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Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their recipes for superb stuffing every time

Potato? Sausage? Breadcrumbs? All three? Our home cooks panel weigh in.

Image: Shutterstock

EVERY HOME COOK has their own kitchen hacks, cheats and traditions, and we want to know yours.

Each week as part of our Kitchen Secrets series, we’ll be asking readers to share their cooking tips and go-to-dishes. From the secret to quick-and-easy dinners, to the best way to scramble an egg, we’ll have a new question every seven days.

This week, we’re asking about an essential part of any roast dinner…

What’s your recipe for great Christmas stuffing?

As usual, our home cooks had lots to say. If you’d like to join the panel (and be in with the chance to win Lidl prizes), send us your name and a bit about yourself to food@thejournal.ie!

Change your ingredients up depending on the roast:

My stuffing recipe depends what bird I am cooking. For turkey, I tend to make a sourdough breadcrumb stuffing with apricots. If I am serving goose, I go for potato stuffing made with sautéed onions and some fresh herbs.

- Fiona Staunton

Make it ahead for a better flavour:

My favourite stuffing is a thyme and sausage meat version. Melt about 110g butter in a pan and add two finely chopped onions. Sautée them gently (you don’t want them to brown) and leave to cool. Then add breadcrumbs, some chopped fresh thyme and uncooked good quality sausage meat to the onions and season well. 

This is my basic stuffing for turkey, prepared in advance for a better flavour and left in the fridge overnight. It can then be cooked with the turkey the next day.

- Angela Nolan

shutterstock_362026355 Source: Shutterstock

Try this tray-baked version with loads of fresh herbs:

I make stuffing in trays and bake them in the oven. These can even be cooked and refrigerated beforehand and reheated on the day.

One traditional option is sage, rosemary and onion. Chop lots of the fresh herbs and put them in a mixing bowl. Add a good size chopped onion to the bowl and season with saly and pepper. Add your pork sausage meat, along with breadcrumbs (homemade or shop-bought, doesn’t make a difference), an egg and a good splash of Worcestershire sauce. Crumble in a stock cube and a big squirt of tomato purée. Now, the mucky bit… hand mix! 

Once all blended, turn into a flat buttered oven dish or foil tray, press down with a fork to flatten, and pop in the oven with the turkey for an for an hour, until slightly crispy on top.

My favourite was to change up this recipe is to swap out the sage and rosemary for tarragon. Everything else in the above recipe (with the exclusion of the sage, rosemary and tomato purée and the addition of a hint of fresh chopped red chilli) remains the same. 

- Ross Boxshall 

Or use dried herbs, if you prefer:

My Christmas stuffing is basic but it does keep the meat nice and moist.  I use breadcrumbs, butter, diced white onion, salt & pepper, sage and basil.  I usually use dried herbs, I find them better for stuffing. Mix everything together and there you have it! I think it’s a lot to do with the stuffing you grew up with, and we never had things like sausage meat stuffing at Christmas so I don’t make them now. 

- Olly Keegan

More Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their greatest gravy tips>

More Kitchen Secrets: Readers share their advice for fabulously festive mulled wine>

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