Gobble, Gobble: Wild Mushroom-Sausage-Port Wine Stuffing from Chef Richard Chamberlain
<span style=”color: black;”>A friend of mine called me the other day to remind me of a really special time. A few days before Thanksgiving several years ago, my son and I returned from a south Texas hunt with 50 or so pounds of meat from a wild hog and a white tail deer. It was a perfect thirty five degree day. A perfect day that is, for making sausage on the patio. With a dozen or so friends and neighbors over we set the tweens up on the patio with the kitchen aid grinder. It was the ideal temperature outside for keeping a large quantity of meat cold enough with out having to rush to quickly to get it done. We could take our time and really enjoy it.
The kids took turns grinding giant mounds meat while the adults sipped wine, chopped vegetables and herbs, and measured ingredients. We played with multiple different combinations of meats,herbs,sea salts and flavorings. For eight hours we cooked and tasted breakfast sausage, stuffed casings for link sausage, made dozens of homemade tamales and several gallons of chili. Everyone was sent home that evening with plenty of fixings to share on their tables for Thanksgiving.
As my wife and I layed in bed exhausted that evening, I thought about how special it was that with several hours notice, so many years of memories were created. I thought about how cooking is special that way. How it brings friends and families together in a way that nothing else does. I thought about the many Thanksgivings before. How we enjoyed inviting special guest every year who had never been to our home. How we always had an employee or two over every year because they had no family in town. How each and everyone of them enriched our lives in more ways than words cannot describe.
For me, Thanksgiving is about giving thanks and for being blessed to have so many wonderful people in my life. Its about a day to slow down, and to put the pressures in my life aside for what is really important. Its about making sausage on the patio.
Wild Mushroom, Pork Sausage and Port Wine Stuffing
2 leeks, white part only, diced
2 tbs butter
4 cups coarsely chopped shitake and oyster mushrooms
2 teaspoons herbs de provence
1/2 cup Port wine
2 lbs. pork sausage meat, cooked and crumbled
3 cups cubed French bread
1 cup chicken stock
In a large pan over medium heat, cook leeks slowly in butter till soft. Remove and set aside. Heat large skillet to medium high and saute mushrooms in remaining butter and olive oil. Cook till brown and add dry herbs. Cook for one minute. Add port wine and reduce till evaporated. Add sausage, breadcrumbs and stock. Combine back in leeks and stir well. Place in baking pan and cook at 340 till brown on top. Serve.
Richard Chamberlain is the chef-owner of Chamberlain’s Steak and Chop House.