crusty bread. I dislike soft mushy dressing. I like the crusty crunch. So here I have a load of ciabatta bread that I coated in oil and toasted in the oven until crunchy like croutons.
Here are all the vegetables that are prepped and ready to be cooked. I used carrots, onions, celery, fennel, and sage.
And here's the sausage meat being cooked until browned and slightly crispy. I like to use sweet Italian sausage meat.
Once the sausage is cooked through, remove then add the vegetables to the same pot. Cook until softened.
Then mix everything together in a baking dish, Add enough stock for the bottom layer to absorb. Then bake until browned and crunchy.
It should look something like this when it's done. Crunchy on top, soft on the bottom. Lots of vegetables and sausage all about. Homemade dressing is just so much better than the prepackaged stuff. Try it. It's not that difficult.

Recipe below is adapted from Bobby Flay's Country Bread and Sage Dressing recipe found on FoodNetwork.com.

Sausage Dressing

1 loaf ciabatta bread, cubed
2 lbs sweet sausage meat
2 large onions, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
2 large carrots, diced
1 fennel bulbs, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
6 sage leaves, chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1-2 cups warm stock

Preheat oven to 425oF
1. Toss cubed bread with a few tablespoons of oil. Toast in oven until golden brown, about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
2. Heat oil in pan on high heat. Saute sausage meat until browned and slightly crispy, about 10 minutes. Remove and set aside.
3. Add chopped vegetables to pan, season with salt and pepper, and saute until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat.
4. Toss bread, sausage, and vegetables together with chopped sage leaves. Place in oven safe dish. Mix stock and eggs together and add to baking dish.
5. Bake in oven for about 30 minutes until browned on top and crunchy. Serve while warm.

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