Venison sausage and salty bacon are balanced by tart cherries in this tender, homemade stuffing. Sage, rosemary and thyme evoke all the warm, earthy feelings of the classic Thanksgiving side, but the meat and dried fruit bring elevated flavor to the table.
Technique tip: Be sure to dry torn bread pieces completely before mixing into stuffing.
Venison Sausage and Michigan Cherry Stuffing
- 1 boule unsliced sourdough bread
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 1½ pounds venison sausage
- 1/2 pound bacon, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, chopped
- 8 ounces dried cherries
- 1 quart turkey/venison stock
1. Rip bread into approximately 1-inch chunks. Dry completely.
2. Cook the bacon, moving frequently, over medium heat. You want to crisp it and render the fat off. Remove crispy lardons from the pan, leave the bacon fat. Cook the venison sausage in the bacon fat over medium-high heat. Break up while cooking.
3. Pour sausage and all fat into a bowl. Mix all ingredients together and pack into a greased 9 X 12-inch casserole dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 10 mins at 400 degrees to crisp the top.