Aunt May's Cornbread Stuffing
-from Sarah L.
This is a pretty standard recipe for stuffing in
many southern communities and my late Aunt taught us all how to prepare it properly. It's a good thing she did,
too, because her sister - my mother - just never got the knack of it.
It uses pork sausage and apples as the main flavors
and foregoes any hint of traditional herbs like sage. In my house this is the go-to stuffing for the holidays.
In memory of my glorious and wayward Aunt May.
Thanks for the memories...
- 3/4 cup (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, divided
- 4 ribs celery, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 package (16 ounces) cornbread stuffing crumbs
or one pan fresh-baked cornbread, crumbled
- 3/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 3 large apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2-inch
- 1 pound bulk pork sausage
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 cup apple cider
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Melt 1/2 cup of the butter over medium heat in
a large sauté pan. Add onions and celery and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Stir in apples and cook
for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and combine immediately with cornbread in large bowl.
Crumble sausage into same skillet and cook over
medium-high heat until well browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Drain fat and add sausage to stuffing mix, along with walnuts
Melt the remaining 1/4 cup butter and pour over
stuffing mixture along with enough apple cider to barely moisten. For a moister stuffing, add more cider. Season
with salt and pepper to taste.
Stuff mixture loosely into the bird's cavities
(don't pack it too tightly!) and follow roasting instructions for the turkey. Stuffing can also be baked at 325
degrees Fahrenheit in a buttered casserole until browned and crunchy, about 50 to 60 minutes.
Makes enough for a 16 to 22-pound turkey, or about