Sausage Stuffing (a la Elmer’s Store, Ashfield, MA)
With thanks to Mary Schjeldahl
1 ½ pounds bread cut into ½ inch cubes (about 12 cups)
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ pound bulk pork sausage – sweet or hot or combination (Wells Tavern Farm)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, small diced
2 stalks celery, small diced
Kosher salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons minced fresh sage leaves
1 ½ cups chicken broth
Dry bread cubes on a baking sheet in a 250 degree oven for about 45 minutes. Transfer to large bowl.
Heat oil in skillet to medium-high. Add sausage and cook, breaking sausage into small pieces, until browned – 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Reheat skillet and add butter, onion, celery, 4 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper. Cook until onions soften and brown slightly. Stir in sage and cook about 1 minute. Add vegetable mixture and sausage to bowl with dried bread. Add broth and toss until evenly moistened. Use more broth if bread seems dry.
Put stuffing into covered casserole dish and bake in a 325 degree oven for 45 minutes, until heated through.