Depending on where you live you probably refer to our all time favorite Holiday side dish as either stuffing or dressing. Ahh the ol’ Stuffing or Dressing debate! This is enough to cause quite a ruffling of feathers each year at our gatherings amoungst the North-Easterners and the Southerners in our family. No matter what you call it, we can all agree it is DELICIOUS!! It is also a huge part of what we all associate with our Thanksgiving or Christmas Day meal. This is stuff of legends in our family and Gramma Hilda still to this day will make this for the holidays. Her original recipe always called for a traditional spicy Portuguese sausage called chourico, a unique blend of herbs, spices. You can usually find in hard, chop-able sausage links or sometimes you can find it ground. This kind of chourico or chorizo is widely available around Southeastern Massachusetts and can also be found nationwide in some grocery stores. If you can’t find it near where you live, you could always substitute andouille sausage or any sausage you prefer. Or to try Gramma Hilda’s preferred authentic Fall River, Massachusetts favorite you can order online at www.gasparssausage.com
We truly hope you and your family enjoys one of our Lagasse Family Holiday Favorites. Happy Cooking everyone!! J & J
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
9 to 10 cups (1/2 inch cubes) stale gluten free French-style bread, or 6 to 8 cups gluten free stuffing cubes (we recommend either Udi’s or Against The Grain Baguettes for this)
3 cups milk (or favorite dairy free version like Lactaid)
1/4 pound ground beef
3/4 pound chourico (chorizo) roughly chopped
1 cup chopped yellow onion
3/4 cup diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flaces
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, grease a 13 x 9 – inch baking dish and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the bread and milk. The bread will soak up most of the milk and get soft and squishy.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef. If you are using freshly made chourico/chorizo remove the contents from the casings and add to the pan along with the beef. Brown the meat until fully cooked through and crumbly.
If you are using a hard chourico/chorizo that is suited to chopping, add it now and saute for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the outer sides start to brown.
Add the onions, bell peppers, celery, salt, crushed red pepper and black pepper. Cook until the vegetables softened, about 4 to 6 minutes.
Incorporate the garlic and let it cook for another 1 to 2 minutes before removing the mixture from the heat.
Add the meat and vegetable mixture to the bread and milk mixture and stir until it is mixed evenly.
Finally, add the eggs and parsley, mixing until all the ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the stuffing.
Using a spatula or wooden spoon, transfer the stuffing into the prepared baking dish. Try to level our the top so that it all cooks evenly.
Bake until the top is golden brown and crunchy looking but interior is still soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour. You want the inside of the stuffing to remain rather moist and not dry out, so use your judgement on cooking time.
Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite holiday meal. Yum!