Mushroom and Bacon Stuffing

Ahh, stuffing – what would a Sunday roast be without you?  Or Christmas dinner?  Or those guilty pleasure stuffing and gravy sandwiches I used to make at 3am…

Stuffing is, of course, a conundrum – arguably one of the tastiest parts of the dish, does it function as a mere filler to the meat or as its own side dish?  Personally I prefer the latter, enjoying a delicious crisp finish to the meal.  You may disagree.  Furthermore, I recently discovered that British stuffing is far more finely chopped than many American ideals of stuffing, which seem to prefer torn/coarsely chopped bread.

Whatever your preference, this side-dish is packed with flavour.  Though I probably wouldn’t pair it with pork, for fear of an overly salted meal, I can see it working with poultry or even beef very well.  Or just on its own!  In a sandwich!  At 3am!

Ingredients

  • Fresh mushrooms (finely chopped)
  • Bacon (preferably smoked)
  • Bread – I think wholemeal is best, as white bread can clump too much
  • Onions
  • Butter
  • White Wine (optional – could be replaced with stock)
  • Herbs – thyme/rosemary/sage are best for that rustic roast feel.
  • Seasoning – Add this at the last moment – the strong flavours of the bacon and mushroom will probably be plenty, and you don’t want to oversalt the dish.

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to a fairly low 160-170C.
  2. Crumb your bread as much as you desire – I went for fairly fine, with a few larger chunks for texture.  Coat with a little oil and cook in the oven until dry and crisp, but not too brown.  20 minutes or so is plenty.
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  3. Slice your bacon into as small cubes as you would like and fry over a medium heat for a few minutes, just until slightly cooked.
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  4. Throw in a knob of butter and the chopped mushrooms and continue to fry until most of the moisture is out of the mushrooms.
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  5. Add the onions and cook for a few more minutes.
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  6. Add just enough wine to cover the mixture and continue to cook while the wine evaporates and thickens.
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  7. When the wine is roughly half reduced (a few minutes max) add the breadcrumbs and stir through.  Continue to cook on the heat until the mix is as dry/well mixed as you would like.  At this point you can either stuff your meat, or transfer to an oven-proof dish to bake for a while.
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Serving

It’s stuffing.  Work it out.

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