If you’re reserving stuffing for only holiday meals, you’re seriously missing out. While this dish by Field to Table contributor Wade Truong is perfect as a holiday side, it’s no less delicious at any other time of the year.
There is an argument to be made that the best parts of a holiday meal are the side dishes. The turkey or ham (or both) are supposed to be the headliners, but I find myself going back for seconds and thirds of stuffing and gravy more often than the bird or the pig.
The key to this stuffing is the sausage. While you can use any sausage you have on hand, the combination of ginger and fresh sage, mixed with venison and liver, make this side dish its own star. The liver is technically optional but adds an earthy richness to the sausage, without being overly pronounced. You'll hardly know it's there, but if it's not there, it’ll be missing something.
The aromatics and balance of earthy, savory and buttery flavors, with just a hint of sweetness, pair perfectly with a full bodied, juicy red wine like the 2018 BHA Zinfandel Dry Creek Valley by Passalacqua Winery pictured here.
Venison Sausage Stuffing
- ~8 cups toasted bread cubes (we use potato bread)
- ~1 lb. venison sausage (ginger-sage sausage)
- stick butter
- medium yellow onions, diced
- apples, firm, tart (we use honey crisp), skin on, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 tbs parsley, fresh, minced
- 1 cup stock
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Cook the onion and celery with the butter over medium heat until fragrant and tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the pan.
- Increase heat to medium-high and brown the sausage, crumble and add to the onions and celery.
- Add toasted bread cubes, apples and parsley to the mixture, mix and season with salt and pepper.
- Add stock to the mixture, stir lightly and pour into a casserole dish. Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the top is crispy and it’s warm on the inside.
Venison ginger-sage sausage
- 100% venison trim and liver (80:20 ratio) *trim the liver of blood and tough tissue
- 25% pork fat, cubed
- 2% salt
- 5% ginger, fresh, grated
- 5% sage, fresh, minced
- 1% garlic, fresh, minced
- black pepper, coarse
(*A note on measurements: We use metric measurements and go by percentage weight for our sausage recipes. We do this to make the recipes easy to scale and replicate exactly, batch after batch. If you’re thinking of getting into sausage making and don’t own a kitchen scale, do yourself the favor of buying one. They’re inexpensive relative to the cash outlay of all the other equipment you’ll need, and will save you a lot of effort when scaling recipes into imperial measurements. To measure your ingredients, first weigh the meat you are using. Then calculate the weight of all the other ingredients based on the weight of the meat using the percentages above.)
- Mix all ingredients and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight. Grind through medium/fine die.
- Mix with a wood spoon or stand mixer for 1-2 minutes.