Cornbread and Sausage StuffingCourse: DinnerCuisine: AmericanDifficulty: Medium
Do yourself a favor and toss any cornbread and sausage stuffing recipe that doesn’t give you a recipe for cornbread with it. Why? Because cornbreads vary greatly in texture, and texture is what makes or breaks a stuffing. My cornbread, which is amazing on its own, is made of both medium and coarse grind cornmeal, which prevents it from turning to mush when turned into stuffing. This recipe contains a few time consuming steps, namely drying out the cornbread in the oven for an hour, and letting the stuffing sit for 2 hours before baking, so please factor that into your prep time. Also, if you wanted to make this in advance, I would make the cornbread (and dry it), and prepare the sausage/onion mixture in advance, but compile the stuffing the day you want to eat it. Alternatively, you could cook the stuffing completely, then freeze it, and reheat on the day you plan to eat it.
1 1/4 cups medium grind cornmeal
3/4 cup coarse grind cornmeal
2 cups All Purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 1/4 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup grapeseed oil (or other neutral flavored oil), plus extra for greasing dish
1 tbsp butter, room temperature
- STUFFING INGREDIENTS
1 lb sausage (bulk or links- I like bratwurst)
1 1/2 medium onions, diced finely, (about 2 cups)
3 ribs celery, diced finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter, plus extra for baking dish
3/4 tsp Kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
1-2 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
1-2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 1/3 cups half and half
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F and move oven rack to lower middle position. Grease a 9×13 baking dish with oil and set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together both types of cornmeal, flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and grapeseed oil.
- Add wet ingredients into dry and stir until combined.
- Immediately pour into prepared baking dish and bake on lower middle rack, turning halfway, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 22-25 minutes.
- Immediately after removing from oven, using a pastry brush, brush with reserved 1 tbsp butter.
- STUFFING INSTRUCTIONS
- Preheat oven to 250 degrees F. Cut cool cornbread into 1 inch pieces and measure out about 8-9 cups ( you will have a little extra for snacking). Spread pieces (including crumbs) in an even layer on 2 baking sheets, and dry in oven for one hour.
- Butter an 11 x 7 (or equivalent) pan and set aside. Place dried out cornbread in a large bowl. Whisk together stock, half and half, and 1/2 tsp Kosher salt, and add to bowl with cornbread. Toss gently to coat, so that cornbread doesn’t break down into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a heavy bottomed 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage (remove from casings if using links) and press into a large disc, so that the entire surface of skillet bottom is covered. Sear sausage, then stir to sear remaining sides, breaking it into pieces as you stir it. Once fully cooked, remove from pan and set aside.
- Add 2 tbsp butter to empty pan and once it melts, add onion, celery, garlic, and 1/4 tsp Kosher salt. Sauté until translucent and softened, scraping bottom to incorporate any sausage bits, about 7-8 minutes.
- Remove onion mixture from pan, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Add onion mixture, sausage, thyme, and sage to bowl with cornbread and stir gently to combine.
- Season to taste with Kosher salt and black pepper. (This is why we haven’t added egg yet. It is okay to taste it in this state as all ingredients are safe to consume- even chicken stock). Once seasoning is adjusted, stir in egg.
- Allow mixture to sit for at least 1 hour, and up to 4 hours in refrigerator. In my opinion, the optimal amount of time is 2 hours, but we all need a little wiggle room on Thanksgiving.
- Before cooking, pour off any liquid that remains in bottom of bowl. Transfer stuffing into buttered 11 x 7 (or equivalent) pan.
- Cook, uncovered, in a 400 degree oven until top is browned and crispy, about 45 minutes.