Margie's German Meat Dressing
You'll never want bread stuffing again.
This is a family recipe that my mother learned from her Swiss/German mother in Milwaukee. Everyone who eats it never wants that boring old bread stuffing again. It contains smoked oysters from those cute little flat tins, pork sausage, ground beef, mushrooms, celery, onion, apples, raisins, pecans and some seasoned breadcrumbs, garlic salt and pepper to taste. It's Sauteed together till cooked and mixed. Then you let it cool and stuff it into the bird so it absorbs all the wonderful turkey juice. It comes out very moist and delicious.
Add 2 cups each onion, celery, mushrooms and stir well.
Season meat with garlic salt and pepper to taste.
When this is all thoroughly cooked and well mixed, put in about 1 cup of seasoned bread crumbs and stir well. The crumbs should absorb most of the juice. If not, you can add a bit more until it all sticks together nicely.
Nibble a spoonful or two to judge taste and season if needed. (We always knew it was perfect when my father wouldn't put his spoon down after sampling, until mother took it away from him and chased him outta the kitchen.)
Set aside to cool. (Outside is great if it's cold enough, with a lid on to keep out varmits lurking on the back porch.) After it has cooled enough to handle, stuff into both cavities of the bird, the inside front first. Really pack it in. I use my hands for this. Put the balance into the neck cavity, pulling the skin to cover and fasten the skin securely.
If you can't get it all in the bird, put in a little pie pan, cover with foil and let cook in the oven. Add to what comes out of the bird after cooking. Butter the bird and season with salt and pepper. We cook ours in a cooking bag so we don't loose any juice (follow the directions for cooking bag). After the bird is cooked and browned, let it rest appropriate amount of time. Spoon out dressing into serving dish. Garnish with a bit or two of fresh parsley. Wonderful with gravy over the top. Makes excellent leftovers if it isn't all eaten up at dinner. It's also great cold when raiding the fridge in middle of night.
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Recipe courtesy of Randy Hinton of Columbia, MO, for FoodTV.com's Stuffing Cook-Off Competition