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° (F) and adjust 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 the buttermilk, eggs, and grapeseed oil.
- Add the wet ingredients into the dry and stir until combined.
- Immediately pour the batter into the prepared baking dish and bake on the 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° (F). Cut cool cornbread into 1 inch pieces and measure out about 8-9 cups (you will have a little extra for snacking). Spread the 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- large enough to hold about 10 cups) baking dish and set aside. Place the 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 the cornbread doesn’t break down into smaller pieces. Set aside.
- Heat a heavy bottomed 12 inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the 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 the empty pan and once it melts, add onion, celery, garlic, and 1/4 tsp Kosher salt. Sauté the vegetables until translucent and softened, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any sausage bits, about 7-8 minutes.
- Remove onion mixture from the pan, and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.
- Add the 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 the stuffing 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.
- Stir the stuffing mixture gently a few times, pouring off any residual liquid that remains in the bottom of the bowl. Transfer the stuffing into the buttered baking dish.
- Cook, uncovered, in a 400° (F) oven until top is browned and crispy, about 45 minutes.