2 red onions, diced
1 ¼ loaves of bread
3 celery sticks, diced
1 cup dried cranberries
6 rashers of breakfast beef bacon strips, sliced into
4 cups chicken stock
2 large eggs
2 tbsp butter
3 cups chestnuts, peeled, toasted and coarsely crumbled
¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 ½ tsp fresh sage, chopped
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 Place the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat the oven to 180C.
2 Butter a 23cm x 23cm shallow baking pan.
3 Spread the bread cubes in a large shallow baking pan and toast them until they are golden brown.
4 Fry the bacon in a frying pan set over a medium high heat until crisp. Remove from the pan and set aside.
5 Reserving 2 tbsp of the bacon fat, sauté the onions over a moderately high heat, stirring and scraping up brown bits, until softened, about 10 minutes.
6 Add the celery and sauté, stirring, for 3 minutes, then transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
7 Add the dried cranberries.
8 Cook the sausages in a frying pan. Remove from the heat and cut into small pieces.
9 Transfer the sausage pieces to the onion mixture.
10 Remove any oil from the frying pan.
11 Add the 1 cup of the chicken stock to the pan, without placing on the heat.
12 Place the pan over a moderate heat and allow to simmer, stirring and scraping up any brown bits, for 1 minute, and then add to the sausage mixture.
13 Increase the oven temperature to 200C.
14 Soak the bread cubes in the bowl with the mixture, tossing frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
15 Gently squeeze the excess liquid from the bread, discarding the liquid and then return to the sausage mixture.
16 Stir the 3 remaining cups of stock and the eggs together in a separate bowl,
17 Add the mixture to the stuffing.
18 Stir in the chestnuts, herbs, salt and pepper until combined well.
19 Transfer the stuffing to the buttered baking dish and cover with foil.
20 Bake in the upper third of the oven for 20 minutes.
21 Remove foil and bake for another 20 minutes until the top is crisp.