Used to something from Kraft (or Paxo if you’re in the UK)?

Since we’ve become a wheat intolerant household, almost anything pre-prepared (even the good stuff at the gourmet end of the spectrum) and tasty has wheat or wheat derived ingredients.  The evil of gluten and its thickening and elasticizing  properties make it a ‘go-to’ addition to pretty much everything.

With bread at the base of stuffing, finding something ready to go that is wheat free, although not impossible, is a pain in the ass so I figured that this year I would take out the middle-man and come up with my own recipe for a wheat-free stuffing that is bloody tasty but still simple enough to replicate when needed.

There is nothing odd in this recipe, but I have come up with a slightly fiddly way of preparing things as I wanted to maximize flavor and texture…

Gluten Free Stuffing (makes a family sized portion)

Ingredients You Need:

  • 8 slices of wheat free white bread
  • 1/3 block of butter (frozen)
  • 1/2 block of butter
  • 500g pork sausage meat
  • 2 sticks celery
  • 2 medium onions
  • 250ml Olive oil
  • 100ml Rapeseed oil
  • 2 tsp Celery salt
  • Good handful fresh sage

Gear You’ll Need:

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Mixing spoon/spatula
  • Ceramic roasting dish
  • Food processor with chopping blade
  • Baking sheet with lip around edge
  • Cheese Grater
  • Medium saucepan
  • Large skillet (cast iron always a winner)
  • Cooks knife

How To Make It:

  1. Oven on, high heat (200deg)
  2. Shove the bread into a food processor and blitz into ‘large breadcrumbs’ (subjective, I know…)
  3. Spread the crumbs onto the baking sheet and drizzle the rapeseed oil, turn the crumbs over to evenly coat
  4. Put the olive oil into the saucepan and set on a low heat
  5. Finely shop the onion and celery and add to the olive oil – let it confit for at least 15 minutes until soft but not browned
  6. Get the crumbs into the oven for 15 minutes or so or until just turning golden and have a crispy crunch
  7. Get the skillet onto a high heat and let her heat up
  8. Chuck the sausage meat into the skillet to brown it nicely – you want some nice color here, but no need to go nuts but make sure it’s cooked through (70deg if you’re using a thermometer)
  9. Add the non-frozen block of butter to the onion/celery confit and let it melt
  10. Put the crispy crumbs into the mixing bowl, add the sausage meat and confit onions/celery with the warm oil/butter – the whole damn lot
  11. Add the chopped sage and season with the Celery salt
  12. Mix gently but well to get the oil/butter coating everything and the herb/crumb/sausage meat well incorporated
  13. (Optional) Let the stuffing rest – it will keep for 2 days in the fridge (assuming your sausage meat is properly cooked) if you want to prepare in advance
  14. Get oven on, medium high (180deg)
  15. Plonk the mix into the roasting dish, spread evenly but don’t compact it too much
  16. GRATE THE FROZEN BUTTER (as if it were a hard cheese) over the top of the stuffing – use some common sense here, don’t use the entire 1/3 of a block if it is not needed…
  17. Bake in the over for 20-35 minutes or until golden brown
  18. Serve and bask in the wheat free glory

Worktop Tips:

  • Buy the best sausage meat you can justify and season the shit out of it during its browning – but wait until it’s cooked through so you can taste and get the balance right
  • If you’re into bread making and have your own wheat free bread to use – good on ya and crack on!

Wine Pairing:

You’re (I should hope) having this stuffing with Christmas turkey or a nice poultry roast so we’re not looking to pair with the stuffing per se, it’s more about pairing with the fowl and for me, there is only one way to go – Sancerre.  Classic, well chilled and a staple with a large roasted bird.