Persian-Inspired Pork, Sour Cherry, Pistachio and Herb Stuffing

This is a great alternative to the classic Christmas Turkey stuffing and although it is a bit more Persian-inspired, it still ticks all the boxes flavour-wise, to go hand-in-hand with a traditional Christmas Turkey. I was making my Sour Cherry and Lamb meatballs at The Modern Pantry 4 years ago as part of my ‘Passage to Persia’ dinner series and Chef Anna Hansen was so impressed by the recipe that she asked if they could use it as a stuffing for their Turkey at the restaurant. Naturally I was thrilled and so I owe this twist to the lovely Anna, really. I prefer my stuffing on the side, either in slices or rolled into balls. How you use this recipe is entirely up to you but I promise you, it’s a winner.

Ingredients

750g pork mince (don’t use lean, 20% fat is best)

3 good handfuls of stale white bread, crusts removed, softened in a little milk (3-4 tablespoons)

2 long/banana shallots, finely chopped

30g fresh dill, finely chopped

30g fresh coriander finely chopped

150g dried, sweetened sour cherries or cranberries if easier

100g pistachios, roughly chopped

2 heaped teaspoons of turmeric

2 heaped teaspoons of garlic granules

2 heaped teaspoons of ground cumin

2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon

Maldon salt and black pepper

Method

In a large mixing bowl, combine all your ingredients together with a generous seasoning of salt and pepper and work the mixture aggressively for several minutes to ensure everything is evenly combined and there are no unmixed areas of pink meat remaining and the bread is smoothly incorporated into the stuffing.

You can either use the stuffing as normal now or do as I’ve done and pushed it neatly into a 26cm ovenproof dish and baked it in a preheated oven at 180 degrees fan for about 35 minutes or so until lightly browned on top. You can of course roll them into balls and I’d suggest cooking them for a little less if rolling them into balls about the size of standard stuffing balls 1.5 inches in diameter.