Mom's French Meat Stuffing

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If you're part of a meat-loving clan, then this stuffing will hit the spot. It is made as a side dish, not to stuff the turkey. It can be made the day ahead and simply reheated over a low flame until warmed through. If too sticky add some additional broth. Personally, I always thought it was better the second day because the flavors have more time to combine. Can be doubled for a really large crowd.

1 large onion, finely diced (can pulse in food processor if you're lazy like me)
2 stalks celery, finely diced (can pulse in food processor, same as above)
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground pork
1/2 lb. ground veal (or use 1 lb. ground pork)
Up to 1 tablespoon Poultry seasoning, or more to taste
2 cups prepared beef stock OR 2 beef buillion cubes dissolved in 2 cups boiling water
1- 8oz. bag of Pepperidge Farm Herb-Seasoned stuffing, the one with the small pieces not the cubed kind
3 tablespoons butter
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

With clean hands, mix the meats together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.

Melt butter in large Dutch Oven over medium heat. Add onion and celery. Saute until the vegetables begin to soften 4-5 minutes.  Add the meat and beef stock, just enough to cover the meat. Cover pot and simmer on low for about 1/2 hour to an hour. Be sure to stir often, so the the meat does not stick to the pan or burn.

Once it reaches a nice uniform brown color turn off the heat and add the poultry seasoning and stuffing mix until the liquid is absorbed. You don't want the mixture to be too soupy, too dry or too bready so take care not to add too much stock in the beginning. Cook for an additional 10-15 minutes to allow the flavors to come together and any extra liquid to be absorbed.

Salt and pepper to taste just before serving. Place in a large warmed bowl and serve. Much, much, much better the next day. Like night and day. Just make this one ahead. Less work on the big day and worth the time spent. Just reheat on low in a crock pot or dutch oven until warm throughout. Add additonal water or broth to loosen, if necessary.



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