It’s also known as stuffing. You can also call it dressing. It can be called anything you want, but it is a holiday classic.
This version is perfect for Paleo or gluten-free guests!
Sweet Potato Fries
This stuffing is rich in sweet potatoes and ground pork and has a lot of holiday flavor. It’s delicious with turkey, too!
My first Paleo stuffing attempts were a little too heavy and uninteresting.
I was missing bread. This is a problem for anyone who follows a gluten-free and grain-free diet. But I wanted to add starchy goodness and toasty flavors, so I settled on the roasted sweet potato as the perfect substitute.
Another thing I missed was the crunch that you get around the edges of traditional stuffings where the bread becomes crisp and toasty. This problem was solved by adding a pecan crunch to the top. This adds crunch and holiday flavor.
You can skip the pecan topping if you’re allergic to nuts. Instead, I recommend adding garlic and herbs to your stuffing.
The final step was to increase the richness of the dish’s savoury flavour. This was done by browning the ground pork thoroughly and sauteing the vegetables with the rendered pork fat. Finally, I deglazed the pan with some port wine.
I came up with a Paleo stuffing which I believe could be as good or better than any traditional stuffing. It will most likely be on our holiday table.
Sweet Potato & Pork Thanksgiving Stuffing
PREP TIME 45 minutes
COOK TIME 40 mins
TOTAL TIME 85 minutes
You can prepare this dish a day ahead of time. If you are using unbaked ingredients, the cooking time may be slightly longer. Start checking for doneness at forty minutes.
This recipe is also great for stuffing winter squash!
- Stuffing ingredients:
- 2 large sweet potatoes (8-10 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- Three tablespoons olive or duck fat (divided).
- Ground pork 2 lb
- 1 cup chopped yellow onion (from 1/2 large onion)
- 1 cup diced carrots (from 1 big carrot or 2 small ones)
- One cup chopped celery (from 2-3 celery stalks).
- 1/2 cup sweet sherry or port
- 2 large pears, peeled & diced
- One cup dried cherries or cranberries (optional, leave it out if you don’t want sugars).
- One cup chopped fresh herbs. I used 3/4 cup flat parsley and 1/4 cup mixed fresh sage and chervil.
- 3 large eggs
- Pecan crumble ingredient
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted pecans
- 1/4 cup dried cherries or cranberries
- One tablespoon olive oil, butter, or duck fat (room temperature, if kept in the fridge).
- 2 to 3 cloves of garlic, peeled.
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- Roast the sweet potatoes
- Pre-heat oven to 425F. Line a large baking sheet using parchment paper or Silpat. Mix the sweet potato cubes with 1/2 cup of your cooking fat (ghee, duck fat or butter) and season with salt and pepper.
- Place them on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes. Stir the potatoes halfway through.
- They should be golden brown when done and can easily be pierced using a fork.
- Brown the meat
- While the sweet potatoes roast, heat another tablespoon of your cooking oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.
- The ground pork should be browned in two to three batches. To make small crumbles, break up the pork while it cooks. Cook the pork until it is browned and no longer pink. This takes 5 to 7 minutes per batch. If the pan is dry, add additional cooking fat.
- Once each batch is completed, transfer it into a large bowl using a slotted spoon.
- Sauté the vegetables
- Melt a little (1- 2 teaspoons) of the cooking fat in the same skillet as the pork. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped onion, carrot, celery, and parsley.
- Salt the onion and cook for 5 to 7 mins or until translucent. Transfer the pork to the bowl.
- Glaze the pan
- Return the pan to high heat, and then add the port. Allow the pot to simmer for about one minute. Make sure you scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of your pan. The port should be poured over the vegetables and the pork.
- Turn the oven on to 350F.
- Grate a 9×13-inch baking dish or another 3-quart baking dish.
- Combine the filling ingredients
- Toss the browned meat with sauteed vegetables, pears, cranberries and herbs. Combine all ingredients. If necessary, taste and adjust the salt, pepper, or herbs.
- The stuffing can then be covered and refrigerated for up to 2 days before being cooked.
- Mix the eggs with the stuffing until well combined. Spread the stuffing in a greased baking dish.
- Bake the stuffing covered for 20 minutes.
- Make the topping of pecan crumble:
- Mix all ingredients in a food processor while the stuffing is cooking. Pulse until mixture becomes crumbly. You don’t want to overprocess, or you will end up with garlicky nuts butter.
- Add the crumble to the top of the stuffing.
- Take the stuffing out of the oven, and sprinkle the pecan crumble evenly on top. Continue baking for 20 minutes, covered. The top should be lightly toasted and very fragrant. If you don’t want to add the pecan crumble, bake the stuffing for about 30 minutes.
- Cool and ready to serve:
- Allow the stuffing to cool briefly before you serve it.