This is it. This is the one. My absolute favorite stuffing.
Honestly, I'm not sure why I haven't shared this recipe up until now. This is the stuffing my mom would make when I was a kid. Technically, this wasn't the stuffing we had at Thanksgiving. The holiday was spent at Grandma's house, and she made a non-cornbread stuffing. But around that time of year, my mom would also make stuffing at our house. This is what she made, and I absolutely loved it.
I've made a few very minor changes from what my mom did. Instead of using seasoned bread crumbs, I use plain dried bread cubes and add my own fresh herbs--specifically fresh sage and thyme. I also sometimes toss in a large handful of dried cranberries.
Sausage Cornbread Stuffing
1 lb. regular pork sausage, casings removed
2 medium (or 1 large) yellow onions, diced
2/3 cup diced celery ribs
4 cups dried bread cubes
1 tbsp. salt
2 large eggs slightly beaten
2 2/3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
4 cups crumbled corn bread (see recipe below)
¼ cup chopped fresh sage
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/3 cup dried cranberries (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cook sausage over medium heat in large skillet, breaking up with wooden spoon. Transfer sausage to a large mixing bowl. Drain excess grease off, reserving 2 tbsp.
3. Sauté onions and celery in reserved sausage drippings for about 8-10 minutes or until tender. Transfer onion and celery to mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to bowl and mix well.
4. Transfer mixture to a 9 X 13 baking dish coated with oil cooking spray. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until dressing is lightly browned on top and heated through. Stir every 10 min. to avoid burning. Serve warm.
Adapted from Cornbread by Mark Bittman
Note: the freeze-dried corn bread boosts the corn flavor of the bread. If you can't find it or choose not to use it, just add an additional 1/2 cup of cornmeal.
1/2 cup ground freeze-dried corn
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup cornmeal (finely ground)
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. sugar
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Separately, whisk together the egg and buttermilk, add to dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
3. When oven is hot, put an 8 x 8 inch baking dish in the oven. Remove after a couple minutes when the baking dish hot and add the butter, put back in the oven and let it melt (be careful not to let it burn, as butter will scorch at this temperature).
4. Remove hot pan with melted butter from oven and pour batter into pan. Bake for about 30 minutes until top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool a bit, but serve warm.