Apricot & Sausagemeat Stuffing is a simple but delicious side dish to serve at Christmas, Thanksgiving or with any roast dinner. It’s easy to make this stuffing from scratch and it tastes so much better than anything you can buy.
Why make Apricot & Sausagemeat Stuffing?
This stuffing recipe is really very easy to make. It’s so delicious and probably my favourite part of a roast dinner. And once you have made your own stuffing you are not going to want to go back to store-bought stuffing.
The combination of savoury and sweet ingredients makes it the perfect accompaniment to roast meats.
What is stuffing?
Stuffing is sometimes also known as filling or dressing. Traditionally you use the mixture to fill or ‘stuff’ the neck cavity of a turkey or chicken. This technique helps to keep the poultry moist, however, you must take care that the poultry and the stuffing are fully cooked as the heat has to penetrate right to the centre.
I like to cook my stuffing in a separate baking dish and serve it in slices with the roast meat and vegetables.
What do I need to make Apricot & Sausagemeat Stuffing?
You will need:
- Good quality pork sausages or pork sausagemeat
- Dried apricots
- Lemon zest
- Grated nutmeg
What is pork sausagemeat?
Pork sausagemeat is the filling inside your sausages. Pork sausages must contain at least 42% pork to carry that name, really good quality sausages contain about 75% pork. The remaining ingredients are made up of herbs, spices and cereals such as breadcrumbs or rusk.
I use pork sausages and take the sausagemeat out of the skins. However, you can buy it as loose sausagemeat from a butcher and sometimes in the supermarket but do check the percentage of pork in the sausagemeat.
What kind of dried apricots are best for stuffing?
I like to use ready-to-eat, partially rehydrated dried apricots. These are the kind of dried apricots that are very soft, they are treated with sulphur dioxide. So if you have any problem consuming this preservative, then use unsulphured dried apricots. You may need to soak this type of apricots in water, orange juice or tea and leave them to plump up before you use them.
What kind of apple will I need for the Apricot & Sausagemeat stuffing?
You can use any kind of apple you wish. I make this stuffing using either cooking apples dessert apples. The grated apple in the stuffing adds extra moisture as well as a little acidity, but any apple will do for the recipe.
How do I make breadcrumbs?
Take the crusts off the bread then use a food processor to make the breadcrumbs. I use this quick and easy method and it works really well. If you don’t have a food processor, then you can grate the bread or chop it very finely.
What kind of bread do I use for the breadcrumbs?
Use day-old white bread for breadcrumbs as fresh bread has too much moisture and will be harder to make into crumbs.
Can I freeze breadcrumbs?
If you have any excess bread then make breadcrumbs and freeze them. You can add the breadcrumbs straight from the freezer to the recipe.
Do I have to add nutmeg to the stuffing?
I like to add freshly grated nutmeg to this stuffing as I think it helps bring out the flavours. However, you can leave it out or add some freshly ground black pepper if you prefer.
Can I make the Apricot & Sausagemeat Stuffing the day before?
Yes, you can keep the uncooked stuffing covered in the fridge overnight. Let it come to room temperature before cooking or you will need to add another 5-10 minutes to the cooking time.
Can I freeze the stuffing?
Yes, you can freeze the stuffing mixture before or after cooking.
To freeze the raw mixture
If you want to make up the stuffing mixture and freeze it raw in the baking dish, then you must use fresh, not frozen sausagemeat. Cover the stuffing well and freeze for up to a month. Thaw overnight in the fridge and cook as per the instructions.
To freeze the stuffing after cooking
Once cooked, cut the stuffing into slices. Lay these out on a tray covered with baking parchment so they don’t stick. Open freeze and then pack the stuffing slices into a freezer-proof container or plastic bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.
If you freeze the stuffing in slices it means you can take out as many slices as you need and reheat them in the microwave or in the oven covered with foil.
Can I make this recipe suitable for vegetarians?
You can use vegetarian sausages to make the recipe, all the other ingredients are meat free. Choose your veggie sausages carefully as you don’t want the stuffing to be too crumbly. Add some melted butter or shortening if you think the mixture seems too dry.
Is this stuffing suitable for a Gluten-free diet?
Use gluten-free sausages and gluten-free bread to make the breadcrumbs, all the other ingredients are suitable for a GF diet.
How do I serve Apricot & Sausagemeat Stuffing?
The best way to serve the stuffing is hot from the oven with your roast and lots of gravy. You can also use leftover stuffing to make a delicious stuffing sandwich with a slice of your cold roast and some Apricot & Apple chutney or another pickle or chutney.
Which roast is best to serve with Apricot & Sausagemeat Stuffing?
I could eat this stuffing without a roast, it’s just so tasty. However, my favourite roast to accompany the stuffing is roast chicken or roast turkey. It is also great with lamb and roast pork. It’s not usual to serve stuffing with ham but the sweetness of the apricots is perfect with my Slow Cooker Ham in Gingerbeer.
More side dishes to serve with Apricot & Sausagemeat Stuffing
Grilled Corn Succotash is rich and creamy corn, bean, and bacon side dish that is perfect to serve as a side dish with chicken, turkey, or ham.
Red Cabbage with Ginger Preserve is a classic braised red cabbage with apples and onions spiced up with sweet ginger preserve. It’s the ideal side dish for autumn and winter days.
Easy Cranberry & Red Wine Sauce is super simple to make with only three ingredients. Serve warm or cold as the perfect accompaniment to turkey, ham, lamb, pork, and game.
PIN FOR LATER
Apricot & Sausagemeat Stuffing
- Sharp knife
- chopping board
- weighing scales
- Measuring spoons
- Large bowl
- Ovenproof dish
- 400 grams pork sausagemeat
- 100 grams dried apricots
- 75 grams apple grated
- 1/2 tsp lemon zest
- 50 grams breadcrumbs
- 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
- Pre-heat the oven to 200c/180c Fan
- 400 grams pork sausagemeatSplit the skins of the sausages with a sharp knife and remove the sausagemeat. Put it into a large bowl.
- 100 grams dried apricotsCut up the dried apricots into small pieces with scissors or a knife, add these to the bowl.
- 75 grams applePeel and grate the apple and add to the bowl.
- 1/2 tsp lemon zestGrate the zest of the lemon (the yellow part) and add to the bowl.
- 50 grams breadcrumbs, 1/4 tsp grated nutmegAdd the breadcrumbs and grated nutmeg and mix everything together with your hands or a fork.
- Pack the stuffing into an ovenproof dish and put it into the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and if the top is browning too much, cover it with foil.
- Serve with roast chicken, lamb, pork or beef.