Fire Brigade Stuffing

  • Serves 16-20
  • Preparation Time: 20-30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:

  • 15 pieces of bread: 5 rye, 5 pumpernickel, and 5 whole wheat, cut into small cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cups chopped celery
  • 2 cups slivered carrots
  • Two 16-ounce packages mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 to 6 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, diced
  • 1 red apple, diced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (about 5 ounces)
  • 7 ounces almonds, slivered
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons dried sage
  • 2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ to 1 cup tawny port

My brother-in-law, Brian, makes this stuffing, which will make your palate swoon and your tummy sing. Here’s a fun twist to make your guests swoon as well: Cook, then serve this inside a pumpkin. Seriously! Find a cooking pumpkin that will fit inside your oven, clean out the insides, stuff the open space with stuffing, place the lid back on, and cook as described below.

From My Beef with Meat

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Place the cubed bread on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes to dry it out, checking frequently to make sure it is not browning too much. Set aside.

In a pan over high heat, sauté the onion, celery, carrots, and mushrooms in ½ cup of the vegetable broth until softened. In a large bowl, combine the toasted bread cubes, cooked vegetables, apples, cranberries, almonds, Sage, thyme, oregano, salt, if using, garlic powder, and pepper. Add broth and port to bowl as needed. Blend and toss until uniformly mixed and soggy.

Transfer the moist stuffing to lasagna pan (or a carved-out pumpkin). Cover with aluminum foil (or the pumpkin lid). Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Rip Esselstyn

Rip Esselstyn, son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, was a firefighter in the Austin fire department when he discovered dangerously high cholesterol levels among his firefighter comrades. He led a stationwide revolution of dietary change that resulted in markedly better health, which he detailed in his bestselling book, The Engine 2 Diet. Visit Engine2Diet.com for updates from Rip.

View all contributions by Rip Esselstyn