Sausage & Bacon Stuffing With Apricot & Pine Nuts

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This sausage & bacon stuffing is the perfect addition to Christmas dinner! Full of smoky bacon, toasted pine nuts, dried fruit & fresh herbs.

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sausage & bacon stuffing with apricot & pine nuts

This sausage & bacon stuffing makes a fantastic addition to Christmas dinner! It’s meaty, slightly sweet & full of fresh herbs, dried apricots, orange zest & toasted pine nuts.

To make our stuffing even better, we are pressing it to set, slicing it thick then pan frying to serve. This gives it a crisp, golden crust! This stuff’s great served with roast turkey, on its’ own or in a impressive Christmas sandwich…

What Is Stuffing?

Stuffing tends to be made with either a meat or bread base & is traditionally eaten with a roast dinner, as a side dish or when it has been used to stuff a piece of meat.

For our Christmas stuffing, we’re using a mixture of sausage meat & streaky bacon which we’re cooking in a loaf tin. This is then set in the fridge before being sliced & fried/roasted.

sliced sausage & bacon stuffing

What You’ll Need To Make Sausage & Bacon Stuffing

  • Sausages
    For this stuffing, we’re using Cumberland sausages. These tend to be flavoured with black pepper & nutmeg which works brilliantly with the other flavours in our stuffing. Feel free to use another type of sausage if you’d prefer.
  • Bacon
    Make sure to use streaky bacon for this recipe. I like to use smoked bacon for extra flavour but unsmoked would also work.
  • Onions
    A couple of large, white onions are needed for our stuffing. If you’d prefer a sweeter flavour, you could use 4 banana shallots instead.
  • Garlic
    For a mild garlic flavour, we’re grating 3 cloves into our stuffing mix.
  • Brandy
    Two tablespoons of brandy are used to deglaze the pan of onions. This is optional so feel free to leave this out if you’d prefer.
  • Apricots
    Dried apricots add a touch of sweetness to this stuffing. If you’d like to use a different dried fruit, cranberries, raisins or dried figs would be good alternatives.
  • Pine Nuts
    Pine nuts add a subtle nutty flavour to our stuffing. Feel free to swap these out for hazelnuts or walnuts.
  • Herbs
    We’re using two different herbs in this recipe. Chopped thyme leaves are added to the onions once they are cooked & finely chopped sage leaves are added to the pork mix.
  • Brioche
    Adding breadcrumbs to a meat based stuffing helps stop it from drying out as it cooks. We’re using brioche because it adds a touch of richness & sweetness.
  • Egg
    Adding a small amount of egg to the pork mix helps bind it all together.
sausage & bacon stuffing

How To Make Sausage & Bacon Stuffing

The full, printable recipe card for this stuffing can be found at the bottom of this post!

Step 1 – Cook Onion & Garlic

The first step is to cook finely diced onion in a frying pan, over a medium heat until softened. This will take around 10 minutes & they will need stirring regularly.

Once cooked, we add in some grated garlic & chopped thyme leaves, cook out for 30 seconds then deglaze with brandy. Once the alcohol has cooked off, we transfer the onions to a bowl & leave them to cool completely.

Step 2 – Prep The Sausages & Bacon

Onto the meat. First, we need to remove the sausages from their skins. To do this, run a sharp knife down one side then peel the skin off. Discard the skin then place the meat into a large mixing bowl.

Next, chop the bacon into a small dice. I’ve found that the ideal bacon size is around 6-8mm wide.

Once diced, add the bacon to the sausage meat & mix together

sausage & bacon

Step 3 – Add Apricots, Pine Nuts & Herbs

Now to add the remaining ingredients. To the stuffing mix, we add in roughly chopped dried apricots, finely chopped sage, the zest of an orange, brioche breadcrumbs, an egg & roughly chopped, toasted pine nuts. We then season the mix with sea salt & freshly cracked black pepper.

