Stuffing is a weird thing. You either stuff it into the carcass of some sort of animal or you eat it on its own. Shop-bought variants generally tend to come as a powdery state and require a ton of water to turn into something vaguely edible. Turns out though, stuffing is piss easy to make.
Home Made Stuffing
About 200g of bread, preferably something crusty and thick. Slightly old, stale bread is fine if that’s all you have.
1 large onion
1-3 sticks of celery
1 tablespoon of sage
1 tablespoon of cooking oil (vegetable, sunflower, olive)
1 stock cube
salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, mixed spices
Optional: Walnuts, chopped apple, pieces of cooked sausage, gammon
Okay, first thing you want to do, and I know this sounds weird, but you’re going to want to get some sort of grater and grate the bread. A cheese grater will do. You basically want to make bread crumbs but not toasted or anything like that, and grating bread is piss easy. Grating the bread also makes it nice and fluffy, meaning it will soak up more juices later on.
Now you want to chop up the veg really small. You could grate the cabbage if you wanted to, but grating onions plays havoc on the eyes, and celery tends to just fall to pieces. If you can’t be asked to chop things up really small, then you can mash it a little, or use a mezzaluna to chop it all up even smaller.
Once everything is chopped up, you want to fry the vegetables in a frying pan. You don’t want too much oil, literally just a splash to stop it from sticking.
Chop up the bacon however you want and throw that in with the vegetables. You want the bacon to cook and for all the veg to be soft and tender.
Add your freshly made (and also home made) breadcrumbs and mix everything together. At this point, you’ll want to add in all your herbs and seasoning and stir everything thoroughly. You may need to add more oil if the stuffing is sticking to the pan. Add the butter as well and wait for it to melt in. Continue to stir as the stuffing can start to burn or get stuck to the pan.
Crumble up your stock cube and add it to your mixture, then add water. The bread will soak up a lot of water, so take it slow, adding a little bit at a time.
At this point, your stuffing is ready to be eaten. It can be heated up later. Alternatively, you can move the stuffing into an oven-proof dish, grate some cheese on top and brown the top in the oven at a high temperature for about 5-10 minutes. If you intend to use your stuffing to actually stuff some meat, then you should leave it as is otherwise you risk burning it.
Honestly, what you do with this stuffing at this is up to you. I personally like to serve my stuffing alongside my chicken. The inside of a roast chicken is generally reserved for an onion and/or a lemon and tons of butter. Stuffing inside your meat means it does soak up a lot of the juices from the meat you’re cooking, but that also means you lack the lovely lovely meat juices with which you can make gravy. And gravy is a brilliant way of making everything better.
If you’ve got leftover stuffing, try mixing it up with some leftover vegetables (e.g. carrots, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower), frying it in a pan with some extra butter and eating it as Bubble and Squeak, the classic post-Christmas-lunch leftover meal.