In this year’s holiday recipe collection I’m offering two very different ways to prepare stuffing. The first is Hamburger Bread Dressing from Angie Loecken whose family would like her to make it all the time. But she holds the line to holidays — Thanksgiving, Christmas and sometimes Easter.
Angie has made this Hamburger Bread Dressing for about 40 years; adapting the recipe to the tastes and textures her family likes best. She said using hamburger as an ingredient in dressing (rather than breakfast sausage or pork sausage) surprises people. CJK
Hamburger Bread Dressing
1 (1 1/2 pounds) loaf cracked wheat bread, dried
4 cups unseasoned chicken broth
1 stick butter (do not substitute margarine)
1 raw egg
1 cup celery, diced and boiled in water until tender
1 can cream of celery soup
2 tsp. poultry seasoning, or to taste
1 1/2 lb. hamburger
1 med. onion diced
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9x13-inch pan.
Break dried bread into small pieces and put in large bowl. Heat the chicken broth and butter and pour over the bread. Add egg, celery, soup and poultry seasoning and stir. Fry hamburger and diced onion together. Combine hamburger and bread mixtures. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place in prepared pan — don’t fill to the top — leave room for expansion. Bake for about an hour — until crunchy on top. Serve hot with turkey gravy.
Yield: 12 servings
A note from Angie: I always use Country Hearth Cracked Wheat Bread — when I put in other kinds, my family notices. I’m generous with the bread when I make this recipe. We like our dressing more on the crunchy-side so I keep the layer in the pan rather thin — filling it only halfway. If I have too much, I put some of it into a smaller baking dish and freeze it to bake and serve with chicken at a later time.
Some people like their dressing moist and some like it dry. This dressing is moist, but not overly so. It rises during baking — I think it’s the egg.
A note from Carol: Angie and Chuck are members of St. Joseph Parish in St. Joseph. They have three children and two grandchildren. She is the administrative assistant to the director of the Office of Marriage and Family. Angie has worked for the Diocese of St. Cloud for 42 years.