Cornbread and Salt Pork Stuffing inspired by the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon

Cornbread Stuffing with Salt Pork from the Ridge

My thoughts of luxuriant wallowing were interrupted by the emergence from the woods of Ian and Myers, the latter with a brace of squirrels hung from his belt. Ian proudly presented me with an enormous black object, which on closer inspection proved to be a turkey, fat from gorging on the autumn grains.

“Boy’s got a nice eye, Mrs. Claire,” said Myers, nodding approvingly. “Those be wily birds, turkeys. Even the Indians don’t take ’em easy.”

It was early for Thanksgiving, but I was delighted with the bird, which would be the first substantial item in our larder. So was Jamie, though his pleasure lay more in the thing’s tail feathers, which would provide him with a good supply of quills.

Drums of Autumn, chapter 12, "Hearth Blessing"


Cornbread Stuffing with Salt Pork

Ok, so there's no actual stuffing in that excerpt. You probably noticed that.

There is, however, mention of a turkey and Thanksgiving...and since that bird is eventually going to get roasted over the hearth, I thought we should get some stuffing -- or dressing, if you prefer -- ready to go alongside.

It was also the number one answer when I asked fans on the Outlander Kitchen Facebook page what you recipe you wanted to see in time for US Thanksgiving on November 26.

Cornbread Stuffing with Salt Pork

Everything in this recipe, aside from the olive oil, which would have been replaced with more butter or lard - COULD have been found on Fraser's Ridge, eventually; Claire most likely grew all of these veggies and herbs in her garden; there were certainly pigs around, and due to a lack of refrigeration, the majority of all meat was preserved with salt; and if they couldn't trade with the Native Americans for the cranberries, there were any other number of varieties of fruit around to use instead.

It's also a great way to use up day old cornbread. It's not gluten free, but it's easily adaptable, either by using your own GF recipe for cornbread or by substituting your favourite GF flour mix for the all-purpose listed in the recipe.

Cornbread Stuffing with Salt Pork

The traditional recipe for cornbread comes to you straight from a North Carolina, and belongs to one of my cookbook recipe testers, Anna. It was passed down to her from her mother, a first generation Italian American who most likely learned it from her mother-in-law, who was from an Irish immigrant family and born in Tennessee.

Did you follow that?

It sounds to me like the start of one of Jamie's involved dissertations on the origins of his family. Or like one of my maternal grandmother's, a first generation Danish Canadian, who as the strongest of eight sisters, was chosen to accompany her father to set up a new life in Canada for the rest of their family in 1920.

Most of us in North America, including myself and my fellow Canadians who celebrated Thanksgiving in October, are from somewhere else originally. I wish everyone south of the 49th parallel a holiday full of food, love and family -- whether you have been here for 300 years or 3 weeks.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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