Pork & Prune Dressing  General  358 reads

Pork & Prune Dressing


12 ounces good-quality pitted prunes, quartered
3/4 cup port, such as Croft Distinction
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large onions, chopped
2 celery ribs with leaves, finely diced
1/4 pound thickly sliced Black Forest ham, prosciutto, or Serrano ham, finely diced
3/4 pound lean ground pork
1 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh thyme or 3/4 teaspoon dried
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Goose or turkey liver (reserved from bird you are stuffing), diced
1 loaf (1 pound) firm-textured white bread
1 cup unsalted turkey or chicken stock
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 egg, lightly beaten

Put the prunes in a bowl. Pour in the port and 1/2 cup hot water and let soak while you prepare the rest of the stuffing.

In a large flameproof casserole, melt the butter over moderate heat. Add the onions and celery, cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are softened and translucent, about 10 minutes. Uncover, add the ham, and cook until the onions are just beginning to turn golden, about 10 minutes longer. Add the pork and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the thyme, the nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/8 teaspoon of the pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the liver and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Pour the port from the prunes into the pan and let cook, stirring occasionally, for 2 minutes longer to boil off the raw alcohol taste. Add the prunes, blend well, and remove from the heat.

Dry out the bread slices in a very low oven (200°F or less) or let stand until stale. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes. (The recipe can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead. Set the bread aside in a plastic bag. Transfer the prune mixture to a large bowl, cover, and refrigerate.)

Shortly before you stuff the bird, add the bread cubes to the prune mixture and toss to blend. Drizzle on the stock, mixing to moisten. Season with the remaining salt, pepper, and thyme. Add the parsley and egg and toss to blend well. (Pack any stuffing that does not fit into the bird into a greased baking dish, cover with foil, and bake during the last ½ hour.)



Makes 10 to 12 cups


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