So, that rye bread pudding we made the other day? I had some leftover bread and decided to kill two birds with one stone. In a way, stuffing is just another rendition of bread pudding, right? And sometimes you gotta swap in something cheesy, meaty, and savory in between all the sweet and sugary holiday cheer.
This stuffing is the answer to the same old stuffing year in and year out. And truthfully, I make this stuffing all year round since it's so ridiculously delicious. It's loaded with smoky pastrami, tangy swiss cheese, and tender sauerkraut. It has all the fixins' of a traditional reuben without the confines of a sandwich. Made with rye bread, it's a dead ringer for your favorite lunchtime staple but put together in a way that makes it legit enough for supper.
7 cups [190 grams] rye bread, cubed and stale
2 cups [1/2 pound] pastrami, chopped
2 cups [1/2 pound] swiss cheese, shredded
In a large frying pan:
2 tablespoons bacon fat, or butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup [1 small onion] diced onion
1 cup [2 stalks] diced celery
2 teaspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
Couple dashes of worcestershire
1 clove garlic, grated or diced small
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup [1 pound] sauerkraut
1 1/2 cups beef stock
1 whole egg
In the first bowl, toss together the bread cubes, swiss cheese, and pastrami to evenly distribute the ingredients. Set aside.
In the frying pan, combine all ingredients and place over medium heat. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, the celery is cooked through, and all the seasonings have thoroughly mixed- roughly 7 or 8 minutes. Let cool for twenty minutes.
Toss the sauerkraut mixture with the bread cube mixture until evenly and thoroughly combined. Butter a medium casserole dish and add in the stuffing mixture.
Whisk together the egg and beef stock. Evenly pour over the stuffing mixture ensuring all the bread has been soaked a bit. Let sit for one hour so the bread fully absorbs all the liquid. Even better, make the day before and let chill out in the fridge overnight.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake the stuffing until toasty and browned- about 35 minutes. Let cool ever so slightly before devouring.