|Mame's Mashed Potato Stuffing that you should NEVER use as stuffing.
||[Nov. 21st, 2012|09:54 am]
Yes, my grandmother used to shove this inside the turkey cavity. DO NOT DO THAT. EVER. The only reason my family didn’t die is that my grandmother used to cook the turkey until the breast meat crumbled like dry sawdust off the bone. A microbiologist will tell you that mashed potatoes make an excellent growing medium for bacteria and it packs so tightly that the odds of you being able to cook the center of the stuffing to a safe temperature while still having a turkey with a drop of moisture left in the meat are slim to none. Cook it in a casserole dish and drizzle turkey fat on it as it warms in the oven while the turkey is resting. That will more than make up for not being entombed in a turkey for five hours. |
For every five pound bag of russet potatoes (and I firmly believe that
russets are your best bet here):
About a pound of sausage. I vary the sausage and only make this once a
year, so I'm never sure what I like best. I think the bulk tube of
breakfast sausage. You can go with the sage flavor and step back the
amount of sage you add, or use regular, and then add more sage. If I'm
doing a big recipe -- ten pounds of potatoes, I'll use one pound of
breakfast sausage, and then crumble a pound of Italian (sweet, not
hot, and not fennel) sausage in as well. Or a pound of leanish ground
Note: you can actually make this vegetarian -- use veggie "sausage crumbles" and saute them with the shallots, but also diced cremini/portabello mushrooms and some diced eggplant. Diced, not chopped or cubed, you want them small so they add umami/texture, but not a lot of eggplant flavor. Also consider laying in some of Penzey's breakfast sausage seasoning and sprinkle that over. And don't stint on the butter. You can also make this vegan, but then you have to call the recipe "Poor Vegan Substitute for Mashed Potatoes That Will Taste Like Wallpaper Paste"
At least two large shallots, maybe three. Or more if they're not big.
A can of chicken broth -- this was originally a stuffing recipe, so I
feel a little bit of chicken broth adds a bit of poultry flavor to it,
without potentially poisoning yourself with a potato stuffed bird.
Swanson lower sodium, or College Inn. The rest have too much vegetable
going on. You can skip this and just use more dairy.
A good two sticks of butter.
A quart of half and half. Or some milk and heavy cream. It rapidly becomes moot…but not is not the time to get all health conscious with skim or two percent. Seriously, it’s THANKSGIVING.
More sage than you can imagine. Start with a full jar in your pantry and consider laying in a second one, in case you use the first one up completely.
Thyme -- a heaping teaspoon.
Salt and Pepper.
Crumble the sausage in a pan, start to cook slowly. As soon as there's
enough fat, add the diced/minced shallots. Cook them all together
until the shallots are soft and the sausage browned. You can do this
part a couple of days before Thanksgiving. I recommend it. Pour it
into a container, go ahead, keep the fat in there, you'll thank me
later. It's Thanksgiving. Screw your heart. Refrigerate until the
potatoes are cooking, then pull it out to let it lose its chill before
the potatoes are done.
Boil the peeled, cut up potatoes until done, drain, and then mash. I
recommend a potato ricer. Add in one stick of the butter as you're
ricing/mashing because the fat bonds nicely while the potato starch is
still hot and relaxed. Once the potatoes are all mashed, slowly stir
in the chicken broth if using. Then slowly stir in some dairy. Salt,
pepper generously, add the thyme and a tablespoon of sage. Keep
stirring in dairy, and maybe a half a stick more butter until the
potatoes are mashed-potato-like. (If you don't know how to make basic
mashed potatoes, you shouldn't be making this dish for guests. As a matter of fact, you should consider jockey to become a guest at someone else's house and do your hosts a favor and pick up from Whole Foods or GourmetGroceryStoreofChoice whatever side dish or dessert you’ve been assigned to bring. Hey, know your limitations.)
Now stir in the sausage and shallot mixture, blend well. Even the
sausage grease; be brave. Give it a taste. It's going to need more
salt. It always does. Probably some more dairy. Definitely more sage.
Maybe half a tablespoon, blend well, taste again. Maybe more dairy,
definitely more salt, probably another teaspoon of sage.
When your mouth waves a white flag, overcome with herby, porky, potato
goodness, put in in a buttered casserole dish, dot the top with slices
from the half a stick of butter you have left, or maybe you got carried away and
used it already, which is just FINE, so get out a third stick. You can
refrigerate this for a day, easily. When it's time to bake it, take it
out of the fridge at least an hour ahead of time to lose its chill,
bake at 350 until it's hot and bubbly. If you're roasting a turkey as
well, you can drizzle turkey fat over the top, as well, or right
I don't know how long to tell you to cook it, because
I don't know what you put it in. if you're going to have to heat it up
in the oven AFTER the turkey is done, then be sure to go with
something shallow, so it heats up fast. If you're going to heat it in
another oven and transport, go with heavy, deep pot/dish, wrap in foil
once cooked, then wrap in a bath or beach towel and it should stay
piping hot for a good hour, possibly longer, and just get a quick 30
minute warm up while the turkey is resting and being carved.