This fennel, prune and pork stuffing is easy to put together with a delicious combination of savory flavors with little bursts of sweet prune mixed in. A wonderful accompaniment to a festive meal.
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I've mentioned here before that stuffings were a major part of our Christmas meal when I was a child. I think my mum had some she always made as she grew up with them herself. Then others she would change as she found new recipes to try.
The net result was that we always had at least three stuffings alongside our turkey. Yes, it was a bit of work, but no one was complaining. Most were prepared ahead or didn't take long, and all were great as leftovers in the following days as well.
In recent years, our own Thanksgiving has had two stuffings as standard - the chestnut stuffing I grew up with and use to stuff the bird, then the rutabaga, date and bacon stuffing I developed a few years back which is now everyone's favorite.
But, now and then I am tempted to try another, partly to add some new flavors, and partly to have a few more leftovers. Everyone gets through the two I make far too quickly!
I decided to play around with flavors and came up with this combination. I'm already a big fan of fennel and pork together, as in my gnocchi with pork and fennel and know pork and prune are a perfect pairing as well. Not much of a leap to try all three together, and it definitely works well.
How to make this prune and pork stuffing
This stuffing is easy to put together and can be prepared ahead. You start by rendering some fat from the bacon to help cook the onions and fennel.
Add some oil, if needed, to get them nice and soft and gently browned. Then add the sage and pork and cook the pork through.
Off the heat, add the breadcrumbs, prunes and egg. Transfer to a baking dish then either cover and refrigerate until needed or bake there and then in the oven. Once it's nicely brown on top, it's done.
The flavors in this fennel, prune and pork stuffing are comforting and savory, with those tasty little bits of sweet prune mixed in. It comes together easily and has just the right kind of flavor to go with roast turkey, chicken, duck or pork. Plus, it works pretty well as a dish in itself with a few sides. Try it and enjoy!
Try these other dishes for your festive meal:
- Cranberry, pear and sausage stuffing
- Acorn squash and Brussel sprout side dish
- Butternut squash wild rice salad
- Plus get more Holiday recipes in the archives.
Fennel prune and pork stuffing
- 2 oz smoked bacon 60g, approx 2 slices (streaky)
- ½ onion
- 8 oz fennel 225g, 1 small bulb
- 6 oz ground pork 170g pork mince
- ½ tbsp fresh sage chopped
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs 60g, approx 2 slices bread
- 3 oz prunes 90g, cut into small pieces (about 6-8 per prune)
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F/190C.
- Finely dice the onion and cut the bacon and fennel in to small pieces (cut larger fennel slices into smaller chunks).
- Render some fat from the bacon in a medium-sized skillet/frying pan over a medium heat.
- Once some fat is released, add the onions and fennel. Add some oil, if needed, and cook for a few minutes until both the onions and fennel are soft and gently browned.
- Add the sage and pork and cook the pork through, breaking it up as you cook it.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and add the prunes, breadcrumbs and egg. Season with some salt and pepper, to taste. Mix everything together then transfer the mixture to a baking dish (approx 8x6in/20x15cm) and flatten the top. At this point, you can cover and refrigerate until later, if making ahead.
- Bake for approx 30 minutes until the top has lightly browned.
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