Friday, November 9, 2012

In the Kitchen with Gram...Stuffing and Gravy!

Holy moly...if there's anything I look forward to most in the Thanksgiving meal, it's my Gram's stuffing. It is like a meal in itself!

And, in order to make the stuffing, you need to also make the dressing so it's BONUS DAY today! You get two recipes for one post! Aren't we kind? I know.


Okay, let's get started...gravy first! First thing in the morning, on Thanksgiving day, you know, whenever you roll out of bed, toss the giblets and turkey neck and veggies with a bunch of water  on the stove.



This baby's gonna simmer all dang day, so make sure to keep an eye on it and add water frequently!


Add salt:




And pepper:




And remember, you'll need to taste at the end because of all the adding water (and removing broth...which we'll talk about in a bit) you'll be doing! You may need to adjust the seasoning!


When the turkey comes out of the oven and before you cover it, "steal" the juices from the turkey roaster (with a baster) and add it to the gravy.


Now, strain your gravy through a fine mesh strainer to get remove the veggies, giblets, turkey neck (we won't talk about what I think a turkey neck looks like...*giggle*), and little pieces that have broken up during cooking...you want a nice smooth gravy! (Sorry, no photo...we forgot!)


Next, put the gravy back on the stove and bring to a gentle boil...make a "slurry" of flour...




And water (below amounts are approximate...we had a LOT of gravy!), whisking well to remove all "clumps".




Note: If your gravy winds up "clumpy"...just strain it again. Easy fix!


Add your slurry to the gravy until it reaches the thickness you like and simmer it for a bit to cook out the "raw flour" flavor.


Got it? Good...now, onto the stuffing!


At least a day in advance, you need to prep your bread cubes (you can also cook the pork, celery onions in advance as well to help minimize steps on Turkey Day.).




Cut up your bread into small cubes...4 slices top to bottom:




Then 6 (or was it 5?) side to side...




For nice small cubes:




Leave your cubed bread uncovered for at least 24 hours, tossing it occasionally so that the underneath cubes can also get dried out.


Ground pork...with a little extra butter, of course! It's Thanksgiving, afterall...fat grams and calories don't count. Or something.




Add in the celery tops and onion and begin the "cooking down" of them!




When they've started cooking down,




Add in your seasonings...


Poultry seasoning:




Sage:




Salt:




Pepper:




Thyme...oops, not quick enough! :)




And sugar that I didn't get a photo of but trust me, it's there. *Bad food blogger, bad, bad food blogger*


Now, if your mental health can tolerate it, add in another stick of butter. (For the record, we did the preceding steps a day ahead, so we added the butter when we were reheating it.)




Now, once your pork is nice and hot and the veggies are all cooked down, you're gonna start stealing broth from the gravy pan.


Add in a good cup, to get the pork mixture nice and "wet".




Simmer it a bit, taste it to make sure the seasonings are right for you.


When it's "perfect"...pour it over the dried bread cubes:




And give it a good toss. Let it sit for a bit, toss it again, then add in another cup of the "broth":




Stir it around and let it sit, then add in another cup of broth.


Transfer it to a baking dish, and bake until heated through. (Just pop it in the oven with anything else you have in there...if it's at a high temp, just remove it sooner.)




And voila! Gram's Amazing Stuffing. A note to raisin haters: I consider myself to be in your camp. Can't stand the suckers...but for whatever reason, I LOVE them in this recipe! I don't know if it's because they cook down so much since they're already (obviously) cooked in the bread or what, but they add a certain amount of perfection to the stuffing!


And, your recipes:




Gram's Turkey Gravy:

Printable Recipe


Turkey neck

Turkey giblets/gizzard
4-6 large carrots
4-6 ribs of celery
1 lg onion
1 tsp salt (likely more after tasting)
1 tsp pepper
1 T Wyler's chicken bullion granules
Enough water to cover turkey parts and veggies
1 cup flour
Water to make slurry with flour (just add small amounts until right consistency)

Cook for several hours, making sure to add water as it cooks down. Strain broth, discard veggies and turkey parts. Add juices from turkey pan, straining again if needed. Return to heat and bring to soft boil. Add in slurry until desired thickness. Serve over mashed potatoes, turkey, stuffing, etc!


Gram's Stuffing:

Printable Recipe


2 loaves raisin bread (without cinnamon if possible)-cubed and dried

1/2 loaf of white bread-cubed and dried
1 large onion, diced fine
Tops of 3 stalks of celery (remember, a "stalk" is the whole dang clump of celery, a "rib" is just a single piece of celery from a stalk)-diced fine
1 lb ground pork
1 stick butter
1 T poultry seasoning
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper to taste (start with a tsp of each and work your way up from there)
Approximately 3 c. broth from turkey gravy ("approximately" because it depends on the moisture in your bread cubes)

Day before: Cube bread and allow to dry, making sure to toss cubes so underneath bread can dry.

Day of: Brown pork, add in butter and veggies and cook down. Add in seasonings and 1 cup of broth. Stir to combine. Pour over cubed bread in roaster, toss. Add in 1 more cup of broth and toss. Judge consistency. We like ours to be like a not very moist bread pudding. (I don't like bread pudding, for the record.) If you think it needs more moisture, add in another 1/2-1 c broth. Taste and add more seasoning if necessary. (Start with salt. Often times a bit more salt totally transforms the dish.) Transfer to baking dish and place in oven until heated through.

Enjoy!




1 comment:

  1. your making me hungry. i'm inviting myself over for thanksgivings

    ReplyDelete

I love comments! And, I welcome your thoughts that aren't in agreement with mine...as long as they are respectful!

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