Fennel, cherry & rye stuffing


30g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
100g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
2 echalion shallots, thinly sliced
2 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced, fronds reserved
6 garlic cloves, crushed
20g rosemary, leaves roughly chopped
300g The Village Bakery rossisky rye bread, torn into chunks
100g dried cherries
450g Waitrose British gourmet sausagemeat
150ml chicken stock
1 egg, beaten
5 rashers pancetta, cut into 2-3cm lengths


1. Heat the butter in a large frying pan, until foaming. Add the nuts, stirring for 2-3 minutes, until toasted and golden; lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the shallots and fennel to the pan with a pinch of salt; cover and cook for 5 minutes. Uncover and cook over a medium heat for about 20 minutes, until soft. Turn up the heat, frying for 4-6 minutes, stirring often, until caramelised. Mix through the garlic and most of the rosemary; cool completely.

2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200˚C, gas mark 6. Spread the bread on a large baking tray; toast for 20-25 minutes, turning halfway, until crisp. Set aside to cool, reserving a handful. Cover the cherries with just-boiled water, leave for 10 minutes, then drain.

3. In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the fennel mixture, cherries and most of the bread and nuts with the sausagemeat, stock and egg; check the seasoning by frying off a small pinch.

4. Grease a large baking dish (about 1.5 litres in volume) and press in the stuffing, scattering over the reserved bread. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Uncover and top with pancetta, as well as the reserved hazelnuts and rosemary. Cook for a final 3-5 minutes, until the pancetta is crispy, serving scattered with the fennel fronds, if liked. 

This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food magazine. myWaitrose members can download the Waitrose Food app edition for FREE. Find out more.

  • Preparation time: 25 minutes, plus cooling and soaking
  • Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Total time: 1 hour 40 minutes, plus cooling and soaking

Serves: 6-8

Nutritional Info

Typical values per serving:

Energy 645kJ
Fat 21.9g
Saturated Fat 6.5g
Carbohydrate 33.1g
Sugars 11.3g
Protein 16g
Salt 1.2g
Fibre 6.1g

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5 stars

Average user rating Based on 2 ratings

This recipe was first published in Tue Dec 01 16:49:01 GMT 2015.