Everyone loves some good stuffing – I obviously do because I have come to the end of the Stuffings bit of chapter 8: Stuffings, Sauces and Preserves. It’s not that impressive as there are only 5 recipes and one of those was a sauce. Nevertheless it is the first section that I have finished so I thought I’d give a little reminder and a review. Here are the recipes in the order they appear in the book, with their scores:
Winners: Oyster Sauce and Oyster Stuffing
That’s a pretty good average of 8.9/10 overall, so really do like stuffing! That’s the last stuffing-related double entendre, I promise.
I have to admit, I had never made my own stuffing before for roast meats. I always just used to use a lemon and some herbs to impart flavour into the meat, but now I am a total convert. The oyster stuffing with its accompanying sauce was the highlight of the five; it is so delicious, however with my fast-approaching return to England hot on my heels, I don’t think I’ll be able to afford to make again any time soon. Hey-ho – at least I got the opportunity.
Stuffing the Guard of Honour
The most versatile of the stuffings, at least according to Jane herself, is the Herb Stuffing; she uses it in three other recipes: #305 Guard of Honour, #263 Stuffed Tomatoes and Veal Rolls (not done that one yet!). Certainly that and the Hazelnut Stuffing are used by me every now and again. I have never revisited Parsley and Lemon Stuffing though.
The very strange Hindle Wakes
Although this section only has technically four recipes, don’t be thinking Jane had no repertoire – oh no – there are several dishes that include stuffings not mentioned above, some glorious like the amazing #175 Shoulder of Lamb with Rice and Apricot Stuffing and the frankly strange, like #339 Hindle Wakes (though I have to say I did bake excess stuffing rolled into balls which were pretty good).
So the good lady Grigson opened my eyes to homemade stuffing, but then I realised there were a couple of glaringly obvious omissions. When I think of British stuffing the first that pops into my brain is sage and onion stuffing. I can’t believe it’s left out. Perhaps Jane was mortified so much by the instant Paxo stuffing that we have all eaten at one time or another (I confess to love it!) that she ignored it on purpose. I bet actual real sage and onion stuffing is delicious though I have not even knowingly eaten it. Also, all the stuffings in the Stuffings section are bread-based. Where are all the delicious sausage meat ones? I know they can be heavy, and I am sure they regularly get undercooked in the centre of that Christmas turkey, but I think they are delicious – especially when cooked separately in a tray or as stuffing balls.
I shall rectify this on my other blog, British Food: A History, by finding good recipes for these (and the best stuffing ones from English Food too).
Well I may have finished this bit of the book, but there are still plenty left to go…
Other recipes using stuffing: