Cornbread, Apple, and Sausage Stuffing
2 lbs country sausage with sage
2 cups coarsely chopped onions
8 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
3 tart apples, cored and cut into chunks
9 cups cornbread, broken into 1-inch chunks
1 tbsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried sage
½ cup coarsely shopped flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ cups dried sweetened cranberries
Vegetable cooking spray
Turkey or low-sodium chicken broth
Break up the sausage in a 12 inch sauté pan over medium heat. As the sausage cooks, continue to crumble it with a wooden spoon. Cook until the sausage is browned, 7-10 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan, leaving the fat, and place the sausage in a very large mixing bowl.
Increase heat to medium high. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Pour the onions and sausage fat into the bowl with the sausage. Return the pan to the heat and melt 4 tbsp of the butter. When the butter stops foaming, add the apple. Reduce heat to medium and cook slowly until the apples are slightly soft, about 10 minutes. Add this mixture to the sausage and onions.
Add the cornbread a handful at a time to the bowl, mixing after each addition. Stir in the thyme, sage, parsley, and cranberries.
Preheat to 400 degrees.
Spray a 15x17 inch casserole with vegetable spray. Pour the mixture into the casserole. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and dot the dressing with them. I have been known to use duck fat in place of butter. Pour 1 cup of broth over the dressing. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Every 10 minutes, add a little broth and a little butter and stir to keep the dressing moist. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Fred's Favorite Cornbread
1 ½ cups self –rising cornmeal mix
1 ½ tsp kosher salt
1 level tsp baking powder
1 cup sour cream
2 large eggs, beaten
1 ½ cups frozen creamed corn, thawed
1 tbsp canola oil
Preheat to 450 degrees. Place a 10-inch cast-iron skillet in the oven while it heats.
In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal mix, salt, and baking powder. In a medium bowl, stir together the eggs, sour cream, corn, and butter. Pour this mixture into the dry ingredients and fold until just combined, with no dry streaks.
Remove the skillet form the oven. Add the oil to the skillet, swirling or brushing to cover the bottom and sides. Pour the batter into the skillet. If you are going to use a topping, put it on now. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. If you’re not using a topping, set your oven on broil and broil the cornbread for 1 minute. Remove the cornbread from the oven and allow to cool slightly. Cut into wedges and serve hot or at room temperature.