Christmas stuffing – chestnut, shallot, apple & quince, sage

My dad makes a christmas stuffing that I always thought unsurpassable, but of course us young upstarts will try and usurp our parents won’t we? I took HEAVY inspiration from his recipe, but made it less like a meat loaf and more like a stuffing.

When I tasted the tester ball I was actually astounded that I had managed to make something so delicious. It was light, flavoursome, soft and yielding. Since I put the uncooked balls in to store for Christmas, every time I open the freezer I wonder what the delicious smell is, and remember it’s the stuffing! This recipe is definitely for keeps.

I improvised the weights and measures from what looked right, so I had to go back and weigh the leftovers to get the recipe. To make 10-12 balls of stuffing.


  • 1/2 large cooking apple, diced
  • 8 – 10 shallots, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbspn quince
  • 2 tsps mixed herbs
  • 1 handful of fresh sage, chopped finely
  • 1/2 fresh nutmeg, grated
  • salt & white pepper to taste
  • 500 g sausagemeat (I squeezed it out of my favourite leek sausages)
  • 4 slices’ worth of breadcrumbs (I always forget to leave it out, so I do it in the oven at 200 C for about 10 mins. I think this actually helps as the bread is crisp but not totally dried out) crumbled up.
  • 250 g chestnuts (un prepared weight) which should be cooked – look up online if puzzled, I did – and then crumbled up.

How to make it

Fry the apple, shallots, garlic and a pinch of salt until soft. Add the quince, mixed herbs, nutmeg and fresh sage and cook for a further minute or two to combine. Add salt (probably not much at all) and white pepper to taste. Leave to cool.

Put the sausagemeat, bread crumbs and chestnuts into a bowl. Add the cooked mixture once it has cooled. Combine with your hands until everything is evenly spread out.

Take handfuls and roll into balls about the size of a lime. Cook at 200 C for around 20-30 minutes.

I ate the tester ball with cauliflower cheese (naughty, yummy) and it was delicious. Can’t wait to have the rest on Christmas day! I have told dad about this stuffing and have set aside a taster for him to try at the weekend. I wonder what he’ll think?

They aren’t the prettiest of beasts, especially photographed on a winter night- but I hope the picture helps show the consistency.

One response to “Christmas stuffing – chestnut, shallot, apple & quince, sage

  1. vincent March 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm


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