Step 4 – Mix The Stuffing

Next, give the stuffing a really good mix, making sure all the of the ingredients are well combined. You can do this with a spatula or with clean hands.

sausage & bacon stuffing mix

Step 5 – Check The Seasoning

Now that the stuffing is all mixed together, we need to cook a small amount off in a frying pan. We then taste it, to check the seasoning, adding more salt & pepper to the stuffing mix as needed.

Step 6 – Transfer To A Loaf Tin

Once we’re happy with the stuffing’s flavour, we can transfer it to a lined 900g/2lb loaf tin. Making sure to press the stuffing down so that it’s level on top. Next, place a piece of baking parchment on top of the stuffing then cover with tin foil.

The best way that I found to line the loaf tin, is to cut a large rectangle of baking parchment, scrunch it up, press into the tin then trim the edges with a pair of scissors. Don’t worry about getting this too perfect!

sausage & bacon stuffing in loaf tin

How To Cook Stuffing

To cook the stuffing, first place it into a deep baking tin then fill up with warm water so that it comes halfway up the sides of the loaf tin.

Carefully transfer the roasting tin to a preheated oven (@ 160°c/140°c fan (320°f/284°f) & cook until the stuffing has reached an internal temperature of 75°c/167°f.

A digital food probe comes in super handy here. I use a Thermapen, which I have linked below!

stuffing water bath

Pressing & Setting The Stuffing

Once the stuffing is cooked, we take it out of the roasting tin & place the loaf tin onto a separate baking tray. We then remove the foil from the top of the tin then place another 900g/2lb loaf tin on top. Next, we place something heavy (like a bag of flour) into the loaf tin. This presses the terrine as it cools which will give it a more uniform shape once it has set.

When the stuffing has cooled enough to go in the fridge, it is then chilled overnight, to set. We can then remove the stuffing from the tin, cut into portions, reheat & serve.

Pressing the stuffing!

How To Reheat Stuffing

To reheat your slices of stuffing, you have two options….

Option 1 – Frying In A Pan

This is my preferred method of reheating because it gives the stuffing a crisp, golden brown crust!

To fry the stuffing, place a large frying pan over a medium heat & add in a splash of veg oil. Once hot, cook the stuffing for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown & crisp. Season with salt & pepper then serve.

Option 2 – Roasting In The Oven

This option is good if you want to reheat several portions of stuffing at once!

To do this, first preheat an oven to 180°c/160°c fan (356°f/320°f). Next, place the stuffing onto a lined baking tray, drizzle over a small amount of veg oil & season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes.

Stuffing Tips & Tricks

  • Let the stuffing set in the fridge overnight. This will make portioning it a lot easier!
  • For the cleanest slices, use a sharp serrated knife.
  • Fry a small amount of raw stuffing to taste it before cooking the rest.
  • Press the cooked stuffing with another loaf tin (plus something heavy) for a uniform shape.
  • Use sausages with plenty of fat in!

Cooking Stuffing In An Aga

With all of my recipes, I include cooking instructions for conventional ovens, fan ovens & also Agas.

To cook the stuffing in an Aga, place the roasting tin on the bottom set of runners in the baking oven & cook as per the recipe.

Equipment Used

Please note that these are affiliate links & I may make a small commission if you make a purchase using these links, at no extra cost to you. For more information, click here.

More Recipes To Try!

If you have enjoyed this stuffing recipe, it would mean a lot if you could leave a review & rating!

Sausage & Bacon Stuffing With Apricot & Pine Nuts

This sausage & bacon stuffing is the perfect addition to Christmas dinner! Full of smoky bacon, toasted pine nuts, dried fruit & fresh herbs.
Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 30 minutes
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: English
Servings: 12 People
Author: Ben Racey

Equipment

  • Food Processor
  • Microplane/Grater
  • 2 900g/2lb Loaf Tins
  • Roasting Tray
  • Digital Food Probe

