Fall pears are the star of this delicious stuffing made in your slow cooker
Thank goodness for a slow cooker. You have to love a device that cooks a delicious side dish quietly on the countertop all day while you are running around making all the other stuff. Then as a bonus, it keeps it warm while all my guests get ready to settle down to eat… I’m hugging my slow cooker right now…
Everyone has a recipe for dressing or stuffing. Some like a “stuffing” that’s pressed into the cavity of the bird and cooks away, absorbing all the moist juices of the bird. Others believe it should be a “dressing” that is cooked separately and tends to be a bit more fluffy or crispy. I like a bit of both. I like to make dressing outside the bird (as my mom did), but I like it to be really moist and flavourful.
I can’t emphasize enough the need for you to try this Bacon & Pear Slow Cooker Stuffing. IT IS AMAZING!!! Once you’ve tried it you’ll never make your old stuffing again. I usually make a traditional stuffing that consists of bread, onions, celery and spices. It’s great with the turkey and lots of gravy – love it. This dressing however takes dressing to a whole new level. The smoky flavour of the bacon combined with the sweetness of the pears and cranberries results in a side-dish I could eat as a meal, just amazing.
Let me take you through the process:
I don’t have stale, dry, crisp bread cubes on hand (if you do, skip this step), so I baked some off…
- 12 cups bread, cut into 1” cubes (whole wheat or sourdough)
- 1 500g package of bacon, cut into ½ “ pieces (I used maple bacon… yum!)
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup red onion, chopped
- 5 celery ribs, chopped
- 3 eggs
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 tsp dried sage leaves
- 1 tsp poultry seasoning
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 4 Bosc pears, cored and diced
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- Spread bread cubes over two baking sheets and bake at 400ºF for 15 minutes. Bread should be crispy and dry.
- In a large skillet, brown bacon until cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Drain off bacon fat and clean pan.
- Add butter and over medium high heat cook onions and celery for 10 minutes until soft. Return bacon to pan and heat through.
- In a small bowl, whisk eggs and chicken broth, set aside
- To a slow cooker, add bread cubes, sage, poultry seasoning, salt, pepper, pears and cranberries. Stir. Add bacon mixture, stir again. Pour egg mixture overtop and stir to combine.
- Cover and cook on low for 3-4 hours until moist and spongy, stirring half way through..