Pork and leek stuffing is a delicious, savory companion for Thanksgiving turkey, roast chicken, or a tender roast beef. My recipe uses ground pork with the perfect blend of spices to mimic the flavors of prepared sausage. Taking the time to use your own spice blend allows you to control the quality of the ingredients and the spiciness of the mixture. This is my go-to Thanksgiving stuffing but it goes really well with any winter holiday menu.
I was six years old when my parents moved from Germany to the states. My first introduction to Thanksgiving occurred a month after my family had settled in California. We went to my uncle’s house for [what I later discovered was Thanksgiving] dinner and I was shocked to find a table full of foreign foods and aromas. Everything smelled and looked delicious (especially the sweet potato casserole covered in toasted marshmallows) but there was one new food on the table that I was unwilling to try. Placed next to the turkey was a casserole dish filled with a brownish, beige mixture that people referred to as “stuffing”. As a six-year-old with a sweet tooth this concept certainly didn’t appeal to me. Plus, I heard murmurings of gizzards or turkey neck being cooked together to make the concoction so I steered clear of that particular dish.
Year after year I began to look forward to my new favorite holiday. Hanging out with my cousins and eating delicious food that my Persian household didn’t eat any other time of year; it was heaven. Each year was a bit different but one thing remained the same, I never went near the stuffing. One year I was feeling particularly brave. I had just turned thirteen and decided to expand my pallete and try the stuffing that everyone was raving about.
I reluctantly plopped the bready slop on my plate and unenthusiastically lifted the fork to my mouth. One bite and I was blown away! The flavors were so complex yet comforting, savory and totally balanced. I took another bite, this time with a bit of cranberry sauce on my fork…delicious. I couldn’t believe how many years I’d wasted not eating this stuff. That Thanksgiving taught me a valuable lesson about the merits of stepping out of your comfort zone. Think of all the stuffing I missed out on!
Now that I cook my own meals this pork and leek stuffing has become my go-to recipe. It’s exactly what stuffing should taste like (in my opinion) without the embellishment of dried fruits or nuts. This is a classic holiday stuffing and I hope you try it for your own family meal. I know I will since I have years of stuffing loss to make up for!Print
Other Thanksgiving recipes you might enjoy!