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 20 g Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Large White Onions Peeled
  • 3 Cloves Garlic Peeled
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Brandy
  • 35 g Pine Nuts
  • 800 g Cumberland Sausages Roughly 12 Sausages
  • 12 Rashers Smoked Streaky Bacon
  • 100 g Dried Apricots
  • 2 tbsp Fresh Sage Leaves
  • 1 Orange, Zested
  • 100 g Brioche
  • 1 Large Egg

Instructions

  • Finely dice the onion then place into a large frying pan with the veg oil and butter & fry over a medium heat until soft, stirring regularly. This will take around 10 minutes.
  • In the meantime, grate the garlic & finely chop the thyme leaves.
  • Once the onion is cooked, stir in the garlic & thyme, cook for 30 seconds then deglaze the pan with the brandy.
  • When the brandy has almost reduced completely, take the onion off the heat & transfer to a bowl. Leave to cool completely.
  • Next, place the pine nuts into a small frying pan & toast until golden brown. Transfer to another bowl & leave to cool.
  • Preheat an oven to 160°c/140°c fan (320°f/284°f).
  • Line a 900g/2lb loaf tin with baking parchment & set aside.
  • Remove the skins from the sausages then place the sausage meat into a large mixing bowl.
  • Cut the bacon into a small dice (around 6-8mm wide) then add to the sausages & mix to combine.
  • Roughly chop up the apricots & finely chop the sage leaves. Add both to the sausage meat, along with the orange zest & a good pinch of salt & pepper.
  • Next, give the toasted pine nuts a quick blitz with a food processor to chop up slightly then add to the stuffing.
  • Tear the brioche into small pieces then blitz into fine breadcrumbs with the food processor then add to the stuffing (don't worry about cleaning it between using it for the pine nuts & brioche!).
  • Lightly beat the egg then add to the stuffing then give everything a good mix.
  • Take a small amount of the stuffing & cook it in a frying pan until it's cooked through. Give it a taste, to check the seasoning then add more salt & pepper as necessary.
  • Transfer the stuffing mix to the lined loaf tin, pressing it down so that it's level then place a piece of baking parchment on top of the stuffing & cover the tin with foil.
  • Place the loaf tin into a deep roasting tray then fill it up with warm water so that it comes to halfway up the sides of the loaf tin.
  • Cook in the preheated oven until the stuffing has an internal temperature of 75°c/167°f. This will take between 1½ – 2 hours but check the temperature after 1 hour.
  • Once the stuffing is cooked, carefully take the loaf tin out of the water & place onto a baking tray. Remove the foil, place another loaf tin on top of the stuffing, then weigh it down with something fairly heavy, like a bag of flour.
  • Leave the stuffing to cool then remove the weight (but still leave the tin on top) & chill in the fridge overnight.
  • The next day, turn the stuffing out onto a chopping board, remove the baking parchment then cut into 1 cm thick slices.

To Reheat

  • In a pan.
    Place a large frying pan over a medium heat & add in a splash of veg oil. Once hot, cook the stuffing for 2-3 minutes on each side or until golden brown & crisp. Season with salt & pepper then serve.
    You'll need to cook the stuffing in batches.
  • In the oven.
    Preheat an oven to 180°c/160°c fan (356°f/320°f).
    Place the stuffing onto a lined baking tray, drizzle over a small amount of veg oil & season with salt & pepper. Cook for 5-10 minutes.

Notes

1. Cooking In An Aga – Place the roasting tray on the bottom set of runners in the baking oven. Cook as per the recipe.
2. Pressing The Stuffing – To press the stuffing as it cools, you’ll need to weigh it down with something fairly heavy. Something like a bag of sugar or some tins of beans, etc would work well.
3. Sausages – I used Cumberland sausages for this recipe, for their flavour. Feel free to use any type of pork sausage though, as long as they contain plenty of fat.
4. Bacon – Make sure to use streaky bacon. I like to use smoked but unsmoked bacon will also work.
5. Storage – Once cooked, the stuffing should be stored in the fridge & eaten within 3 days. Alternatively, the stuffing can be frozen for up to 2 months. Once sliced, the stuffing should be kept in an airtight container.

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