Pistachio and cranberry

Last week Leonard held a Mull. A bucket of red wine seething with port, brandy, sugar, spices and orange juice was kept at a constant, mouth-melting simmer and, for once, we didn’t accidentally set it on fire.

Because the Mull was a powerful beast, Leonard needed plenty of canapés to stop everyone crawling around on the floor like drunken monkeys after their first mugful. A mixed bag of Things on Toast, Yorkshire puddings stuffed with beef and salmon blinis kept the alcohol at bay but my favourite canapé was the least delicate option: chicken, cranberry and stuffing sandwiches.

The chicken was standing in for turkey because while I’ll do a lot of things for a party, roasting a turkey (or any part thereof) is not one of them. What I will do is make a dish full of stuffing the night before and then heap slabs of it on top of torn roast chicken, cranberry sauce and rocket and slap between crusty white bread. Small rolls would’ve been better for a party (sandwiches tend to go stale very quickly), but fortunately most of them were eaten before they could grow a crusty armour plate.

This recipe is an amalgamation of pretty much every stuffing recipe on the BBC Good Food website. It’d be good stuffed into your turkey, rolled into balls and wrapped in streaky bacon or baked and dished up with your dinner on Christmas Day. Just try to save some for a stuffing sandwich the next day – they are one of the joys of the festive season.

Pistachio and cranberry stuffing
Serves 8

20g butter plus extra for greasing
1 onion, finely chopped
70g fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs (approximately 3 slices of bread blitzed in a food processor or blender)
4 rashers unsmoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
400g good quality sausagemeat
250g Bramley apple, peeled, cored and coarsely grated
80g dried cranberries
60g unsalted raw pistachios (weight doesn’t include shells)
1 heaped tbsp sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp mixed spice

1 Preheat the oven to gas mark 5/200°C/fan oven 180°C. Grease a 11/2 litre ovenproof dish with a little butter and set aside.

2 Melt the butter in a pan and sir in the onion. Season, cover with a piece of greaseproof paper and the pan lid. Sweat over a very low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the bacon, cover again and sweat for a further 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3 Tip the onions and bacon into a large bowl and add the sausagemeat. Work the onions and bacon in with your hands, then work in the Bramley apple, cranberries, pistachios, sage and mixed spice – you may want to do this 1 ingredient at a time because otherwise you’re up to your elbows in food that keeps trying to leap out of the bowl.

4 Heat a frying pan, add a little oil and fry a teaspoon of the stuffing. Taste and then adjust the seasoning as necessary. Spoon the stuffing into the ovenproof dish and bake for approximately 40 minutes. Serve hot (or cold).


Tagged with: BritishChristmasStuffing

One Response to Pistachio and cranberry stuffing

  1. […] of the month: The behemoth of Christmas dinner hangs over December and a dish of Pistachio and cranberry stuffing cheered up the turkey, that great dull bird that dominates the table for weeks (if you buy one the […]

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