If you love to spend time in your Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford kitchen you will probably be planning to deliver Christmas lunch with all the trimmings. Vital to any traditional Christmas lunch is Christmas stuffing.
Stuffing can be the ultimate fragrant accompaniment to turkey, whether stuffed inside or as a side. A juicy stuffing with succulent sausage meat is typically seasoned with sage, thyme, rosemary and parsley to pair perfectly with the ground pork and breadcrumbs.
There are a whole host of commercially available options include juicy stuffing wrapped in caramelised bacon with lovely sweet apricot and herbaceous notes. Stuffing croquettes, crunchy breadcrumb and bacon wrapped stuffing, salty bacon, with an underlying hint of sweet dates, apples and sage. Or star-shaped stuffing packed with loads of visible fruits and herbs and finished decoratively with a cranberry on top.
But there is nothing like making your own stuffing in the style of Essex boy Jamie Oliver. He has written regularly about how he loves Christmas in Essex. Love him or not the kitchen icon has handed over his deliciously easy pork, sage, onion and chestnut stuffing recipe
All you need is - 2 large onions, 50g of stale bread, 200g of vac-packed chestnuts, 1kg of trimmed, diced pork, a bunch of fresh sage, 3 rashers of smoked streaky bacon, 1 nutmeg, 1 lemon, 1 orange. Then simply preheat your Chigwell, Loughton or Woodford oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Blitz the onions in a food processor and tip into a large bowl. Whiz the stale bread into breadcrumbs, add to the bowl then crush and crumble in the chestnuts. Place the diced pork into the food processor, pick in the sage leaves, chop and add the bacon, then season. Grate a quarter of the nutmeg, the zest of half a lemon and 2 or 3 gratings of orange or clementine zest. Pulse into a mush and tip into the mixing bowl. Season the pork well, with salt and pepper. Remove half of the stuffing for use with your turkey, and then flatten the rest, cooking for about an hour or until bubbling and crispy.