Ode to Nigella 13 – Gingerbread stuffing

Now Nigella makes this to stuff into a turkey, so all you people about to eat the big bird, pay attention. This was absolutely sensational. If someone had served me this with a tugboat of gravy I would have been in food heaven. It’s got sweetness but subtlety, smokiness from the bacon and a texture that is both dense and light all at the same time. I don’t know how or why, I just know it was an absolute sensation. As I was cooking swine as opposed to a bird I cooked it in a loaf pan. I put it in the oven, which was on a low heat, for the last hour of cooking, then left it in there when I cranked up the oven to do the crackling for about 10-15minutes and then let it sit in its pan until everything was ready.

The photo below resembles a dog’s breakfast quite frankly (and a poorly photographed over-exposed one at at that) but that, in a way, reflects just how fantastic this meal was. That purple splodge is the beetroot relish I made last week and has only got better with (refrigerated) age and was just a great cut-through to the richness of the pork, gravy, mash and stuffing. The brown mass at the front of the plate with a dollop of mash sitting on it is the stuffing.
Gingerbread stuffing

  • 500g (3 medium) onions, peeled
  • 2 eating apples, peeled, cored
  • 45g butter
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 750g streaky bacon
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 450g good shop-bought gingerbread, crumbled
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • freshly cracked pepper
  1. Finely chop the onions and apples in a food processor
  2. Heat the oil and butter in the frypan and saute off the onion and apples for 10-15minutes
  3. Finely chop the bacon in the food processor
  4. Add to the onions and cook for a further 5 minutes
  5. Add the zest
  6. Take off the heat, let it cool a little and then mix in the gingerbread crumbs
  7. You can let this get properly cold and put aside
  8. Just before cooking the stuffing, add the beaten eggs and pepper and use it to stuff the main cavity of the turkey or in a buttered baking dish
  9. Cook in a hot oven with your turkey for the last 45 minutes
  10. (If the stuffing’s going into a very full oven – which it normally is at festive meal times – it might take longer to cook; alone it will take about 35-40 minutes)
  11. Let the cooked stuffing sit in its terrine for a good 10 minutes before turning it out and slicing it.